Packard Keynote: Successful Hiring Traits and Great Cultures

Posted on March 11, 2008. Filed under: HCI Summit, Speakers |

 Susan Packard 005Susan Packard, President of Brand Outreach, HGTV President got right into  it and laid out her agenda.  It was two-fold:

1) what kinds of people should orgs be hiring?

2) what principles will help guide your org to greatness?

Part I: Hiring Traits

Susan spoke on how to hire.  She said it’s more than just hiring, it’s identifying traits of hiring.  There are four key traits of successful people:

  • audacity
  • push
  • humor
  • upside thinking 

Trait one:  Audacity.  Audacity is willingness to take risk.  You need audacious ideas and people grounded in sound business practice.  Apple’s iTunes was cited as a case study. Audacious people are needed throughout the organization, from start-up to mature enterprise, from line mangers to executives.

Audacious people can be hard to manage, and their ideas are often disruptive.

Susan Packard 008Trait two: Push. Making employees and executives get out of their comfort zone is essential.  Push creates broad thinkers.  Short sighted focus hurts the ability for people to develop.  Create systems to allow people to develop, and give them time to adapt.

There are no four generations of workers in our companies: veterans, baby boomers, Generation X, Generation Y/millenials.  Broad thinkers, with broad levels across the organization bridge these generations.

Trait three: Humor. Humor makes for an easier environment. Laughter and humor make a safer, more physiologically healthy environment.  Great leaders bring lightness to the workplace, cites Packard.

Trait four:  Upside thinker.  Optimists are essential.  There is no place for negative, naysayers in this world.  It’s important to embrace mistakes, to engage them as an opportunity to grow.  Cites GM and Toyota and Chrysler as different cultures.

Part II: Achieving Greatness Through Culture

Susan Packard 007 Create a defining culture through mission, values and actions… Mission statements are very, very difficult.  They are hard to write, but they are critical.  You have to invest the time to get these done correctly.

Next you have to know what your core values are… You have to stick with them, and make sure decisions are based upon them. Communicate those values, demonstrate them in your action.

Creating a defining culture is not easy. New influxes of workers or acquisitions can absolutely challenge those values and mission. Integrating can be hard, but the values can guide you through it. 

You have to assume your organization will change.  Your culture will change. New context and situations change the company.  That doesn’t mean that your values are gone.  Even GE is shifting its culture.


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One Response to “Packard Keynote: Successful Hiring Traits and Great Cultures”

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As someone who fits the 4 hiring characteristics. I and s. I would agree!

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