A few years ago I was on the Board of Directors that was selecting a new CEO of the organization. The final cut of 20 people were to be cut by us to 10 and we were to rank the final five. The person heading this handed out all of the last resumes and we thus began ranking them. We each took our own course of action to determine the five that were to be interviewed by the Board.
The method we were to rank was based on a numeric score of of each, but no suggestions as to WHAT we were to rank them on, only the numeric for each in certain areas, i.e. ability, skill, etc. not more definitive than that.
When we finally met with our scores and rankings the person that was in charge of the selection took our scores and placed them on the table for all to see. Low and behold, his had the lowest rankings of about 15 points for each (slight variation between the rankings), the next person had 23 or so for her rankings (again, grouped around that number), I had the most liberal of 40 points for the grouping.
How could you be so easy on these resumes, this is an important position for our organization!!! How could you?!! Explain yourself?
But I took a look at all of the top five selected by each of us and all five of us had the same people ranked 1-5, except for #3 for one person was a #4 for another, or visa versa!!
We all had the same people in the top five, regardless of the different methodologies!!
So much for methodologies. Sometimes many roads lead to the same conclusion.
If we ranked all of our mistakes versus all of our successes, then all of us are doomed because we all tend to have more mistakes than successes, especially in the beginning of any endeavor.
Rankings can be good, but you can also miss out.
How would you rank Thomas Edison’s thousands of failed experiments on finding the light bulb before he found the answer?