Posted by: Doug Geiger | 2013/05/22

Wanted: Focused Daydreamer

I have worked with a lot of really smart people over the years. The holy grail of hiring is to hire the best candidate using very little information (and highly polished information, at that!). Specifically for consultants, project managers and other information workers job history, general intelligence and personality testing seem to dominate the selection process. Those all play a part, but from working in the field for a while now, I have come to learn that one of the best indicators of performance is his or her ability to see the unintended consequences of an action. This requires a mental agility and empathy that separates the bottom and top of the market. Examples include:

  • the impact of changing a field from a drop down value to plain text and how that would affect reporting
  • the way decisions will impact employee morale
  • the impact of doing nice things for customers or for taking a hard stance
  • How plans for communication will account for ease of use, adoption and user fatigue, over time
  • How real users will work once a product is released and how to plan for that upfront

With the amount of data we need to process these days and the pace of change in the world, the real opportunities will find those that have a sense of imagination that best allows them to peer into the future. If focused daydreaming is not part of your repertoire, then you probably are not cut out to be a consultant.

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