March Madness is upon us once again, that wonderful time of office pools and water cooler analysis of college basketball. A subset of this activity is speculation on which up and coming coach will get “poached” by a bigger program that is suddenly not enjoying success. Experienced participants love to amaze with their in-depth knowledge of connections between players, schools, assistant coaches, and legendary head coaches. If “your school” is looking for a new head coach, these experts know just which assistant is “ready” to move up and which “couldn’t recruit their way out of division 2.” I was reminded of this recently when a client asked for suggestions on where to recruit a “future chief engineer.” This is never the right question to ask because no two chief engineer spots, like head coaching jobs, are ever the same. Some organizations need a team leader to get the most out of existing talent. Others need a “super star” product developer or someone with a real gift for recognizing and developing entry level talent for a long term project. Our industry no longer has “big guys” with full rosters of designers, engineers, and technicians who can be lured away by an opportunity to move up the ladder quickly. Management needs to be very wary of hiring people based upon resume alone. Until very recently, we did not have a recognized series of courses available to interested students. AGMA has made tremendous strides in presenting technical seminars to fill in the gaps in college curriculum and real world needs. Unlike some of our international competitors, we do not have a dedicated engineering school for future gear experts. Some may think the advent of sophisticated, third party gear design software that links directly to computerized modeling programs makes it unnecessary to have in-house gearing expertise. Unless your people truly understand what they are inputting into those programs you are setting your organization up for lots of trouble. My advice to that client was to find someone in your geographical area with the right background and personality for your team. Then invest the time and money needed to develop their potential via the excellent training courses now offered by AGMA.