Edward Gubman, author of The Talent Solution (McGraw-Hill, 1998), began his presentation by asking two very important questions:
* Do you have enough of the right people with the right skills doing the right things to meet your goals?
* Are you creating the right environment where the right people want to come, stay, and contribute?
These are the challenges being faced today not only by the companies attending the Corporate Sponsors Forum but by companies everywhere. The best talent managers will be those who succeed in providing the best people with the best place in which to work - the workplace of choice. They will succeed in creating a winning high-performance culture: getting the most from their people, taking wonderful care of their customers, and rewarding both shareholders and employees. Particularly, when valued people are a scarce resource, they will have the talent solution.
The talent solution rests on three key concepts: alignment, engagement, and measurement.
1. Alignment means pointing people in the right direction.
2. Engagement means fostering commitment to the organization's basic purpose and direction.
3. Measurement means providing connected and balanced ways for the company and employees to keep score of how they are doing.
Dr. Gubman focused on alignment, and began by discussing the necessity of aligning to a company's strategic style - that is, creating a work experience that parallels the desired customer experience. Strategic style is how a company makes decisions about serving customers and treating employees, and it has two components: the value proposition and workforce strategy (see Exhibit 1).
EXHIBIT 1 Strategic Style Business Capabilities + People Requirements Value Proposition Workforce Strategy (Customer-Oriented) (Employee-Oriented) Reputation/Brand Equity Culture/Employment Relationship Product/Service Delivery Management Practices
Additionally, a company's strategic style develops around its primary focus - products, operations, or customers. Each style demands a distinctive core capability (see Exhibit 2) and each capability demands different people requirements identified by culture, competencies, and commitment. …