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We frequently complain about the inability of our staff to execute programs. Client after client, at one time or another, has told me: "I just have to get my people to execute" or "I have to get them to focus on asking customers to buy XYZ"... and so on.

But the real problem occurs when you hire someone who is a "novice" and expect that novice to make "intuitive” decisions." A "novice" needs a manual. He needs to be told what to do with no decision-making possible.

Before she can get to be an intuitive decision maker, the employee has to move through the stages of becoming an "advanced beginner," where she has more freedom, yet still unable to make the best decisions at a level of "competency," where she can make plans, create routines and choose what activities are more important than others to concentrate her time resources.

By advancing up two levels, you would hope that the employee welcomes the freedom you have given her, becomes "proficient" and understands exactly what is expected of her, simply because YOU expect more of her.

And finally, the employee reaches a level of "expert" and begins writing manuals, training modules, making new rules and offering suggestions on how to get the job done better and more efficiently.

Have you examined where your employees are in the spectrum of this "skill acquisition model"?

Just because your "novices" have been there a while doesn’t mean that they understand how to be "proficient" or how to make good quality decisions. After all, what have YOU done consistently to help them become "proficient?"

If you have never given them any decision making opportunities, why should you expect them to know how to "make a decision" and become an intuitive decision maker?

"Novices" are OK to spray shoes and give out lane assignments, but they are
not OK to help you grow your business.

Do you have too many "novices?" If you keep hiring “novices” and never train them, grow them, challenge them or test them to undertake a decision making job, failure may be your only option.

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