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Bozo Explosion: simple but powerful concept

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Duy Nguyen's picture

I have watched many talks of Guy Kawasaki these days and I have learnt a new thing, the idea of Bozo explosion in talent management. I am not HR background yet I have dealt with people and read books about talent management. However, this concept “wow” me right at the moment I understood its concept. It’s just simple but practical and powerful for any entrepreneur. So I decide to share it here today. Here is the thing.

What is Bozo Explosion?

As far as I know, this concept was defined and explained by Steve Jobs, and now it is widely applied in Silicon Valley.

Bozo explosion implies the problem in a company’s human resource when the CEO decided, on purpose or by mistake, NOT to hire a A-grade manager. He or she is B-grade. And then, this B-grade manager looks for people who also B-grade or even lower, C and D-grades. That is how the organisation is damaged by incompetent people from the first mistake of CEO and the viral expansion of this problem to lower level of hierarchical structure. Here is the illustration:

Bozo Explosion

So, why does it happen?

Here are the reasons, very easy to understand:

  • A-grade people are talented and outstanding ones. They do not like working with people who cannot be at least equal to A-grades in terms of competences, professionalism and commitment, etc. So they only hire A-grade people to have the best team of their own.
  • However, B-grade people are those who still have rooms to improve, but they are afraid of, consciously or subconsciously, hiring people who are better. Hence, they will not look for A-grades. They recruit B, C and even D-grage people to work for them. And it is similar to C and D-grade managers when they find people working with them.

So as the bozo explosion happened in your company, you are at risk for losing customers, revenues, even your business simply because your employees are not good enough.

What are the symptoms of bozo explosion in your organisation

Guy Kawasaki has summarised from his experience the symptoms that you can see if your company is carrying out the bozo explosion and how to prevent it. You can find the list HERE. This is not my thing, then I will not write about it.

Thank you


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