by Larry Janis
Having the right talent in the right roles is essential for a successful business strategy. Strategy execution demands a thorough evaluation of not only people, but also of their roles and responsibilities, their impact and their alignment with the company’s business goals.
Corporate leadership and business leaders focused on strategy execution need a talent assessment program that functions as an extension of their strategy planning that addresses the following thoughts and processes:
- An understanding of the talent implications associated with the strategy. Without this context, talent reviews may provide a false sense of security and lead to misaligned, well intended talent plans that actually work against the strategy.
- Differentiation between important and critical roles. The successful execution of strategy requires talented people, more importantly talented people in the right roles. Without clear differentiation the people most likely to positively impact strategy may be in the wrong roles or not in the organization at all!
- A facilitated talent discussion that evaluates talent in an integrated manner; standardizes the organizations’ talent “language” and calibrates talent between divisions, departments and teams.
- A talent map that summarizes the organization’s talent “picture” in a simple, powerful format. The talent map can be easily referenced for future planned, or unplanned talent decisions.
- A talent plan that captures the key talent actions required to support the strategy; assigns accountability for completion; encourages all leaders to accept responsibility for the organization talent pool; and provides a mechanism for tracking progress.
- A partnership with an external recruitment firm that has a solid knowledge of your industry, your competitors and has the ability to react in a timely fashion to acquire the talent you have defined as essential to your business goals.
When planning changes to your staff, consider the following timing considerations:
- Bringing in someone from the outside to fill a role lacking the talent required for a business initiative would typically takes four to six months.
- Add in the time for onboarding, learning how your firm does things and understanding the capabilities of your firm: your talent acquisition time frame may extend upwards of one year for your new hire to be fully engaged and productive.
- If your company operates in a competitive industry, factor in additional time to work through thinned out talent pool: your key competitors are likely seeking the talent they need to drive their businesses to the next level.
Talent processes linked to business strategies offer a considerable competitive advantage. Streamlining the implementation of the timeline, understanding the talent implications of your strategy and recognizing the talents you have and don’t have are critical to successful strategy implementation and differentiating your organization from the competition.