My brother challenged us all to make a playlist of our favorite 25 songs. The rules are no Christmas music, only one song per artist, and it shouldn’t take more than five to ten minutes to make. The latter is so that you don’t overthink it.
I love music. i love all kinds of music. I was excited to put together my playlist and get the playlists from my siblings. I followed the instructions, went through my Spotify account, and put together 25 songs that I love.
I shared it with my siblings and they all declared the loved the Record Player Song, which they had never heard.
I thought I would listen to this playlist over and over again, and you know what? I don’t.
It’s not that I don’t love the songs. I do. But, it’s that it’s a terrible playlist. To jump from an old gym to REM to Broadway is jarring. There is no consistency and no continuity.
Why do I bring this up? Because putting together a playlist is a lot like filling a department. You can look for the best people–type As all around. The best in their fields. But, if they don’t work together, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s a jarring transition and you can’t accomplish a lot because they aren’t a team.
You can work to solve this while hiring by looking for cultural fit. The problem with cultural fit is that without a defined culture, and a tendency for both hiring managers and candidates to lie during interviews, cultural fit often becomes code for “just like me.” That makes an even worse playlist: hours of the same song over and over again.
You can work to solve this through teambuilding exercises. Some of these are great and lots of fun. Others just drive everyone crazy.
But, you can slowly work hard as a manager to help people build business relationships. This isn’t the same as trying to get everyone to be friends with everyone else. Friendship isn’t necessary for success. Working together is.
Don’t end up with a department that is disjointed like my playlist. Pay attention to how people work together.
And bonus points for anyone who shares either their playlist or one of their favorite songs in the comments.