Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

January 10, 2013

How to Recruit, How to Interview

1. Different people have different needs. To recruit people, you need to touch the right chords and appeal to the right emotional needs. Your "time-span" must match or accommodate that of the target audience. Some job candidates are thinking day to day or month to month and you paint a word picture of your company future 5 years down the road, it is you who are suffering from a severe case of empathy defficiency. Be warned the budding entrepreneurs.

2. I also want to demonstrate that it takes very little effort to write a good post.

Elliott Jaques' Stratified Systems Theory (SST) and 5 Strata of Work


Here are the time-spans Jaques associates with each stratum:

• STRATA I 1 day – 3 months
• STRATA II 3 months – 1 year
• STRATA III 1 – 2 years
• STRATA IV 2 – 3 years
• STRATA V 3 – 5 years
• STRATA VI 5 – 10 years
• STRATA VII 10 – 20 years


The four types of mental (information) processing are:

1. Declarative processing: Argument by making simple, unconnected points.
2. Cumulative processing: Argument by making a number of connected points.
3. Serial processing: Argument based on an “if-then” structure, “if A then B and hence C.” Cause and effect.
4. Parallel processing: Several serial arguments are linked together. Understanding of interdependence, System Thinking.


Jaques has identified various levels of cognitive ability ranging from the very concrete ("Hand me that broom") to the very abstract, in which a person is capable of imagining several chains of possible consequences and relating one possible outcome to the others. His research shows, he says, a strong correlation between cognitive ability and time horizons.

The smarter we are at processing information, in other words, the farther we are able to project ourselves into the future. That's the fundamental difference between Archie Bunker and Henry Kissinger-not just intelligence or acquired knowledge, but a measurable, qualitative difference in the way each solves problems, and in the time horizons of the roles in which each feels most comfortable. A Churchill, whose abilities Jaques would characterize as level 8 or 9, would probably feel bored running a company such as General Motors Corp. And what usually happens when a CEO's cognitive abilities fail to match the level of hierarchy he occupies is that he shrinks that company down to his own level.

and, a reliable method to measure cognitive levels of a job applicant :

It involves asking the person to discuss some controversial question-such as, say, whether or not to legalize recreational drugs. Some people flatly declare that legalizing marijuana would be wrong. Others might draw historical parallels with Prohibition. Others, the fast-track people, will set up two or three parallel lines of reasoning and are capable of grasping how a multiplicity of possible outcomes might interact with each other.


Just the 4 levels of Mental Processing, done above.



    The secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage.

    Ignorance is bold and knowledge reserved.

    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.

    It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs. They expect too much of ordinary men.

  2. History is Philosophy teaching by examples.

    Few things are brought to a successful issue by impetuous desire, but most by calm and prudent forethought.

    Wars spring from unseen and generally insignificant causes, the first outbreak being often but an explosion of anger.

  3. Edith Wharton was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer.

    Many of Wharton's novels are characterized by a subtle use of dramatic irony. Having grown up in upper-class pre-World War I society, Wharton became one of its most astute critics, in such works as The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence.