Beware The Big-Company Manager

You’re a growing small-to-mid sized business. You need to upgrade your management team. So you take the plunge and bring in a seasoned manager from a respected large company. Smart move, right?

Could be a big mistake. Here’s why:

1) Ivory Tower Management

Often, execs from big companies don’t do. They have teams of people who do. They direct. You can’t afford the luxury of a high-priced person who doesn’t do. When interviewing candidates from large companies be sure to ask what they personally accomplished and how, not just what their departments accomplished.

2) No Urgency

Bureaucracy seeps into the marrow of large companies. People come to expect that change is slow and painful. That attitude can kill a smaller company. Ask big-company candidates about their experience in overcoming the obstacles that slow change.

3) Runaway Resources

Larger companies have more resources, whether it’s people, materials, equipment or money. More than one small-to-mid sized company has suffered because their former-big-company manager pushed for infrastructure that simply wasn’t supportable in the smaller company. Make sure to identify what resources your big-company candidates required to achieve results.

Yes, a growing business needs to grow its management capabilities. But don’t be easily impressed with big-company experience. For a small-to-mid sized company, how things get done is often as important as what.

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