Two Ninety employees having a conversation at a work function.


Right Person, Right Seat

"Get the right people on the bus... and take it someplace great."
— Jim Collins

Download PDF


Ensuring the right people are in the right Seats is essential to building, operating, and scaling a great organization. It takes effort, but the rewards are many: fostering an environment where team members can thrive, enabling teams to perform better and with less friction, and nurturing the entire organization's culture.

Kris Snyder of Ninety seated on his laptop having a conversation.

When assessing for a right fit, we ask whether the candidate: 

  • Consistently exhibits our Core Values
  • Has the skills to perform the job (Competency)
  • Genuinely wants the job (Commitment)
  • Has the mental, physical, emotional, and time abilities to do the job well (Capacity)

Core Values help us determine if they’re the right person, while Competency, Commitment, and Capacity (CCC) help us determine if we’re placing them in the right Seat.


Placing the right person in the right Seat is both an art and a science. Objective tools can help us identify potential candidates, but the final decision rests on less tangible factors such as cultural and Core Values fit.

Right Person, Right Seat

If the candidate embraces the organization’s Core Values and has the CCC for the role, they’ll likely be a good match for the Seat. Having the right person in the right Seat is more than a best practice for an organization — it’s also the best outcome for our team members. When we succeed, all our people should succeed with us.

Right Person, Wrong Seat

Sometimes, a person is a good fit for the organization’s culture (right person) but isn’t enjoying or capable of excelling in their current Seat. Changing the person’s Seat within the organization can be a solution. If we don’t have a Seat that fits that person, the team leader has an issue to address.

Wrong Person, Wrong SeaT

A candidate may look good on paper, but the person and the role simply aren’t the right fit. The person may not possess the organization’s Core Values, or they may lack the CCC to excel in that particular role. This can result in both parties feeling dissatisfied. 

Core Disciplines of Right Person, Right Seat

  • 1. Hire, review, and fire by your Core Values. When screening candidates for an open seat, use the interview process to determine whether the applicant is a solid cultural fit. During quarterly review sessions (we call them Quarterly Discussions), have a conversation about the team member’s demonstration of the organization’s Core Values. Lastly, when you’ve determined that someone is the wrong person for the company, the best thing for all parties is to help them find a better opportunity.

  • 2. Operate with an agreements-based culture. Establishing clear agreements ensures we’re all on the same page about who we are, what we do, and why and how we do it. An agreements-based culture fosters high-trust relationships between team members and the company. Agreements-based cultures promote collaboration and create solutions out of Issues.

  • 3. Communicate the organization’s Purpose/Passion/Just Cause to team members and candidates. Understanding your Purpose/Passion/Just Cause helps prospective team members understand how their work would support the organization’s Vision. At Ninety, we sincerely believe that the purpose of life is to make life better. Sharing your Passion for actualizing your organization’s dreams shows your current team members and prospective candidates that your company has a purpose beyond profit.

  • 4. Use assessments to gain insight into a potential hire’s creative motivators and preferences (such as personality and natural instincts). For example, at Ninety, we leverage several Kolbe Corp tools to ensure that a candidate’s problem-solving preferences match well with the type of work associated with their Seat. Assessments help leaders better understand candidates’ work and communication style preferences. Since we share these preferences in our personal bios and include them in our Zoom names, everyone within the organization better understands everyone around them. We discuss these tools in our Assessments Brief.

Hopefully Helpful Hints

  • Clearly detail each Seat’s Roles and Responsibilities.
    Document what each Seat is responsible for within your organization using Ninety’s Org Chart tool. This tool allows everyone in the organization to understand how they fit into the bigger picture. It also allows everyone to discover who owns various responsibilities, leading to more effective communication.

  • Provide meaningful feedback consistently.
    Don’t wait for annual reviews to check in with team members. At Ninety, we recommend meeting one-on-one at least quarterly, and more often during times of growth or change. We use the 1-on-1 tool to facilitate healthy conversations between team leaders and their team members. These regular conversations allow us to ensure that the right person is in the right Seat and receiving the support they need to thrive there.


When the right people are in the right Seats, they’re more likely to find meaning in their everyday work and interactions. Their passion, competence, and positivity create a ripple effect across the entire organization, contributing to a great company culture where everyone can thrive. 

What’s next? Visit the 90u Library or try Ninety today.

Let's get started

Use Ninety for 30 days. No credit card required.

Try For Free Get a Demo →