Managing cats and dogs

I was recently at a lunch at IESE where Professor José Ramón Pin told a good story about human resources.  If you want innovation and creativity, you need to recruit and collaborate with cats.  If you want dependability and steadiness, but no surprises, you need to recruit and collaborate with dogs.  If you have a cat at home, you are not its master – it will come and go as it pleases, it is self sufficient.  If you have a dog at home, it looks to its owner as its master and provides companionship, but needs to be fed, walked,  and hugged. 

A lot of managers want their people to be cats but wish to manage them as if they were dogs.  It is a challenge to trust people to be cats and accept that results will not necesarily come in steady, planned steps.

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