All posts tagged: best practice

What #PlaidShirtGuy Can Teach Us About Recruiting and Hiring Best Practices

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Source: Twitter

Tyler Linfesty, better known to the internet as “plaid shirt guy,” became an overnight sensation because of his facial expressions at a Trump rally in Montana. According to the 17-year-old student from Billings, his reactions were a response to comments made by the President.

I’m not writing this to take sides politically; there’s already enough of that going on. What struck me was Linfesty’s choice—he chose not to take what he was hearing at face value. Instead, he listened and when he questioned something he was hearing it showed on his face.

His example is important for all of us who want to improve recruiting and hiring. We shouldn’t take everything we hear or read at face value. This includes news reports, social media posts, and even people in my line of work—speakers and writers.

It’s easy to believe someone who’s been invited to the stage or given space in a trusted publication. Speaking on stage or being featured as a writer elevates that individual’s perceived expertise. Many people listen to what these thought leaders communicate without questioning the applicability of that knowledge for their specific circumstances.

Case in point. I often hear speakers, panelists, and writers offer a best practice, proven method, or industry standard to solve a problem. Then, another thought leader in a different setting offers a different best practice for the exact same problem. Does this mean one of them is being dishonest? No. My experience is that most people are trying to be helpful.

The real issue is that best practices (and phrases that mean the same thing) are relative. From that individual’s perspective, the idea being put forth is what they believe to be the best. It’s up to you to be like #PlaidShirtGuy and question the applicability of that idea for your situation. Here are three ways to do that.

Idea #1
Check the label
Many ideas labeled as a best practice are in the eye of the beholder. Before deciding if it’s best for your organization, check the label.

To do that, I like to ask

Why has this been a best practice for your organization?  

Idea #2
Trust and verify
Trust that the thought leader is trying to be helpful (because most are). Then, verify that the results achieved using that best practice will be worthwhile in your situation.

Ask questions like

What specific results did that best practice achieve?
How long did it take to implement?
How long before you saw those results?
How much did it cost? And what was the ROI?

Idea #3
Validate the source

In the spirit of being helpful, people will offer up brilliant ideas. Ideas that are sometimes not their own and that they themselves have not tried. When this happens, it tends to occur during panel discussions.

To validate the source, try asking

When did your company implement this best practice?

You can learn where the idea came from, allowing you to go to the original source for details.





Scott WintripWhat #PlaidShirtGuy Can Teach Us About Recruiting and Hiring Best Practices
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Land of the Free Lunch and Home of the Bravado

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I’m happily American, but not happy with some things here in America. I know I’m not alone in this sentiment, especially, when it comes to what’s going on in Washington. Unfortunately, what’s failing in the US, and across the globe, isn’t just limited to politics.

One key failure is that too many buyers are still overly focused on price. This free lunch mentality isn’t, however, a deficiency within those who buy. The cause is the bravado of salespeople. Lots of outdated, feature-benefit selling, which prompts those who sell to vomit voluminous amounts of factoids, has promoted buyers to shield themselves from this deluge of talking. As a result, selling sinks to the lowest common denominator—price.

People dislike selling but value and, often, even enjoy buying. Instead of bravado, those who sell need to embrace the brave new world of shutting the hell up. While some may take offense at my choice of words, this is the very phrase going through the minds of many buyers while on the receiving end of another sales pitch.

It just takes one or two brave leaders in every company to install the mental equivalent of clamps on the lips of all customer-facing staff. The best way to do this is generous amounts of practice. By leading salespeople, recruiters, and all service personnel in regular practice sessions, habits begin to change from the bravado created by excessive talking to the collaborative, buying experiences prospects and customers welcome and value.

Yes, the US is the land of the free and home of the brave. Part of having an effective free market system requires bravery to learn from mistakes and do better. By eliminating the bravado, the free-lunch mentality disappears on its own as buyers sell themselves on buying what they need from people they trust at a price that reflects the value of the services. On this Independence Day holiday in the United States, an elimination of outdated sales methods is something we can all celebrate.


Scott WintripLand of the Free Lunch and Home of the Bravado
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Death by Repetitive Practice


Scott's Monday Morning MessageWhile some people may like the idea of death by chocolate, most would probably agree that killing the success of a business with ineffectual approaches is a really bad idea. Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening in many companies across the globe. While the use of Repetitive Practices in their businesses may not close the doors, they are hampering the achievement of their tremendous potential.

What is a Repetitive Practice? It is an inefficient method or routine that is often the way things have always been done. Repetitive practices are all too common and are the cause of or a contributor to most of the challenges faced by companies of all sizes.

How do you spot these? Watch for one or more of the following indicators:

  • A process that achieves less than the intended result.
  • Beloved or institutionally sacred methodologies that people fight to keep, even when these methods have lost their competitive edge.
  • Any routine that is complex, requiring constant reminders of what to do and how to do it.
  • A system, procedure, or course of action that people defend by saying, “But that’s the way it’s always been done.”
  • All ways of doing things that are the same after a maximum of two to three years (business and the market have evolved but processes lag behind).

A recent example involves a client in my Executive Advisor program that improved sales tenfold in just three months. Their repetitive practice of Sales Force, a sales process that attempts to control the client, was replaced by Sales Flow, a collaborative way of selling that engages the customer in selling themselves on buying. Sales Flow takes less effort, creates happier buyers, and is the current Innovative Practice that enrolls people in a more satisfying process for acquiring what they need and want. This increases sales, profits, customer satisfaction, and repeat business.

In order to achieve greater success without ridiculous amounts of effort, Repetitive Practices must be replaced with Best Practices and Innovative Practices (you can read more on how to innovate in my post Putting Lipstick on a Pig and Calling It Innovation).

Some leaders treat their companies, or aspects of them, as finished products versus living, breathing, evolving entities. I bet they’re the ones medicating themselves with chocolate instead meditating on better ways of doing business.


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Scott WintripDeath by Repetitive Practice
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Yesterday’s Methods Keep You Stuck in Yesterday

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The major airlines and many other types of companies have a problem in common—both want to be more competitive, yet, perpetuate the very business practices that keep them stuck in coach class. Southwest Airlines, on the other hand, is the perfect case study of the positive impact of new and improved best practices that have won the hearts and minds of many travelers. No change fees, rapid turnover of flights, reasonable priced business class tickets, and entertaining service from professional flight attendants have led to Southwest’s rapid ascent as a dominate carrier in the marketplace. It’s no coincidence that companies across the globe who have also evolved their best practices are reaping higher profits than those who perpetuate Depleted Practices.

Depleted Practices are tactics of doing business that many people still engage in on a day-to-day basis. While some of these methods may have been effective at one time or another, their impact now pales in comparison to the competitive advantage true best practices bring to those using them on a consistent basis. What’s worse, Depleted Practices sustain the impression that you’re no different than your competition.

Use these steps to find Depleted Practices:

  1. Find the processes whose effectiveness has diminished over time. These are the prime culprits for the Depleted Practice designation and need to be immediately changed, improved, or replaced with a better process.
  2. Carefully look for methods and techniques that some people have abandoned, having created “workarounds” instead. Employees, especially those who are the most competent, don’t just randomly create a temporary fix unless something doesn’t work.
  3. Ask your customers which aspects of what you do for them they could not live without. Those are often your true best practices; the rest, well, not so much.

Instead of doing business as usual because that’s how it’s always been done, the methods that have minimal effectiveness or no longer work must be changed. As you do, you’ll join the top echelon of innovators like Southwest Airlines. Your customers will be much better served and your profits will soar into the friendly skies as a result.

Scott WintripYesterday’s Methods Keep You Stuck in Yesterday
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