Having digested with great interest the 15th global PWC CEO survey, Ian Berry of Changing what’s Normal notes the headline on page 8 says: “Talent shortages biting.” The opening line on this page is “Talent gaps and mismatches not just an issue for the future, they are hurting businesses now.” Yep! The final paragraph on page 8 says “The real question is why talent gaps remain such a challenge, despite being an evident strategic priority.
This is not a new issue. Our CEO surveys throughout the past decade have consistently highlighted the availability of skill as a significant strategic threat across all sectors.” Why do talent gaps remain a challenge indeed? I have 3 primary answers.
My first two answers invoke the wisdom of Albert Einstein.
1) “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Leader after leader that I meet are thinking how business was in the 20th century and in some cases the 19th and even the 18th century! How it was is no longer. Many leaders I meet think social media will go away. It won’t. And crucially despite overwhelming evidence of what works and what doesn’t, a lot of people I meet still don’t get that if you put people first you do better in your business. There is a lot of stupidity and idiocy across the board in the world today. I love the following definitions. Someone said that the definition of stupidity is “Expecting a different result by continuing to do the same old thing” Someone said that the definition of idiocy is “Doing something different and still getting the same result” What changes could you make today to be less stupid and less idiotic particularly when it comes to how you see people, help them identify their talents/gifts and how well you are helping people to enhance their gifts in their best interests, yours, and that of all your stakeholders? The internet has changed business forever. What changes could you make today to be less stupid and less idiotic in how you and your people use the internet and the tool that is social media? What must you begin doing today that means thinking differently than in the past?
2) “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (Sign hanging in Einstein’s office at Princeton) The headline on Page 12 of the PWC survey says “Operating in the dark?” and then says “So how can companies become more strategic about talent? One place to start is by getting better data. CEOs consistently say they don’t have enough information to improve decision making in areas such as cost of employee turnover, staff productivity, or employees views and needs.” Only 16% of CEOs according to the PWC survey believe that the data they get is sufficiently comprehensive. What data do you have? What data do you need to get? More importantly what insights do you need to act on to stop the bleeding of money and other resources when it comes to leading people? What do you measure? And is your focus on lead measures not lag measures as outlined in my blog here?
3) Lack of role clarity. There is a lack of role clarity everywhere in business at two levels, employees and leaders. I meet employees all day every day who don’t really know where they fit. They are not clear on their personal piece of your organisation’s strategy execution plan. Most strategies fail to get executed because employees, the chief executors of strategy, havenʼt yet bought into the strategy or as is more often the case, they donʼt yet understand or own their unique piece of the execution map. My Enhancing Their Gifts System™ changes this big time. If you don’t yet know about the system please see overview and links at the end. I liken strategy to a compass and execution to a map. Ensuring employees co-create with you and own their unique piece of your execution map is a key part of your role as a leader. Imagine a giant quilt woven together, each piece different, yet integral to the whole. All of your employees need their piece. Integral to each employee’s piece is how much they’re bringing their unique gifts to their work on a consistent basis. Your primary role as a leader therefore is talent maximisation. There are thirteen key aspects. How well are you doing? Improve your talent maximisation, think 21st century solutions to your challenges, and measure what really matters and there will no longer be a talent shortage at your place. The results will astound you.
This article was written and is copyrighted by Ian Berry, author of Changing What’s Normal and creator of the Enhancing Their Gifts System and originally appeared in Ian’s “Changing What’s Normal Strategies and Tactics newsletter”, his free twice monthly ezine, available at http://www.changingwhatsnormal.com/newsletter.html