THE BLOG
12/31/2014 11:02 am ET Updated Mar 01, 2015

5 Steps to Hire a New Bears Coach

Hire like the big companies. GUARANTEED to get ownership EXACTLY what they want most.

1. Hire a Consultant. He'll do research. Have meetings. Make suggestions. Get people to like him. Have an impressive background. But none of that will be his real job. His real job will be to shoulder the blame if they pick the wrong guy.

2. Check for 'Club' Membership. What's 'Club' membership? If you have to ask, chances are that you're not in it. Being in 'the club' does NOT mean knowing someone. Used to be that knowing someone, or even having a contact on the inside was enough. That is no longer true. Now you have to already be on the inside. It's true in business, government, religious institutions and academia. So why wouldn't it be true in professional sports? Even the casual sports fan knows that the 'club' rules all when it comes to who gets the job.

3. Talk about Experience. You can choose experience or not. Doesn't matter. Fact is that a coach with 5 years of experience can win just as many games as a coach with 30 years experience. What's key is that you talk about experience as if it was a determining factor.

4. Ignore Talent. Sounds terrible, doesn't it? But if you really want to model your hiring practice after what's business as usual, you'll do it.

In Strengths Finder 2.0, New York Times best selling author Tom Rath offers up a way to put descriptive language around any individual's top five 'talent themes.'

Based on decades of Gallup research, the 34 talent themes concisely describe what it means for an individual to be, for example, an 'activator'--a person born with the innate ability to start from scratch and get the train rolling down the track to success. It's not a predictor or a hiring tool. But what it does do is focus the conversation on talent in a way that data, a resume or club membership never will.

Large hiring functions confuse experience and talent every day without even knowing that they are doing it. And what happens? Talent gets ignored.

5. Shut Down The Music. By 'music' I mean the 'fit' for the job. Top tier recruiters will always tell you that 'fit' is at the very center of what matters when you are connecting a person and a job. The tough part about fit though is that 'fit' means something different for every job. Head Coach for the Bears will require a different fit than Head Coach for the Green Bay Packers. In Finding Work When There Are No Jobs we use 'adding music' as a way to tell stories of finding a fit. The judgment calls, decision-making, values and cultural priorities and style are the music. And if you want to do it the way most businesses do it, you will shut that down.

Some companies, in understandable cost cutting moves, use screening software to make sure that the vast majority of candidates never even have a conversation about fit. An option for Bears ownership perhaps? What if they made the software responsible for the hiring decision?

Following this quick roadmap will assure Bears ownership that they hire the way most organizations do. And as the process unfolds over the weeks and months, watch for these steps. You will see them.

You'll hear talk of winning football games. Everybody wants that of course. Maybe following this path will bring wins and maybe it won't.

But what this path of business as usual will bring is something ownership perhaps wants even more than wins.

Business as usual.