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.
We’ve all seen the signs of a floundering first-time CEO: leadership attributes and behaviors we can all agree are not only ineffective but sometimes harmful. Although well-intended, there are four damaging leadership attributes and behaviors first time CEOs often display:
• Over-helping: First time CEOs are often eager to help their new teams gain trust and build relationships. However, this instinct can occasionally turn into over-helping, which often becomes micromanaging or functional leadership.
• Egocentrism: Perhaps born from a fear of failure or insecurity, first-time CEOs often fall into the trap of being driven by their egos. They take on the hero mentality and the accompanying sense of martyrdom.
• Overcapacity: While CEOs should be eager to get involved, they shouldn’t book themselves over capacity. Frequently, first time CEOs try to do so much they become frantic and unavailable. At the worst of times, this devolves into seagull management.
• Ambiguity: At the start of a first time CEO’s tenure, it may seem like the game is moving too fast. As such, the organization may suffer from an unclear vision, strategy and culture. This can manifest in slow or poor decision making and living in ambiguity. Continue reading
by Kaitlin Woolley and Ayelet Fishbach
When interviewing for your next job, how can you impress your recruiter and increase your chances of securing a job offer? Of course you may wish to emphasize your ambitions and goals you hope to achieve as a result of working at the company — your extrinsic motivation for the job. But to what extent should you also emphasize your love for your work and what you hope to achieve as part of the process of working at the company? This comprises your intrinsic motivation for the job, and most of us understand how important it can be to sustained engagement at work; but do recruiters care to hear this?
Our research suggests that they do — and that job applicants aren’t taking advantage of that. Indeed, we have found that people fail to predict the power of such a statement of intrinsic motivation on the impression they make.
To examine this prediction problem — the discrepancy between what candidates think will impress recruiters and what recruiters actually find impressive — we surveyed 1428 full-time employees and MBA students across five studies. Some provided their predictions, guessing what recruiters would find impressive when hiring a job candidate. Others told us what they actually valued when making hiring decisions.
by Jared Lafitte
Leadership is not defined by a title or a position, a record of experience or an accumulation of knowledge. That’s why there are many in positions of power who have great expertise and experience, yet are poor leaders.
Leadership is a practice that requires mastery of several key behaviors that transfer vision and motivate action. Like any behavior, they are meant to be learned, practiced, repeated and sharpened. Leadership should be pursued primarily as a set of practices to be developed and not as a position to be attained. When leaders learn to make this distinction between position and practice, they are crossing what I call the leadership threshold: a conceptual line that divides leadership grounded upon expertise, experience and authority (positional leadership) from leadership grounded upon behaviors and practices (behavioral leadership).
One way to nuance this is to say that experience, expertise and authority serve as crucial supplements to leadership, but generally do not themselves create leadership. Like logs in a fireplace, an accumulation of knowledge and experience provides fuel for the fire of leadership, but it is only behaviors such as conviction, communication and influence that provide the spark to set it ablaze. Crossing the leadership threshold means learning to view expertise, experience and authority as supportive but not primary. Continue reading