Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Experience – yes, you need your KASE

Get all these things in a member of your team and you’ll get someone special… the trouble is doesn’t happen very often and never by accident.

In this particular case I hold up myself as a shining example… of what happens when you are missing one or more of the four pillars of staff brilliance.

I used to work for dear old Midland Bank (before it became nasty, scary HSBC).  I started 18th August 1986 in my home town of Lowestoft.  I joined on the Management Development Programme, which naturally meant I was given more interesting and difficult jobs to do from day one.

For example, my first jobs included washing the seagull shit off the front step every morning, lighting the boiler, picking up rubbish from in front of the branch and cleaning vom… well, let’s just say I used to clean the Autobank.  But the best job (by best I mean most responsible) was being in charge of stationery.

And it was in the stationery line that I really ballsed up.

We were running low on toilet rolls and so I ordered 72 rolls from our Stationery Department.

A week later I got a call from Stationery Department asking me get to the branch by 6.30am on the day of the delivery to help the driver unload the lorry.

I was a bit perplexed at this because our order usually consisted of a couple of boxes delivered in a van.

Anyway, I turned up at the same time as the articulated lorry.  The driver unloaded the usual two boxes, looked at me and said, ‘where do you want all these?’

Horror of horrors: there were 72 boxes of 72 toilet rolls each and they filled the lorry to overflowing.

I had the 72 boxes unloaded into the banking hall in 15 minutes and the driver left.  I then got the 72 boxes up 3 flights of stairs and stored away in the stationery room, which was the whole top floor of the building before anyone else arrived.  The boxes filled three quarters of it.

No-one ever knew any different.

I moved from Lowestoft soon after, only to return for a short period 5 years later.  I needed to get a toilet roll from the stationery room and opened the last of the 72 boxes I had humped up the stairs all those years ago.

The moral of the story is that I probably had the Attitude and Skills (I was happy doing the work and I could order stuff from stationery) but I didn’t have the knowledge and experience.  It developed over time… but in corporate world there is time.  In EB you have to work with your staff to fill their KASE as quickly as possible; it has to be orchestrated.

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