From the Desks of CEOs

As part of a recent book project, I’ve been doing some very interesting research lately. My chapter of the book examines the CEO’s point of view on the critical issues facing organizations.

Hats off to the many CEOs I spoke to. They are all passionate about talent management and make no mistake; they are clear about the connection between talent management, engagement and career management. They have important work for their leaders and managers to do and they are worried about having the bench strength and right skill sets to do it.

I asked all of the CEOs I spoke with for a piece of advice about talent management. Here’s what they had to say:

  • It’s a complex world. We all have to be economists. We need to understand financial models, how they impact the business in terms of growth and profitability, and the potential risks global economics pose for the business. 
  • We need to be evangelists of the culture. You’ve undoubtedly heard the famous Peter Drucker quote “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast.”  What people believe and value shapes their behavior. Those behaviors are critical to executing strategy.
  • Workforce planning is a critical component of talent management. Knowing the critical positions that drive the business and predicting the talent needs of these critical positions assures the organization is developing its bench strength in all the right ways.
  • Strategic communications require a common language around important values, expected behaviors and leadership expectations. These communications are consistent, constant, clear, and assure the culture is reinforced regularly.
  • Employees have choices. Pay attention to more than survey results; pay attention to what makes an employee stay. 
  • Employee and leadership development is critical to the well-being and growth of businesses around the world. There are already gaps in recruiting critical technical roles, among others. Be innovative – find ways to engage older workers, collaborate with industry and community influencers to solve these shortages, and engage knowledge transfer experts to maintain the institutional knowledge you have.

In today's complex business world, more is expected of employees today than ever before. Developing your employees and leaders is an investment well worth making.

Of course, half way through this project it occurred to me that I was hearing from those that were passionate because they were the ones that agreed to participate in the project! All CEOs should be this passionate about talent management. 

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  1. Kim's avatar
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    Pat, another great point! Thanks for sharing this. I've always said, no matter how automated or technology oriented an organization is, "businesses require people." Whether it's people to dream of the concept, design, build or repair the automation/technology, businesses don't function without people. I'm so glad to hear that CEOs are realizing this too! Cheers!

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