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Break a Leg

Posted on in Talent Strategy

I was on stage speaking at an event last week and was asked what is the #1 challenge businesses face today.  It’s funny to me that people are always asking for “one thing.”  It’s never one thing, no matter what the topic.

That said, the biggest threat to many companies today is that they lack a modern strategic plan.

A modern strategic plan is like a 3-legged stool.  The first leg is your business strategy, the second is your culture strategy and the third is your talent strategy.  These “legs” must be aligned, for if one is deficient, fractured or nonexistent, your strategic vision will be impacted (just as the stool will no longer function effectively under the same conditions).

Your business strategy addresses the what….your market position, product or service priorities and financial goals.  Your culture strategy articulates your why…your purpose, mission and values and how that’s used as a competitive advantage. Your talent strategy is the how….the approach,  methods, and tactics used to attract, recruit and retain the people that will execute the business strategy (the what) and behave in a manner consistent with your culture (the why).

Wait…who’s on first?  Just kidding.

The point is that while most companies can clearly describe their business strategy and many know how their culture is a competitive advantage, few understand the importance of creating a talent strategy.  And those that do are the organizations that are thriving.

Those that do are the organizations that are thriving.  Why?

Because they know that recruiting and retaining talent is both an art and a science. They invest the time gathering the data and market research required so they know their prospective candidates and employees as intimately as they know their customers or clients.  This, in turn, allows them to intentionally design the right experiences, at the right time, creating engagement regardless of where the individual resides along the talent continuum.  This laser focus puts them in control of their talent pools in such a manner that they have access to the right talent when they need it and keeps the A players onboard which ultimately fuels organizational innovation and growth.

Don’t risk the growth of your business by ignoring the third leg of the stool.  You may be able to get away with that for a short period of time, but the point will come where eventually it will collapse.



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