|Re:Hiring from Within||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: TomMOENCH (TomMOENCHaol.com)|
|Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 11:05:04 -0500|
Merlin Porter-Borden writes<Our group has two partners doing professional work. . . It works because they both are VERY diligent in taking direction from the group & they insist upon group decisions. They are strong believers in group process, and clearly see the creation of community through that work. I KNOW that they want to tell the group what they should do, but they NEVER do. They have created trust, and continue to nurture that trust.> I want to put some caveats on MP-B comments. We at Winslow are probably one of the few groups to hire from within and without. We hired a member from within for an architect because of her vision and the enthusiasm. And she worked less expensively. We learned that this person just did not have sufficient experience and expertise to handle such a complex job as designing multi-family housing. It became clear that our project was not going to be built if we continued with her. Breaking the contract came to the tune of $37,000. We lost members who took sides. We then hired an outside, name architect who saved our collective tushies. He stepped back and looked at our project with a professional's eye. One of the first things he did was tell us what we should do differently to better create cohousing. He was right. We followed the advice and started over nearly from scratch. Lessons Learned: 1) If you hire from within, make sure they have the experience and are good with group process. Do not hire them as an effort to save money. 2) If they work out, great! If they don't it will be an expensive lesson as much in money as community emotions. 3) Hired members are at a personal disadvantage in getting their individual say into the process because it may often conflict with their roles as service providers. To serve well as service provider's they should give up their individual desires for the project. Remember, one reason you hire outsiders is to give a detached professional opinion. 4) Harry Truman once said, "You have to listen to the experts even if you don't do what they say." Outside professionals play an invaluable role in that they do, at times, need to counsel and advise their clients i.e., tell them what they should do. Of course, it is the group's decision to go with the advice or not. MP-B's statement "I KNOW that they want to tell the group what they should do, but they NEVER do. They have created trust, and continue to nurture that trust." makes me cringe. The trust they have created is between future members and neighbors. What is missing is trust in a professional to speak their professional mind and challenge the client, ESPECIALLY a development group that can easily get lost in so many diverse opinions and desires. Client be wary. Good luck. I hope all goes well as it has in several places with hired from within professionals. Tom
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