Clients often ask me to interview candidates they are considering for a position on their Business Analytics team. As I review all of the consultants, clients and people in our industry, I have created a profile of what I believe are the ideal candidates to be successful change agents in your organization. The list takes into consideration some attributes that just can’t be taught. I have put the change agents traits in order of importance and added a few of my thoughts on each point.
Successful Change Agents have:
- Attitude – Must have a positive attitude and be energetic. Energy is contagious and having a team member with it will affect the entire team.
- Inquisitive Mind – Some people always learning. They have an innate curiosity about almost everything.
- Communication Skills
- Nonverbal – 2/3 of all communication is nonverbal. Breaking people of bad nonverbal/ body language habits like eye rolling and sighing can be very challenging, as they may not realize they are doing it.
- Verbal – Verbal communication includes written and spoken. I believe verbal skills can be improved with practice. There are a number of programs that can improve team members’ writing and speaking skills. Toastmasters is a great program for public speaking.
- Resourcefulness – Resourcefulness reflects someone’s ability to make stuff happen. Resourcefulness can consist of using one’s own abilities or leveraging their network of friends and co-workers. I believe this trait can be broken down into a few categories:
- Problem Solving Skills and Analytical Aptitude – Some people are born with a strong analytic aptitude. I don’t believe these skills can be taught, but they can be measured. Consider providing candidates with tests to help you determine what kind of abilities they have to solve problems. Ideal candidates will have a high analytic aptitude.
- Connections/Network – People with a high likeability factor usually have a large number of connections. Their vast network helps them get resolutions and resources quickly, and this is a great asset to a Business Analytics team. Check out their LinkedIn connections. Do they have a strong network?
- Knowledge –
- People – The ability to read people and show empathy relates to communication, but I believe it also falls in the knowledge category. Business Analytics team members must be able to build rapport quickly.
- Product – Having strong product or industry knowledge is helpful, but if the person has an inquisitive mind and high analytic aptitude, they can probably learn anything quickly.
- Constant Growth – Some people have a desire for constant growth. This is related to their need to learn and their inquisitive mind, but clearly, it impacts their overall knowledge.
- Contributor of Creative Ideas – You want team members that not only come up with creative ideas, but are willing to contribute them. Some people have a fear that their ideas will be rejected so they don’t offer them. The ideal team member is always looking to improve things and offers ideas to people to help improve their lives and jobs, even if they are outside of their responsibility.
I realize that having all of these attributes at the highest level is rare, but consider them and you will be on the path to hiring team members/successful change agents that will not only inspire you, they will help change your organization. Click HERE to see a good book on Amazon.com.