The Talent Series II: Attracting and Maintaining Great Talent

This week, a number of bloggers responded to my suggestion and offered up some great posts on closing the talent gap. Tim wrote a great post on Attracting Great Talent the Jack Welch Way, Doug reminded us of Five Leadership Behaviors Correlated to Performance, Matthew responded to my post with his own on Procurement Succession Planning and then came up with an idea to take the cross-blog discussion to the next level by soliciting posts on A Day in the Life of a Buyer.

Tim summarized some great simple, straight-forward advice from Jack Welch. The best way to attract great talent is to be a preferred employer. He offered a simple summary of Welch’s tips for becoming a preferred employer, which are:

  • demonstrate a real commitment to continuous learning
  • establish a meritocracy
  • allow, and encourage, people to take risks
  • be societally cognizant
  • focus on high standards
  • be profitable and growing

Doug reminded us of a recent study at Harvard business School that identified five leadership behaviours that are correlated with increased motivation, creativity and performance of team members. After all, no point attracting the best talent if you are not going to foster it. Briefly, leaders support people, monitor work in a positive way, recognize people for good performance, and consult with the team. The fifth? Check out Doug’s post or the Harvard study.

Matthew offered his thoughts on why succession planning almost never happens. In addition to finding the topic unpleasant, most people in the corporate food chain assume that either the person is planning on leaving or using the discussion as a back-door to state that he or she feels it is past time for a promotion. However, as Matthew points out, without proper succession planning, there is a general sense of chaos when someone leaves a position unexpectedly.

A great first week. I know a couple of other bloggers have some great ideas that they should be posting this week, so keep your eyes on the blogs!