Hire someone willing to make fun of anything

There are certainly bigger things going on in the world right now, but something media-related caught my eye a couple weeks ago.

Specifically, the Associated Press, as part of its new NFT sales program, promoted an offer to purchase an NFT of refugees on a boat in the Mediterranean.

The AP has since taken down the Tweet with the offer but reportedly will still make the NFT available to purchase. It also said it will review its process for deciding which NFTs to mint going forward.

Understandably, the criticism of this was swift and harsh. After all, a news organization appearing to profit off an image of suffering is not a good look.

I don’t want to pile on that criticism, but it is a moment to once again consider how something like this happened in the first place.

Without knowing all the details of the workflow leading up to this NFT being minted and offered, it’s safe to assume that there was either A) no pushback internally, or B) the pushback that did emerge was ignored or overruled.

hiring has changed…it needs to keep changing

A recent HBR study indicated companies are putting less emphasis on degree completion and other “paper” qualifications when considering job applicants and looking more at an individual’s experience and skillset.

That’s good (though it makes me wonder why skills and experiences weren’t more important going forward) and is, according to the report, in part a result of a tight job market, so the hiring company has to be slightly less selective given fewer people coming in the door.

While skills and experience are clearly important, the AP incident – and countless others like it – indicate that there are other skills that still need to be more prevalent within organizations.

Specifically: “Are you now or have you ever been a fan of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000?’”

What you’re getting when you hire someone who automatically thinks “Even his name sounds like ‘Hey, is that a beer?”” when introduced to someone named Mitchell is someone who will, in the room where things are being discussed and decided, come up with the most awful take and perspective on a proposal.

This is incredibly important in a day and age where the finished products will be subjected to the most abject ridicule and hot takes.

If the idea can survive the riffing that takes place in the room with an “MST3K” acolyte who’s unafraid to offer their unfiltered opinion on something, the odds of it being torn apart after it’s publicly revealed or released decrease substantially.

Of course that feedback should be offered constructively, but still from the perspective of having as much fun with an idea as possible.

Keep in mind that “MST3K” isn’t the same thing as more recent video formats like CinemaSins and others like it. It’s not about poking holes in an idea or story just for the lulz. Instead it’s more about seeing all the ridiculousness in a concept and having a good laugh.

Make these people – and those like them – part of your decision-making team today and see the number of times you have to “immediately reevaluate your process” go down dramatically.