LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Interview with Ashish Nanda

Ashish Nanda is a professor at the Harvard Business School and has taught the Willow Creek case study to his students for many years with Bill Hybels. Some highlights from Bill's interview with Ashish about "The Risky Business of Hiring Stars"...

  • Bill said that he's been telling Summit attenders for years to look for high performing individuals from other churches and they will make great hires.
  • Ashish has a theory that disproves Bill's teaching.
  • He has found that star performers who switch organizations don't perform well at the new company.
  • A Star is a Star not just because of their innate skills, but they are a Star because of their environment, system, and the team around them.
  • Hiring a Star from another organization is like an organ transplant. More often than not it doesn't work.
  • If you are hiring a Star from another church, only do this when you are starting something new. Not when you are replacing someone or trying to strength an existing team.
  • Three baseball analogies: Red Sox Strategy -- great farm team, raise stars, strengthen the team, keep your stars. Yankees Strategy -- pluck stars from wherever they are, pay them a lot, your team will have a great record. Montreal Expos strategy -- great farm team, find stars, wait till other teams recruit them, start over.
  • The research shows that the Red Sox strategy systematically out-performs the other two.
  • Willow has hired 50% of their staff from inside the congregation.

A good session that was very affirming. At Granger, we have hired 96% of our current staff from our congregation. And, as a result, we have very low turnover and high productivity.