I heard it again last week.
VP: ” I am ready to move on, will you take a look at my resume?”
Me: “Sure, but I thought you liked your job.”
VP: “I do and the company is splendid. However working for my boss has become intolerable and it’s just not worth it”.
Another tale where a leader is the disconnecting point between a talented individual and the organization. The VP is not disengaged but disconnected and now everyone loses.
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Now that the economic downturn seems to be on the wane, I see some new and not so new Leadership and Talent Management trends emerging. I will devote a post to each of these over the next couple of months.
- The War For Top Talent – While the war for top talent never went away during the economic downturn, now that things are getting better the war is really going to heat up.
- Changing Demographics - Baby boomers are going to move on, replaced by younger generations who have different drivers, motivations and needs. There will be more minorities and women in the workforce. How you lead and manage the workforce is going to be different.
- Balanced Leadership - As the business world continues to ‘twitch’, the demands on leaders will never more intense. How do you balance strategy with execution with development with engagement?
- Collaborate / Innovate / Engage - In a global, fast paced and ever-changing world, these are the three most critical core organizational competencies for 2012 and beyond. How you lead and how you build and develop talent will need to focus on all three of these competencies.
- The Loyalty Reset – A new career model has been developing over the past 20 years. Loyalty is a thing of the past, both for companies and individuals.
- The Leadership Connection – as loyalty gets re-set, people still want a connection to where they work. Companies will need people to feel a connection to perform. Leaders provide this connection.
- How Do You Spell Team? - Teams are now virtual, teams are now global, teams now include consultants, contractors and part-time employees. The role of leadership must adapt.
- Does Your CEO Lead? - Aligning strategy, building a culture, focusing on talent, the leadership capability of the CEO has never been more vital.
- Leading Globally – Talent management and leadership is different in Shanghai and New Delhi than it is in Omaha.
- What Page Are We On? – With so much churn, change and uncertainty, lack of clarity and unity on executive leadership teams about strategy, direction and alignment has never been more disconnected. And if there is not consensus on this team, how can there be in the rest of the organization?
What do you think?
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During a conversation last week with Dave, an exec who recently landed a new job, I was reflecting on a previous blog post that referenced a Fortune magazine article on the reasons that corporations fail to retain their top talent. First on the list was ‘big company bureaucracy’.
I asked Dave what he liked most about his new company. He replied instantly… freedom to act’. He then gave me an example of what he meant. A few weeks ago, Dave was talking in the hallway with his boss. He mentioned an idea about a process improvement and his boss liked the idea. A couple of hours later, one of Dave’s colleagues told him that his idea had been approved. Dave was amazed. At his old employer, a large global bureaucracy, he said the idea would have taken months to get approved, if at all, with countless meetings, Powerpoint presentation drafts and debate.
Dave loves the ‘freedom to act’ and doesn’t miss his old company one bit. I wonder if they miss him? I will bet they do.
What about you – do you have freedom to act or do you work at a place that is mired in red tape, politics and bureaucracy?
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The year was 1998 and I was in my HR leadeship position with Amoco Corporation. I was invited to attend a presentation by McKinsey Consulting on ‘The War For Talent’. Fast forward 13 years to an article in the December 2011 edition of Forbes entitled “Top Ten Reasons Why Large Companies Fail to Keep Their Top Talent” (http://onforb.es/sCzkZO) . Basically the Forbes article was a rehash of the of the McKinsey presentatin I attended. Thirteen years later and the song remains the same. Why can’t organizations figure this stuff out?
Here are a few commonalities between the Forbes article and the McKinsey presentation:
- Failure to find projects that ignite the passion of their talent
- Poor annual performance reviews
- No discussions around careers
- Allowing whims to change strategic priorities
- Lack of accountability
- The missing ‘vision’ thing
These are more symptoms of lousy leadership, especially at the top of the house. And this extends beyond large companies. It’s pervasive across Corprate Amercia. As the job market heats up, the demographics continue their shifts and the global business world continues on it’s frantic pace, the companies that don’t figure this out are going to be in trouble. And they don’t have another 13 years to act.
What are your thoughts?
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