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Ingrained traits vs learnable knowledge

October 28, 2016

It is very rare that I publicly cite exactly what I read from a book. It is because I often don't agree with the author's thought or not persuaded by their arguments. But this time, when I read Jim Collins' <Good to Great>, I agree with every single argument he makes. Well, furthermore, it is not even his sole argument, but the outcome he finds from a set of empirical research of companies.    


"In a good-to great transformation, people are not your most important asset. The right peopl are"


What he defines the rightness of people is grounded on ingrained traits like "character, work ethic, basic intelligence, dedication to fulfilling commitments, and values." He goes "Not that specific knowledge or skills are unimportant, but they viewed these traits as more teachable (or at least learnable)." Collins takes a testimonial from an executive that "he hired a manager who had been captured twice during the Second World War and escaped both times" because he tought that such kind of person could do anything in business without a trouble.  


Exactly right! More interesting is that Collins's research found that worker's compensation or incentive doesn't even make a difference between good to great companies and comparion ones. Yes, it really matters, and he doesn't deny its importance. But such incensitve yielded a big leap when it is given to the right people who are ingrained with wonderful traits.




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