Flashpoint is a Canadian TV drama series that ran years ago, focusing on a specialized police team that handles hostage situations. While each team member has common skills, they each have specialized skills and typically handle a specific role that is matched to their skills. In an episode that recently aired as a rerun, the negotiator and the tactical operations lead switched places. They were working through a hostage situation, and a third person had a clear view of the situation. No-one else could see what was going on. Her request to resolve the situation was denied by the negotiator who was handling the tactical role in favor of talking more. Things went sideways and resulted in some injuries. During the debrief after the incident, there was a significant debate on whether the call was appropriate. The perspective was that the skills were mismatched for the swapped roles, leading to an undesirable outcome.
While most business situations are not life or death, getting the right people in the right place can have a tremendous impact on the outcomes of business. When people are not in the right role, decisions and actions can be delayed, leading to suboptimal results. And it isn’t fun for anyone. Typically when people are in the wrong role, they do not enjoy it. When the right people are in the right place, they enjoy what they do and the right things happen more quickly. Do you have the right people in the right place? How can you get there if you aren’t right now?