Wednesday, 31 July 2013

HR Conversations: Reflections on Graduation Projects

I was recently having a conversation with a HR executive from Capgemini. She herself is an engineer who has “taken a diversion for the better” as she put it up. In the splash of the moment, our discussion changed hands from recruitment to graduation projects. According to her the best way to do a project is to form a heterogeneous team; a team where there’s a sincere student, an intelligent student and a few mediocre students. This way, she explained, the mediocre get a slice of how projects are done.

But my opinion is a bit different. I believe that project teams should be homogeneous so that there is a basic strata-synchronicity. This way the students get to choose their own projects according to their mean level which is quite nearer to their individual levels. When teams are heterogeneous, it is often the sincere and the intelligent who do the actual work while others watch (sometimes!) and puke out their ppts. At the end everyone in the team gets equal credit for what only a few have done (can someone see the seeds of organizational-life complacency here?).

The other crack in this type of arrangement becomes visible when we view this scenario in the light of the Situational Leadership Theory. Getting together people who are on different maturity levels creates a conflict of competencies that takes out the wind under the rudder.

On the other hand consider people on the same maturity level working together. That would not only create synchronicity among the team members, but also help them to raise their group-competency-level above their individual competency levels. When people with similar competencies come together, they choose a goal which is mutually achievable and one that is neither too easy nor too overwhelming for them. This in turn raises every member’s competency level a notch higher thereby not only demonstrating the usefulness of this model, but also builds-up a sense of responsibility, belongingness and accountability among them.

Please drop me at least a smile, if not your comment, if you have read this so far....and yes, thank you for dropping by.