Post contributed by Barry Diamond. Follow Barry on Twitter @bddiamond
Alfalfa had a famous one and so did Dennis the Menace. What was it? Visibly, it was their prominent cowlick. And virtually everybody has a cowlick or two, with the most noticeable one found at the crown of the head.
The explanation of a cowlick is quite simple. Basically, the hair on your head can go in three directions -- forward, backwards, and to the side. In some people’s view of the ideal world, all your hair should go in the same direction but the reality is that unruly cowlicks select their own direction -- and pop straight up -- or choose an angle at odds with your preferred style.
Cowlicks (named for the swirling pattern made on hair when a cow licks its calves) seem to have a mind of their own and like to go against the flow.
Most people are frustrated and annoyed by cowlicks and would be happy to know how to tame them. I contend it is better (and less frustrating) to embrace the uniqueness of the cowlick and appreciate its rebellious nature.
I also believe that Recruitment Process Outsourcing service providers should take the same approach and stop trying to hide or camouflage their noteworthy cowlicks. In fact, when I look at the top RPO firms, they definitely exhibit the key characteristics of the cowlick.
Here are the top 5 ways the best global RPO firms embrace the “cowlick model of business”:
- They welcome and nurture their distinctiveness. They are not trying to be something other than great at RPO and talent acquisition. RPO is at the forefront and quite visible.
- They follow their own path even when it is not going in the direction of the majority. They are industry leaders not followers.
- They believe that sometimes you have to be unruly to bring about transformational innovation and material changes.
- They are not tempted to conform and be like everyone else. If fact, they like going against the flow. Their main goal is to be”hair” for the long-term.
- They don’t try to cover up their service delivery cowlicks but instead wear them as a sign of successful market distinction and competitive differentiation.
In my world view, we really need to think of the cowlick differently because the cowlick just might be the only part of our hair that is actually going in the right direction versus the wrong way….And similarly RPO firms that are more like cowlicks just might be the only recruitment process outsourcing firms that really get it.
For another view of cowlicks, check out Jeff Jurinak’s blog.