White ravens

The hunt is open, as many organisations seem to be looking for white ravens again: rock-star sales people, shareholder value boosting CEO’s, on-time plumbers, and so on.

Many a times it seems like the search for that impossible actor, the white raven, merely serves as a reason not to act, not to engage, not to move forward.

The main problem with white ravens is of course that they do not exist.

And even if they did exist, should you even consider resting that much responsibility on one bird?

What if they were to fly away? What would happen if they would loose their white raven abilities and fail? Or what if the white raven you think you found turns out to be a black one, with a LinkedIn profile or résumé covered in white paint? & there seems to be an awful lot of white paint lying around.

The deus-ex-machine nature of the white raven strategy makes it ill-fit in any sustainable endeavour.

Consider the alternative: if the skills of the white raven are so desirable, why not just spread the paint around a bit?

I would suggest:

  • instead of looking for the rock-star salesperson, …     enrol your consultants into a basic sales program
  • instead of head-hunting down the next million dollar CEO, …     facilitate intrapreneurship
  • instead of last-minuting a decent plumber, …     pick up a DIY manual

Little cumulative changes, especially if carried & benefitted by many, will have much greater impact, in the long run