Management May 5, 2010 25 Reads share

Does the shoe fit?

In this post from Greg, he discusses the impact that an employee can have in a company if he/she does not have the ”

A number of months ago, I was engaged with a client to help determine the best growth strategy for the IT department of their company. A few options were on the table from enhancing their internal capabilities through to a total outsource partnership arrangement.  During the process, the usual modus operandi were followed i.e. possible partners were selected, a tender document was sent out, responses received and a short-list generated of companies that would be interviewed.

There were three parties who were invited to present. Each had different strengths on paper and in their responses. Each response was written and portrayed the company which was presenting it through its language and format. We had a fairly good idea from the presentation of the answers in the documents received about who we were likely to go with if the out-source was the direction we were taking.

Prior to the meetings we had decided on the what we were trying to achieve including putting a matrix together of weighted scores for things like technical capability, prior experience, commercial model etc. However, we had also included a weighting for an individual section called “Organisational Fit” a.k.a. cultural fit.

We were going to have to work closely and for extended periods of time with the company that was selected. We and they would have to understand one another’s corporate cultures to ensure success.

We had open discussions with all three parties over the course of twenty four hours.  One of the three shot themselves in the foot by having a disagreement amongst themselves in front of us. Big red mark.  The other two presented their companies superbly and the decision point was going to be difficult.

In the discussions internally afterwards, when the scores were done and the subjective conversations were had, one company clearly came away the winner based on the fact that they simply just “got” what we were trying to achieve.  In terms of experience, they were not quite as strong as the second choice company. They won because of their cultural fit pretty much being spot-on to ensure that both parties would be able to engage successfully for the duration of any contract.

Whoever you choose to work with you, an employee or a strategic outsource partner, cultural fit will be a key deciding factor in ensuring success. Take the time out to find out whether they suit you and your company. It costs a lot more to fix something after it has broken.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever put a square peg into a round hole only to discover that’s not going to work?

Photo : Paul Stevenson

Barney Austen

Barney Austen

Budding entrepeneur working on software product solutions for business. My background is mainly operational and senior management roles in mobile telecoms and software houses. Areas of expertise include professional services, out-sourcing, team management and general operations management. I've made the conscious decision to create my own company having spent the last 20 years learning in the corporate world. In my contributions to this forum, I will share some insights and learnings that I've picked up along the way and hopefully they will be useful to some or all!

Read Full Bio