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Blackburn Rovers play in the Championship League here in England – and they’re not having a great season. There’s a good chance they’ll be relegated to League One next season.


Their keeper is currently one Jason Steele:

jason steele

This is Hope Solo – widely regarded as the best female goalie in the world:

Hope solo

Would Blackburn Rovers have had a better season if Hope was guarding the goal? Or another top female goalie…?

The answer is of course – I have no idea.

But it raises an interesting question around having the best person in a job, doesn’t it?

Last year, only 21 out of the top 500 companies in the US have woman CEOs. That’s 4.2%. So… 93.8% of the time, a man was the best person for the job?

Regardless of what your thoughts are on my football example above, I think we can all agree that more women would have been the best person for the job for a far greater percentage of fortune 500 companies.

I’m not going to go into a lengthy diatribe about gender inequality and pay inequality (but it’s something we all should care greatly about) but instead, I’d like to make the point that in many cases, we simply don’t choose the best person for the job.

And it happens in all companies at all levels.

When I look at improvement projects, we often find that the person chosen to deliver a project is someone who has the time or bandwidth available to do the work. Often, it has nothing to do with them being the right person for the job.

So next time you’re looking for someone to take on a process improvement project – don’t look at who’s available to do the work – look for who is the most suited to deliver the work.

You’ll get better results.

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