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Quantum Thinkers Have Real Superpowers – Are You One of Them?

Quantum Thinking: What is it?

There is some confusion about what, exactly, quantum thinking means.  Some think it’s connecting your mind, body and spirit; some think it’s a tactic to better understand and embrace physics, and still others think it can be a magical way to live a happy and perfect life.

Now, I don’t know about any of that. I won’t tell you how to connect your mind, body and spirit, or help you understand physics or promise you a perfect life. I want to talk about quantum thinking from a cognitive, adult learning perspective. Quantum thinking is about a depth and speed of processing that could be a vital and game-changing skill when it comes to leadership, innovation, management and education. It involves using multi-dimensional thinking and thematic analysis to discern and synthesize complex information from seemingly random memory, in real time. In an overly simplified way, quantum thinking is about developing a seemingly limitless mental capacity. Who wouldn’t want that?

I first came across quantum thinking, or to be more to the point, “high capacity” quantum thinking, when I was a grad student doing research on cognition and transformative learning. I was reading a book by celebrated adult educator Jane Vella. She only touched on this concept in the book, but it peaked my interest and I dug further into it.  I discovered that different kinds of thinking can be expressed as an upside down hierarchy in terms of capacity and depth. In this model, linear thinking falls on the bottom, creative thinking (spreading your thinking outward) and critical thinking (reflecting and analyzing information) sit in the middle and high capacity quantum thinking has all of it and more.

So, again: What is it?

High capacity quantum thinking is the ability to simultaneously and systematically connect six different skills:

Creativity – explore alternate options and pathways, even unconventional ones.

Intuition— trusting the information, higher-order concepts, and ideas that come to your mind.

Unrelated storage – being able to learn and store information without immediate relevance and then recall and connect it once it becomes relevant.

Information integration – the ability to integrate information from all sources into actionable and practical concepts

Synthesis – creating foundational and practical knowledge from the information and concepts created and stored.

Accelerated Processing – being able to make connections, process and learn information, and master new tasks at an intensely quick rate.

How can I use this information?

The real question is, how can high capacity quantum thinking help you?  For the purposes of this article we’ll talk about how to look for signs of quantum thinking in your potential job applicants.

High capacity quantum thinkers are a gift to some industries and a curse to others. If you’re looking for employees to just tow the company line, be given tasks to repeat the same way everyday until they retire, maintain status quo, and think within the box, then you need to stay clear of high capacity quantum thinkers. They will drive you crazy, be unhappy, and most likely will not use their hyper accelerated thinking skills to make your life easier.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for more efficiency in your process, looking for new and meaningful connections, need answers to questions you haven’t even thought of yet, and want all of this yesterday—then you, my friend, need to be in the market for a high capacity quantum thinker.

So where do you find them?

That’s a tough one. Most high capacity quantum thinkers don’t even realize this is what they are. They tend to believe that having a mind that goes a mile a minute and sees all the angles is what everyone experiences. Interestingly enough, many high capacity quantum thinkers may have been misdiagnosed as having ADHD as kids. This might be because ADHD is marked with having a need to have your mind stimulated, and looking beyond the task you are currently engaged in to find that stimulation.  The undisciplined high capacity quantum thinker may appear to be scattered, unfocused or having poor follow through. This is because having information and inspiration constantly coming at you can be overwhelming and extremely distracting. Like most super powers, they’re a burden until you learn to harness and control them.

So, let’s reframe the question.

Where do you find DISCIPLINED High Capacity Quantum Thinkers?

It’s likely they’re already applying for positions in your company. High capacity quantum thinkers know what kind of work and projects interest them and they’re eager to seek them out. You will find them among the resumes and cover letters that speak about their potential, their achievements attained in a short period of time, will likely have had three or four jobs in a ten year span, which they’ve left to pursue more exciting prospects. They won’t have the twenty years of experience you’re looking for, they will be the ones who sound confident and engaged, but whom you thought were probably “too green” or inexperienced to consider as a serious candidate.

Overlooking high capacity quantum thinkers is understandable. Lots of people claim to be great and able to meet all of your needs. Hiring people is risky, so you play it safe and go with the most experienced candidates.  It makes logical linear sense. But if you’re going to choose people who have done the job before, you’ll likely get employees who will do things the way they’ve always been done. However, if you want to increase the capacity of your business, you need to invest in increasing the “High Capacity” of your employees. The best advice I can offer to help you spot them is to look for people who have been able to complete excellent work in surprisingly short time frames, people who routinely over-deliver in terms of quality and deadlines, and people who can find connections, unique perspectives, and transferable elements in seemingly random or limiting situations. If you can harness the power of a quantum thinker you can have your very own super hero at your disposal, and again…who wouldn’t want that!


Roman 3 is an advising and solutions firm that specializes in inspiring progressive action, creating a culture of innovation, and assisting organizations in implementing transformative change. We help you build capacity, collaborate, be progressive, and grow to your full potential. For more information on our services and support check us out at 

Skills vs. Experience: Successfully Hiring For The Future

Let’s have a serious talk about skills

Anyone who reads articles, blogs or literature about career advice or job searching will hear a repeated focus on the benefit of your personal/soft skills related to employment. Your skills, you will read, are the core value the employer is seeking when hiring, and are something you need to focus on when you are applying.

When employers are searching for an ideal candidate they are looking for a combination of the right personality, soft skills and technical or hard skills. When it comes to valuing these skills,  employment experts agree that while technical skills may get you an interview, it’s the soft skills that will get you the job—and help you keep it.

The all too important soft skills are pieces of your personality that define the kind of worker you are. These include skills like attitude, communication style, thought process, stress management, adaptability and reliability—and this makes a lot of sense.  Someone with excellent database or programming skills isn’t much good if his toxic negativity brings down the entire team or if he crumbles under the slightest pressure.

While hard skills may get your foot in the door, soft skills will keep you there. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conducted a study on 260 employers (including Chevron and IBM, according to Forbes) and found the following five soft skills to be the most valuable in employees, in order of importance:

  1. Ability to work in a team structure
  2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  3. Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization
  4. Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work
  5. Ability to obtain and process information

Your soft skills are essential in the first few months of the job, while you are still learning the technical side of your new role. In fact, according to Mark Murphy (author of Hire for Attitude), 46% of new hires fail in the first eighteen months, and of those new hires, 89% fail for reasons associated with attitude, one of the critical soft skills!

So, the case is made by employment and career experts for why employers should be really excited about your employment soft skills that you bring from your past experiences to their workplace. The only problem is that the people who aren’t really getting that message tend to be the employers.

It comes down to risk

Employers—well, most employers anyways— are not heavily weighing employment soft skills in their hiring practices. This fact is all too well known by Millennials. The problem with skills is that they are less tangible and more risky than experience. So when push comes to shove and employers have to choose someone to trust with their position and their business, they might want to roll the dice and hire the person who has less experience but a lot of skills and potential. However, most of the time employers decide to play it safe and hire the person with more experience. But should we really blame them?

Skills are about potential, which is fine, but potential is realized down the line and employers are hiring someone for right now. This is a classic investment concern. Do I invest my resources in something that is less proven but has the real potential to have a high rate of return, or something that has a long history of consistent performance?

This is why employers often care more about your experience than your skills or why employers hire the most experienced candidates over the less experienced, but likely more skilled, ones. They just don’t want to take the risk.

Some of that risk centers on questions like:

“If I invest in this person’s potential and it pays off, what if they won’t stay with my company?”

  • Well, if you’re questioning the commitment of a younger worker, according to INC: 64% of Millennials would rather make $40K a year at a job they love than $100K a year at a job they think is boring. And nearly 80% of Millennials consider as a top priority, how they will fit with the people and the culture of their targeted job, followed by the career potential of the position.

“If someone isn’t proven in the job, how can I be sure they’ll be able to do the work?”

  • According to Skills Survey’s Three Hard Truths Every Hiring Organization Needs to Learn. “Hard skills are rarely the reason that people fail in your organization.” Most of the time the reasons employees don’t work out are around absence, personality conflicts, and not fitting in. If they have the skills to learn and a strong work ethic, they will be able to do the job, I just might take a little longer.

“If I don’t hire the most experienced people, then how can I make sure I have the best people?”

  • There is some influential research on this subject, including work by Professor Robert Kelley from Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business that has clearly demonstrated that technical skills alone do not distinguish standout employees. Competencies such as initiative and business awareness, as well as skills in leadership, collaboration, communication and presenting are the indicators of your key employees.

Who the Person Is vs. What the Person Was

As an employer, it’s important to remember that you are hiring a person, not just a collection of experiences. There is more to the job than doing the tasks that you are hiring someone to do. Employment soft skills are where the person will succeed in those other essential, but less tangible areas such as reliability, innovation, creativity, and dedication. Experience can be gained, taught and crafted. It is much harder to mold who the person is because individual identity is much more entrenched. We’ve all seen how a single toxic person can damage staff morale, customer relations and the profit margins of businesses. We’ve also seen how a hardworking, morale-building, approachable and dependable employee can become the person everyone turns to for help and makes the business a better place to work. According to Talent Acquisition Factbook 2015, it costs $4,000 to replace an employee. That is not including the loss of productivity, morale and knowledge base that leaves when employees do. This makes it organizationally and financially essential to choose the right person when hiring. When you hire for experience you’re hiring someone’s past, which might be all they can give you. When you hire someone’s skills, you are hiring their future, which is really what they are looking to give you.

How do I show them I fit?

Here is the reality facing job seekers:  despite the overwhelming research demonstrating that employment soft skills are the core, essential, standout qualifications for almost any job, employers remain shy about focusing on them when filling vacancies. So what do you do?

You need to focus on your fit. Research the needs and the cultural atmosphere of the company to which you’re applying, then really show them who you are by showing them all of the technical and employment soft skills that you possess.  You can’t control the thoughts and fears of the employer, but you can make a compelling and engaging case for why you are worth the risk. If you want some tips on how to do that, check out one of my past articles titled: A Successful Job Search is Simply about Telling a Good Story.

The Takeaway

Employment soft skills should be something that excites us all. Job seekers should be keen to share them and employers should be eager to hear about them. But the risk and fear of the “unproven” is what is holding us all back. The research proves time and again that the reward far outweighs the risk. I think it’s time for all of us to stop playing it “safe” and start being focused on people’s future and not just their past.


Roman 3 is an advising and solutions firm that specializes in inspiring progressive action, creating a culture of innovation, and assisting organizations in implementing transformative change. We help you build capacity, collaborate, be progressive, and grow to your full potential. For more information on our services and support check us out at 

Is Your Understanding of Diversity All Wrong?

Do you know the true value of diversity?

Lately I have been consumed with recruiting. I recently hired staff positions at one of my organizations, where I’m also currently looking for new Board Members. I also just finished the process of recruiting committee members and advisors for my other organization. Lastly, I am consulting with a government group looking to recruit members for a very exciting youth council. So lately I have been living and breathing recruitment, which is par for the course when you specialize in talent development. To be honest, I actually kind of like recruiting, especially when it’s for the assortment of levels, positions, skill sets, and experience that I normally work with on a regular basis. But more than the recruiting, I really like maximizing the skills and potential that new people bring to their new roles. The unique viewpoints, backgrounds, strengths, and ideas really excite me. I am a true believer in a strengths based approach to teamwork, which means working with people with wide reaching skills and knowledge that have little overlap and letting the people work primarily within their strengths, while keeping them away from their areas of weakness. As an example, is I have an Economic Development Officer (EDO) who is an amazing relationship builder and an innovative problem solver, but lacks administrative organizational skills. So I let my EDO focus on his strengths and we share the more administrative tasks within his team to someone who has great skills and leadership with organizational tasks. Why hold them back from the things they do well? The other piece of maximizing skills and potential that I am a true believer in is discourse. Maybe it is the academic in me, but I adamantly believe that divergent views and lively debate are essential to true progress and innovation. Impactful discourse can only come from diversity… but this may not be the diversity most people think of.

Diversity of Perspective

Now, I don’t want to lose anyone by talking about diversity. I know there are strong opinions when the term is uttered. While some people get on their soapbox to shout their thoughts about political correctness, others feel that only people who are a part of underrepresented groups have the right to speak about diversity. These are just a few examples. But, I want to be very clear right at the start, the value of recruiting for diversity has nothing to do with political correctness. I’m not talking about, or even remotely supporting tokenism (the practice of doing something, such as hiring a person who belongs to a minority group, only to prevent criticism and give the appearance that people are being treated fairly.) In fact, I’m kind of disgusted by the lack of respect and the lack general decency that tokenism invokes. What I’m saying is that the true value in hiring for diversity is gaining the diversity of perspective.

As I mentioned earlier, two important elements of maximizing the skills and the potential of groups, organizations, or individuals are a strengths based approach and discourse. These elements can only exist in a team when there is a dynamic of diversity of perspective; new viewpoints to share, unique experiences to pull from, different struggles that have been conquered, and distinctive approaches to common issues, just to name a few. If this diversity of perspective does not exist then all efforts for development and innovation are doomed to fail or at best, be mildly impactful.

We don’t need Ambassadors

When most people think of diversity, they think of a group of people whose members represent different cultures, races, languages, sexual orientation, gender, class, and abilities. These are some of the different backgrounds that create the common understanding of diversity. The problem with thinking of diversity as a form of representation is that even the most well meaning efforts become tokenistic in their desire to have all backgrounds visibility represented.

The true value of diversity is the range of perspectives that it allows. The differences of culture, race, language, sexual orientation, gender, class, and ability inherently give people individual experiences that build the uniqueness of their perspectives. At the same time, each person is allowed be an individual and not an “ambassador” for their particular minority group. We want the whole person to be involved and engaged. Their background will form their perspective, not define it.

The Dull Grey of the Homogenous Perspective

Without the commitment to recruiting diversity of perspective we run the risk of putting a lot of work into something that is only valued by a particular segment of the population we are trying to inspire, sell to, develop, or whatever. We all like to surround ourselves with like minded people, but we need to be careful and consider why they are likeminded. Are they likeminded in goals and vision? Appreciation of progress and challenge? Or because we have the same background and perspectives?

Recruiting for diversity of perspective is simply the best way to be the best. I personally look for the strengths based approach and truly value discourse. Reaching the largest audience, finding innovative marketing segments, creating competitive advantage, and accelerating problem solving efforts, are just a few of the possible benefits.

The Takeaway

Value diversity because you truly want to be the best. Don’t value diversity because you want to have nice pictures of unique faces. Recruit people who will have many different viewpoints and insights. Don’t recruit people who look different and define their value by their differences. Perspectives are essential to business, problem solving, teamwork, ethics, training, personal growth, and maximizing potential. Put great efforts into gathering as many as you can.


Roman 3 is an advising and solutions firm that specializes in inspiring progressive action, creating a culture of innovation, and assisting organizations in implementing transformative change. We help you build capacity, collaborate, be progressive, and grow to your full potential. For more information on our services and support check us out at 

Most Managers are Not Successful at Leading

Managing To Meet The Needs Of The Future

So, for years I have worked in workforce and talent development. I pride myself on innovative and progressive approaches to supporting the workforce, because I understand the true potential of having the right skills in the right place. Our world is shifting, and like or not it is because of the millennials that having conversations about not only what employers should expect from their employees, but also what employees should expect from their employers. It is incredibly important that employees be dedicated, hardworking, and ethical. This allows them to do the best job they can, whether or not someone is watching them. However, it is really up to the employers to create an environment that fosters that level of professionalism, and it allows for employees to feel valued when they do. Often when I speak to employers who have issues with turnover and who can’t retain top talent, they often state that they are frustrated by people leaving. My two most common questions are: “What are you doing to make them stay?” and “Are you aware that most people don’t leave their job, they leave their boss?”

On that note, let’s look at how we can create an environment that will promote professionalism and give our employees a reason to say.


Maximize The Talent You Have

According to a 2018 Harvard Business Review article, titled Why People Really Quit Their Jobs, people would leave when their job wasn’t enjoyable, their strengths weren’t being used, and they weren’t growing in their careers. Even when they enjoyed their boss, they still didn’t enjoy their job, but it is their boss who ultimately is responsible for what that job is like. The elements of enjoying what you do and growing in your career, are really about utilizing your skills. No matter what we do, we want to be able to spend most of our time doing what we are good at and ideally be appreciated for our skills. This needs to be a focal point when managing a team. Look to capitalize on the skills and talents of those in your charge, to get the most out of the investment that you have made into your hiring.

This can look different for different organizations, when you have a large employee base it needs to be done in broader strokes but is best done by being open to strategies like Job Carving. Job Carving is commonly defined as; the act of analyzing work duties performed in a given job and identifying specific tasks that might be assigned to an employee. This is most commonly used to intergrade people with disabilities but can be used for everyone. It is about adjusting scheduling, recombining duties, and generally taking a more fluid approach to creating job descriptions. In smaller organizations, you can inventory the skills and abilities of your existing staff team and look to adjust tasks and roles to take a more strengths-based approach to team dynamics. Both of these strategies, job carving and strength base teams, require a very strong and progressive HR approach and leaders skilled in change management, but can be a turning point for companies with workforce issues.


Lead Vs Manage

If you are going to create a culture to maximize your workforce, run an organization that people will bring their best to, and retain talent; then you need to understand how to lead, instead of just how to manage

Here are some places to start:

Employees are your ASSET

Old thinking has always been that employees are your biggest cost, your biggest risk, and sometimes, your biggest liability. This creates an adversarial perspective to managing staff. What owners, bosses, and managers need to understand is that the Human Capital of a business is the biggest investment and therefore the greatest priority to optimize.

Open communication flow

Old thinking about communications has been to focus on the top-down chain. You need to be fed information from your superiors who possess all of the access, insight, and required intel. But this shows a lack of respect or the professional judgment of your employees, creates a bottleneck for information, and slows down productivity. By allowing information to be accessible and shared throughout, you are fostering independence in your team and empower those with the initiative to act.

Behaviour over Experience

Old thinking valued experience as the be all end all, you had to be proven to be effective. However, when you hire for experience you’re hiring someone’s past, which might be all they can give you. If you focus on the behaviour, or as we call it in workforce development their employability skills, you can expect more, develop more, and invest more in your staff.

Empower results

Old thinking puts a lot of emphasis on punching the clock. The thinking put a lot of focus on how much time you put in between 9 to 5. But the question you need to ask yourself is what are you paying them for? Is it to be busy within their working hours or to produce results and meet outcomes? You can either give your staff the flexibility they need to deliver or give them a schedule to work, you likely cannot do both.

Work where the best work gets done

In line with the last section, Old thinking emphasizes sitting at your desk from 9-5, anything else isn’t really working. But, the essential point to consider is, what are you paying your staff for? It is to occupy a desk or to produce results and meet outcomes? If the conditions of the job will allow for the flexibility of working remotely or part-time from home offices, and people can produce better results outside the office, then why not? You can either give your staff the flexibility they need to deliver the best results or give them a mandatory location to work, you likely cannot do both.

Genuine honesty

Old thinking puts a lot of value on corporate jargon and buzzwords, often to pacify people’s needs for information without actually giving it to them. We often hide behind these efforts to pacify our employees out of some antiquated thoughts that employees are like mushrooms, they develop better when kept in the dark (often surrounded by bul….oney…..baloney). When in reality the best way to develop your team is to be genuine, transparent, and trust them with what they need to do their jobs the best they can.

Fail often

Old thinking really hates the idea of failing and wants to go to any length to avoid it. But failing is essential to growth. If you never try anything new, you are unlikely to fail…..and succeed, and grow, and innovate. But if you look for calculated ways to take risks then you are open to fail….and succeed, and grow, and innovate.

Be vulnerable

Old thinking embodies the omnificent leader who is to be feared and respected by all, and that might have worked for Julius Caesar, that is not how true leadership is. Real leadership and successful management are about having the confidence to laugh at yourself, make own your mistakes, say “I don’t know”, and ask others for help. A leader who can inspire people by being human and an equal to their staff will create a loyalty and work ethic that will surpass any threat, fear, or power that old thinking can muster up.


The Takeaway

No one wants to be managed, but we all want to be lead. A manager who follows the old thinking of management will always have workforce issues, limited innovation, and get satisfactory results. A leader who looks to inspire, empower, and develop their team will outpace, outshine, and outdo any manager every day of the week. Do you want to give your team a reason to stay? Give them the boss they never want to leave.


Written by W. Coby Milne

Director of Roman 3 Operations


Roman 3 is an advising and solutions firm that specializes in inspiring progressive action, creating a culture of innovation, and assisting organizations in implementing transformative change. We help you build capacity, collaborate, be progressive, and grow to your full potential. For more information on our services and support check us out at 

What an Indispensable Employee Looks Like

Intrapreneurs, The Heroes of the Workforce

I spend a lot of time working with and teaching highly skilled and highly motivated people, young professionals and experienced professionals, entry-level workers and high-level executives, technical focused and people focused; a really wide range of people. Of all the different kinds of people I deal with on a regular basis, the most welcoming and exciting to work with have to be the Intrapreneur. For those of you who are not familiar with the Intrapreneur; they are people who exhibit the personal drive, dedication, professional pride, and intrinsic motivation and are the hallmarks of successful entrepreneurs, except they choose to work within an organization or business. These are the people who work in a company that makes other people wonder; “With their skill and drive, why they haven’t started their own business?”

Intrapreneurs are the heroes in their company who are not necessarily in it for the money or prestige, they are motivated by a need to seek innovation, solve problems, and, most often, they believe in what they do, and they look to do it better. Intrapreneurs are often the backbone of a successful company, if a company creates an environment where Intrapreneurs can thrive, be recognized and given more responsibility to create a larger impact then they will lift the company beyond anyone’s expectations.

 What makes Intrapreneurs?

Developing Intrapreneurship is really not that different from developing a garden. You need the right materials, the fertile soil to get started, and the right resources to be nourished.

In this sense, the right materials are likely within the personality qualities of the person.  As someone who researches and teaches topics around cognition and skill development, in my professional opinion, these qualities are best identified in the Big Five Factors personality traits. This is part of the foundation of Personality Psychology and an excellent inventory of the qualities that make us who we are. The main quality strengthens that are needed to create an Intrapreneur would be:


-Adventurousness (prefers variety and trying new and different ways to do things)

-Intellect (likes complex problems, enjoys going in depth with complicated ideas)

-Liberalism (avoids convention, tends to not be satisfied with the status quo)


-Self-efficacy (has the confidence to take on tasks and successfully complete them)

-Achievement-striving (self motivated to work hard)

-Self-discipline (will complete tasks, regardless of how distasteful)

If you would like to test yourself against the Big Five Factors and find your score on the above traits, among many others, you can take the actual IPIP-NEO assessment that is the representation of the scientific assessment used by Personality Psychologist. Find the test here.

What environment is needed to develop an Intrapreneur?

Going back to the garden analogy, what is the fertile soil to plant the budding Intrapreneur? Basically, flexibility is key. An environment where there is not just a linear process to accomplish outcomes, where there is a way to fine tune and improve processes or look at new ways to create efficiencies. The Intrapreneur is all about ideas, sees the angles, and wants the flexibility to pursue the best option.

Another essential piece is the resources to be nourished; the key to this is really access. The Intrapreneur needs to have access to information, equipment, and support to develop the idea or solve the problem. Access can be the greatest form of appreciation for the Intrapreneur, as it is not just lip service to their efforts and potential, but a tangible endorsement of their efforts, which will be key to keeping a successful Intrapreneur at your company.

The Takeaway

We have all seen Intrapreneurs in action; they are the indispensable co-workers who we know will go above and beyond and find better ways to do their job. It’s the person who works for a company we regularly deal with and enjoy interacting with because they take pride in what they do; they are self-motivated. If you have ever dealt with someone and have been impressed with their ingenuity, commitment, work quality and thought to yourself “this person is going places” then odds are you have been dealing with an Intrapreneur.

Intrapreneurship needs to be fostered, cultivated and appreciated. They are essential to the growth and sustainability of any organization or company. The reality is that human capital is the most important resource to any business and Intrapreneurs are the gold standard that gives any business its greatest value.


Roman 3 is an advising and solutions firm that specializes in inspiring progressive action, creating a culture of innovation, and assisting organizations in implementing transformative change. We help you build capacity, collaborate, be progressive, and grow to your full potential. For more information on our services and support check us out at 

Crucial Elements to Consider When Recruiting for High Talent Teams

Adding to the team

Recruiting is always challenging, the hiring process is always filled with so many unknowns and risks. The challenge is even greater when you’re looking to add to a team that’s already functioning well. The potential to throw off the existing team, ruin a good thing, and not successfully find the right fit really puts the pressure on when the time comes to expand your team. Another point to consider is the subtle differences between expanding a team, versus, replacing a member of a strong team. Expanding an already great team seems less risky because you are adding on to it, but you may run the risk of adding an unnecessary appendage to the team, a team appendix if you will. If the addition is not seen as a critical addition that is truly of value and strengthens the work of everyone else, then you run the risk of planting the seeds of resentment and can start to corrode the foundation of the team. In similar fashion, if you are replacing a member of a highly functioning team, then you need to be really careful in your approach. It is advised to not look for a clone to swap in with hopes of not missing a step, this just sets the stage for unfair comparisons and unrealistic expectations. A better approach might be to look at the exit of your team member as an opportunity to restructure the team’s tasks and move tasks around within the team that will create efficiency. This way you can find the fit for the new structure, and find someone who was hired to fit in, not just hired to be the same as the person who left.

But what elements are needed to find people who can fit into the existing team, and make the most of your recruiting efforts?

Here are some elements to consider:


Intrapreneurship is a relatively recent concept that focuses on employees of a company who have many of the attributes of entrepreneurs. They think and behave like owners; showing the long range vision of not just their personal career, but the organization as a whole. They are not “clock punchers” who only work within the time and duties of their employment contact. They take complete ownership of their role and are driven to make their position succeed with the same effort, determination, and ownership that an entrepreneur would with their own business. The qualities of an intrapreneur are exceptional work ethic and integrity, adaptability and willingness to change focus and direction to do what it takes to make their role successful, highly internally motivated, and solution focused with a commitment to find a way to make an innovative idea with potential work.

For more info on intrapreneurs check out these articles by Forbes and INC.


PSYCAP is a collection of core skills that create the foundation to strengthen employee success. Higher PSYCAP is associated with higher performance, lower stress levels and better well-being. The qualities of high PSYCAP increase the flexibility and level of demands that can be placed on an employee, it is a mark of a high capacity employee.

I wrote an article about building and developing Psychological Capital (PSYCAP), titled: Investing in Psychological Capital- Maximizing yourself and your talent pool, Check it out for a more detailed description of PSYCAP.

Strengths based vs All-Stars

This is a really important element to consider when hiring to a team. Are you looking to create a well rounded team or team of well rounded individuals? I can personally say that I have been on both and there is quite a different dynamic with each kind of team. The way I like to explain this concept is to compare this with the Brad Pitt movie Moneyball, where a baseball manager who couldn’t afford to hire a team of well rounded All-stars, so he hired a diverse team of players that were not well rounded but had strong skills for a single position and the passion, and personal grit needed to make the most of the opportunity. If you are interested, here is a good article on how to build a team “Moneyball style” in software development.

This may seem a little counter intuitive at first, to think of not necessarily looking for a team of well rounded all-stars, but to look for a team that collectively have high strengths is all areas, while as individuals have personal areas of weaknesses. However, if you hire the team to play to their strengthens, and strategically choose the people whose strengths compensate for the weaknesses of the others, then you create an environment where everyone is focused on doing what they are really good at and completely supporting each other to move the team forward in a unified direction. This fosters collaboration, pride in one’s work, and naturally boosts employee morale.

The risk of hiring that team of all-stars is that with many people who possess the same skills, all looking for the chance to show their talents off. You could accidentally create, at worst, highly competitive environment where people are more focused on their egos than the team, and at best, a team of individuals who feel they don’t need to work together and collaborate. Plus, like in sports, the All-stars tend to be the ones who are being headhunted and less likely to stay with the team for the long haul.

The Takeaway

If you see the value in these elements and are wondering how to recruit an intrapreneur, with high PSYCAP, to be part of your Strengths Based team, then the best advice I can give you is – give your team complete access to the recruitment process. Include them at every stage; the gap analysis of the team’s current strengths, the adjustment to everyone’s positions to fit the new person in as a critical member, the drafting of the job description and posting, short listing the resumes, and being part of the hiring panel. Give them the sense of ownership and lean on the professional judgement and intuition that they possess that made them a high talent team to begin with.


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