icm2re logo. icm2:re (I Changed My Mind Reviewing Everything) is an 

ongoing web column   by Brunella Longo

This column deals with some aspects of change management processes experienced almost in any industry impacted by the digital revolution: how to select, create, gather, manage, interpret, share data and information either because of internal and usually incremental scope - such learning, educational and re-engineering processes - or because of external forces, like mergers and acquisitions, restructuring goals, new regulations or disruptive technologies.

The title - I Changed My Mind Reviewing Everything - is a tribute to authors and scientists from different disciplinary fields that have illuminated my understanding of intentional change and decision making processes during the last thirty years, explaining how we think - or how we think about the way we think. The logo is a bit of a divertissement, from the latin divertere that means turn in separate ways.

Chronological Index | Subject Index

Innovation in recruitment: talking royalties instead of wages

About resourcing and developing new businesses using the right and fair recruitment process

How to cite this article?
Longo, Brunella (2015). Innovation in recruitment: talking royalties instead of wages. About resourcing and developing new businesses using the right and fair recruitment process. icm2re [I Changed my Mind Reviewing Everything ISSN 2059-688X (Print)], 4.8 (August).

How to cite this article?
Longo, Brunella (2015). Innovation in recruitment: talking royalties instead of wages. About resourcing and developing new businesses using the right and fair recruitment process. icm2re [I Changed my Mind Reviewing Everything ISSN 2059-688X (Online)], 4.8 (August).

London, August 2015. - For over one year I had to give up coffee, apparently causing me headaches. Indeed a huge turnaround. How did I make it?

The secret is that I substituted coffee with green tea - that contains caffeine by the way. So I tricked my mind out of the need of coffee.

Substitution is a basic technique to bring about change in innumerable circumstances.

Some consultants and professional speakers tend to talk about change management with fascinating references to abstract notions and philosophical (when not mystical or psychic) ideas. They want to obtain your trust and subjugate your mind as first milestone in a persuasive and often manipulative communication journey. This is a very powerful way to lead functional or instrumental changes and there is plenty of examples you can reflect upon from history, politics, religion or advertising.

But persuasion and manipulation rarely bring about the enduring and sustainable changes we need as individuals or societies, because they leverage on tricks and unconscious motivations. Much more satisfactory is the change in conducts, opinions or attitude we obtain leveraging on conscious mental processes, emotions and cognitive engagement.

Substitutions can be managed by the individual, with a sense of confidence and control in the process that is, per se, the antecedent of further openness to creativity.

My little recent personal success in substituting coffee with green tea reminded me what I believe is the first rule of any change of paradigm and new innovative process: find a simpler and better way to solve a problem.

One of the past situations in which I applied this technique in my businesses was related to the need of an innovative recruitment process and above all a new way to remunerate collaborators fairly and regularly in spite of the uncertainties of the digital economy and the lack of financial resources typical of a micro business.

This is the story as it will be included in my forthcoming book 99 STARS: competencies and skills for personal and professional well-being and lifelong learning in the digital age (where STAR is the acronym of a common method used to write stories about competencies, Situation - Task - Action - Results). Here is the brief text of the example:

SITUATION:   A software developer recruited for a startup as an associate partner through 
a specialised agency after few weeks of collaboration wanted an invoice paid immediately.

TASK:    To reject the request,  review what went wrong in contracting this person and fix
 the recruitment process. 

ACTION:   I explained the software programmer that his invoice had come out of the blue and
 his behaviour was unacceptable under our contractual agreement.  He was supposed to be 
remunerated like me and another partner on the generated revenue and not as an employee.  
His version was that he had come to the office waiting to be told to write code (that was
 what he was used to do for large IT companies).   We settled the case with the employment
 tribunal recognising we had incompatible views of each other expectations and 
responsibilities, in spite of the apparent clarity of the contract.

RESULTS:  This person was, in the opinion of lawyers,  a vexatious litigant but much of the
 trouble  was caused by misunderstandings, ambiguities and a superficial assessment of our
 requirements and contractual terms made  by the recruitment agency.   After such 
dysfunctional experience, I defined an innovative process to recruit associates for our 
micro business and a transparent way to account and pay their royalties.  This process
 became a critical success factor of the whole business for several years.  
Instead of looking at just the technical skills, either relying on recruitment specialists or not,  we would consider how to weight attitudes, interpersonal skills and personalities in relation to our organisational context. 

Not only we found a completely new way to recruit and remunerate associates. We also learned how to be much more focussed and precise in describing, usually within a very little time frame, the person specification when we needed to call employment agencies or single recruiters to cover occasional temporary vacancies.

There are, of course, other aspects of this story that make it very relevant in terms of how we define the competences we need for technical roles and what type of contractual relationships can be more appropriate for SME in niche markets. It is not to be assumed that, as a technique - like any technique - substitutions is always a fair, convenient and appropriate way to solve problems like in the example I cited here. But it is a quite common and basic way to design and implement incremental and sustainable changes in the digital world where disruption, like coffee, does not always need to be the only option.

Post scriptum: by the way, after my year long abstinence from coffee, it turned out that I had better chances of getting rid of some recurrent annoyances, like headaches, in connection with my autoimmune disease subtracting dairy and meat and especially milk, and not at all coffee! The lessons learned about substitutions do not cease to be useful to my diet.