People's BS detectors are finely tuned when it comes to corporate speak; they can tell when you don't mean it. So when you put your mission in writing, it had better be authentic. A good litmus test is to ask what would happen if you change the statements that describe culture.
—Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg1
I picked up my iPhone to find a frantic HR executive, Katherine, on the other end of the line. Katherine explained that the executive team was split between two potential candidates for the chief information technology role in the company.
I had been serving as an advisor and assessor of talent while Katherine recruited executives in an effort to build a new executive team. The current company was the result of the merger of two different companies. We had been actively trying to recruit people who were not from either of the legacy companies as well as intentionally retaining key people from both legacy companies who were judged to be a good fit with the vision for the new company.
Katherine and I had spoken regularly for several weeks, but I had never heard her so frantic. Come to find out, the president had been clear with Katherine that the CTO should have been hired by now. The temporary CTO's energy was waning, and in the president's opinion he wasn't that good anyway.
Katherine went on to say that while she thought ...