How much attention are you paying to your LBOs? Do your managers know how to spot LBOs? And do your employees know if they are LBOs or are they just waiting to be discovered?
An LBO is the person in your organization who doesn’t fit the usual profile of a high potential. They may be in a job that is not in any succession plan. They may be quiet, and may not know how to move up in the organization because no one paid any attention to them. They may not look like other people who rise to the top in your organization; But an LBO can be the hidden jewel in your organization. They may have untapped talents and skills that no one knows they have, and they don’t know that you need them.
LBO means Look Behind the Obvious, and an LBO is the person who is not the obvious person with potential, but their potential is huge. LBOs are people who have the skills and talents that you need to be able to do more with less.
When you feel stretched to the maximum, and think you don’t have the money to hire new people for certain jobs, think about your LBOs. Let your employees know what skills you need to start or complete a project. Tell your managers to look for LBOs and put the word out.
When one of my clients was complaining that he needed more trainers who could use a certain computer platform, but didn’t have the time or money to hire anyone new, I suggested that he talk to his managers and employees about the issue and ask for ideas.
He was pleasantly surprised to find that one of his employees, who was on a short list for lay-offs if it became necessary, was very adept on that platform and had been using it for projects outside of work, but no one had every asked him about it, and he didn’t know there was a need.
As a result, the company didn’t have to spend money and time on a new person. The employee not only got to stay employed, but since he already worked there, he knew the culture, and who to ask for help.
So if looking for LBOs is not in your strategy, it needs to be included, and you need to teach your managers how to look behind the obvious, and develop new ways of discovering and leveraging high potential employees.
Who knows, the most creative person may be an admin answering your phones with talents, skills, and experience but just needed a job at the time, and would love the opportunity to advance and be part of your success.