In today’s hyper-competitive global marketplace, the talent organization has emerged as the single most important element of sustainable differentiation.
Talent leaders can’t change global work trends or today’s economic reality, but they can change people strategies to respond to those trends and position a company to gear up for growth.
Led by the senior leadership team, organizations must apply the same rigor they use to create an overall business strategy to create a workforce strategy — not just a workforce plan. This strategy requires a comprehensive understanding of how complex trends and shifting business realities will impact business now and in the future. The resulting strategic blueprint provides line of sight into the talent choices available today that impact an organization’s ability to deliver on objectives.
The talent organization has emerged as the single most important element of sustainable differentiation. An organization’s products, services, business model and marketing campaigns all can be replicated quickly by any competitor, which leaves an organization’s talent and talent potential as the last true differentiator. Further, to ensure growth and competitiveness companies must invest specifically in leadership talent.
A new era is upon business: the human age. Previous eras were defined first by the raw materials that transformed them: stone, iron and bronze. Then they were characterized by the domains people conquered with technology: industry, space and information. Now, human potential will be the catalyst for change and the global force driving economic, political and social developments. Talentism is the new capitalism.
Workforce demands and composition are shifting in response to economic, social and demographic trends. The need for more specific skills is creating a growing talent mismatch and scarcity of leadership talent. Multiple generations and cultures in the workplace have resulted in changes in motivations and preferences, which impact individual choice. Technological developments allow new ways of getting work done. These trends have created workforce and workplace dynamics that make it more challenging to identify, access and manage talent.
Despite their varied implications, these trends revolve around one central theme — the need to empower the right people, in the right places, in the right ways to create business impact. This requires a sustained commitment to, and a strategic investment in, talent, and an alignment of talent strategy with business goals. Talent is the No. 1 impediment to or success factor in executing the business plan. Led by the CEO, a talent strategy must:
1. Articulate a comprehensive vision of where the company wants to go, what unique value it delivers and what effects it wants to have.
2. Organize work structures to unleash the knowledge, innovation and creativity of every employee to achieve that vision.
3. Examine, understand and deliver what employees want from their employer and work environment.