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Talent Matters

Posted by griffithd on July 3, 2019 at 12:25 AM

Over the years, I have been asked about what makes for a successful business or organization. Many answers come to mind. Product, service, marketing, strategy, capital, technology, values, culture, and the list could go on.

However, in my experience, the number one factor and the one that the great CEO’s focus on is Talent.

So the identification, the acquisition, the care and feeding, and the development of Talent is vital. You could be overloaded in all of the other success factors, but in the absence of talent, the dog does not hunt.

So let us think about talent for a moment. I am reminded of the advice once received. “If you spend the time and dollars to acquire great talent, with specific domain experience and knowledge, and then you tell that talent not only what to do, but how to do it, one of you is redundant. And it’s not them. “ It makes no sense to invest in talent and not turn it loose. It is where the organization gets competitive leverage. There are only so many hours in a day.

When you have a team of talent, what does it look like? Do you subscribe to the theory that diversity of thought and experience create better solutions? Does your talent reflect your customers? Your community? The data is unequivocal that diversity and inclusion at the table of an organization drive better problem solving and solutions than a homogeneous group.

What is often missed is the culture that surrounds an organization concerning diverse talent. Specifically, is the environment such that individuals can name the elephant in the room and feel safe. How do you, as a leader, take feedback? Is your team meeting such that civil debate and discussion can take place? How about one on ones? What intentional steps do you choose to make sure that such discussions can and do occur? How well do you listen? How do you follow up?

The other tool that causes talent to thrive is for leadership to wander. More specifically, for leadership and talent to interact in both formal and informal ways. Some of the best advice and counsel I have garnered has come over an impromptu breakfast, lunch, or cup of coffee. For that to happen, you have to be intentional with wandering. I love the questions of how is it going, what can we do better, what resources do you need? Talent appreciates being asked.

Talent matters. What is your strategy to acquire and once acquired, develop, and grow? Talent management is not a random event and one that belongs in the CEO/leader/coaches toolbox. If it is not in the toolbox, talent will flee.

No one wants to be redundant. My goal has always been to be the dumbest individual in the organization. When I make that goal, I am the smartest.

Talent matters.

Categories: Muddy Boots, Leadership, Griffith Thoughts

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