Want Change? Hire Pirates!

Dollars for donuts, Fast Company is the best publication out their for anyone in the business world!  They hit a home run in my book recently with the article: An HR Lesson from Steve Jobs – If you want Change Agents, Hire Pirates!  “Why? Because Pirates can operate when rules and safety nets breakdown.”  More from the article:

A pirate can function without a bureaucracy. Pirates support one another and support their leader in the accomplishment of a goal. A pirate can stay creative and on task in a difficult or hostile environment. A pirate can act independently and take intelligent risks, but always within the scope of the greater vision and the needs of the greater team.

Pirates are more likely to embrace change and challenge convention. “Being aggressive, egocentric, or antisocial makes it easier to ponder ideas in solitude or challenge convention,” says Dean Keith Simonton, a University of California psychology professor and an expert on creativity. “Meanwhile, resistance to change or a willingness to give up easily can derail new initiatives.” So Steve’s message was: if you’re bright, but you prefer the size and structure and traditions of the navy, go join IBM. If you’re bright and think different and are willing to go for it as part of a special, unified, and unconventional team, become a pirate.

The article is an excerpt from Steve Jobs book: What Would Steve Jobs Do?: How the Steve Jobs Way Can Inspire Anyone to Think Differently and Win by Peter Sander, and it goes into some of the hiring philosophy that Jobs had while he was at Apple.

So, what did Jobs Pirates have to have:

1. It’s not enough to be brilliant and think differently- a Pirate has to have the passion, drive and vision to deliver to the customer a game-changing product.

2. Will the person you hire, fall in love with your organization and products?

3. A Pirate is a traveler who comes to you with diverse background and experiences.

4. Even though they’re a Pirate they still have to fit into the team and come with or be able to make connections.

“So, in Steve’s book–recruit a team of diverse, well-traveled, and highly skilled pirates, and they’ll follow you anywhere.”

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