Hiring for “Fit”

by John L. Ward

Most family firms look to hire people who fit their special culture. It’s a distinct and invaluable family business advantage.

There was a great example in the FT of July 18 (p 12). It was the “fit” of Lego’s first non-family CEO. His background:

  • Son of an engineer and teacher
  • Former kindergarten teacher who believes that “leading” kindergarteners is a valuable leadership experience
  • Middle class upbringing
  • Believes long-term view is great advantage

Speaking of “long term,” Lego has a very interesting incentive plan to encourage long-term behavior:  “basing a large portion of managers’ bonuses on customer satisfaction… to ensure the brand’s long-term health is never sacrificed for short-term financial success.

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