An Exact Replica

Steven Wright, an actor and stand-up comedian with a wonderfully wry sense of humor, quipped that he walked into his living room one morning only to discover that everything he owned had been stolen and replaced with exact replicas.  So, what’s the downside of that? Hear us out.

One of your outstanding employees is leaving and you’re understandably upset about it. Over the past five years, she was doing a great job and became the prototype employee for her role.  Now it’s time to find a replacement.  If only you could clone her, that would be the perfect solution, right?  Wrong!  It may be difficult to see it now, but maybe her departure represents an opportunity.  Maybe there’s a silver lining.

Sound crazy?  Don’t fall into the mindset so many organizations do – focusing on finding an exact replica of the employee who just departed.  Searching for someone with identical skills and abilities, same work philosophy, same outlook, same industry knowledge, etc. may seem perfectly logical.  Instead, think about what could be gained by bringing in a replacement from another industry with a different, but equivalent set of qualifications.  Someone other than an authentic reproduction.  Sure, you’ve lost a great employee. But now you have the opportunity to gain new insights, new perspectives, new approaches and new ways of thinking about processes, procedures, programs and projects (note our impressive alliteration).  Disrupt parochial thinking and capitalize on the new perspectives of that not-so-perfect replica.  Get out of your comfort zone and reap the rewards of fresh ideas. Trust us on this.