Have you (or your company) tried repeatedly to hire for Role X? And failed? Do you have a revolving door situation at your company? The Situation Does this situation sound familiar? Company leadership looks to hire someone who has “done it”, but they (leadership) don’t really understand “it”. Or they understand it, but can’t explain it.
Love this piece of applying Wardly Mapping to hiring expectations (Could have been cynefin as well). This way of thinking and clarifying expectations, looking into a job and matching with candidates can unlock a lot of human potential! Also love the way you frame the status-quo as bias for problem simplicity.
I love Wardley Mapping, and I like how you cleverly used the horizontal axis to express commonality of context. But the real heart of this question is in the Cynefin wheelhouse.
What you have is thinking rooting in the complicated domain, seeing an analyst or expert to fix their problems. But instead of benefiting from a second opinion like a physician, you're in a complex domain that requires emergent practices: it's about learning and adapting, not "knowing" ahead of time.
It's this problem space edge that throws the entire Hero-Worship-Media-Industrial-Complex (Inc., Fast Company, etc.) into laughable territory. Knowing what Steve Jobs ate for breakfast and how Elon Musk makes decisions is an emulation economy that presumes commodity problems and contexts. There the fool's answer is to cargo cult your way to success.
Understanding what "it" is, and more generally the graph of problems you are trying to solve by hiring someone, are surely important. But even if your team fully understands those things, you shouldn't necessarily look for candidates who have done "it" or solved those problems.
As Buckingham and Coffman wrote in First, Break All the Rules, the best managers hire for talent, not so much for very specific experience. A talent is “a recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied”. Unlike a skill, a talent spans every aspect of a person's life and doesn't manifest itself merely in a particular field or professional environment.
So another important exercise is to understand the talents (not skills or specific experience) associated with success in the role, doing "it", or solving the graph of problems. (A decade ago, I attempted to outline what those talents generally are for product managers. See https://blog.cauvin.org/2013/08/talents-of-great-product-managers.html.) Unfortunately, few hiring managers do so.
Absolutely banging post.
I agree with others – I love Wardley mapping but Cynefin is an even better lens for this.
The key discipline in both is decomposing a situation down to a meaningful level of granularity.
The core lesson of both is that there's (almost) never a one-size-fits-all answer