Adam Bryant, Managing Director at Merryck & Co., conducted a terrific interview recently with Dawn Zier, former CEO of Nutrisystem, a company at which she led a very successful turnaround. Zier described what she looks for as she builds a management team. She doesn't want yes men or women, and she doesn't want people who simply fit into the existing culture. She wants people who bring new ideas, and who enhance the culture. I love the concept of cultural enhancers, as opposed to the notion of finding people who fit the existing culture. Here's an excerpt from the interview.
One thing I always tell my team is that I don’t want “yes” people around me. That’s not helpful to the organization. What I value is a diverse set of opinions. I’ll go around the room and hear different opinions, but pretty quickly you have to come together and decide on what the path is going to be. At that point, we should all be rowing in the same direction.
But I actually don’t like to use the phrase “cultural fit” anymore. I like saying “cultural enhancers,” because you always want to continue to build and enhance the culture. So I spend a lot of time in interviews really trying to assess that. Moving from cultural fit to cultural enhancer is important because each person brings something unique to the table.