reflects what they’re like. Since people generally change slowly (at best), you should expect slow improvement (at best), so instead of hoping for improvement, you need to sort the people or change the design to supplement them. Since changing the design to accommodate people’s weaknesses is generally a bad idea, it is generally better to sort the people. Sometimes good people “lose their boxes” because they can’t evolve into responsible parties soon enough. Either there is a problem with their qualities or it will take too long to train them well. Some of these people might be good at another position within Bridgewater. Remember that identifying failure and learning from it are part of the evolutionary process. Make sure you record the reasons on the relevant “baseball card” and think about what a good next step would be for that individual. 130 SHARE Know that it is much worse to keep someone in a job who is not suited for it than it is to fire someone. Don’t collect people. Firing people is not a big deal—certainly nowhere near as big a deal as keeping badly performing people, because keeping a person in a job they are not suited for is terrible both for the person (because it prevents personal evolution) and our community (because we all bear the consequences and it erodes meritocracy). Consider the enormous costs of not firing someone unsuited for a job: the costs of bad performance over a long time; the negative effect on the environment; the time and effort wasted trying to train the person; and the greater pain of separation involved with someone who’s been here awhile (say, five years or more) compared with someone let go after just a year. 131 SHARE When people are “without a box,” consider whether there is an open box at Bridgewater that would be a better fit. If not, fire them.
Remember that we hire people not to fill their first job at Bridgewater nor primarily for their skills. We are trying to select people with whom we’d like to share our lives. We expect everyone to evolve here. Because managers have a better idea of people’s strengths and weaknesses and their fit within our culture than what emerges from the interview process, you have invaluable information for assessing them for another role at Bridgewater. 132 SHARE Do not lower the bar. If a person can’t operate consistently with our requirements of excellence and radical truth and can’t get to the bar in an acceptable time frame, they have to leave. We want to neither lower the bar nor enter into a long-term rehabilitation program. TO PERCEIVE, DIAGNOSE, AND SOLVE PROBLEMS… 133 SHARE KNOW HOW TO PERCEIVE PROBLEMS EFFECTIVELY 134 SHARE Keep in mind the 5-Step Process explained in Part 2.
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- Spring '14
- Debut albums, A Good Thing, Bridgewater