The Emerging Focus on Talent, Part II

This post is going to review some selected insights on the talent topic that emerged during the recent Best Practices Conference put on by the Hackett Group. In particular, it is going to focus in on some of the key points made by Disney, Pitney Bowes, HP, Cummins, and The Hackett Group.

At Cummins, which has more employees outside the US, diversity is a core value. The importance of diversity in a global supply management and / or services operation cannot be understated. A diverse team is able to understand and interact with top talent from different cultures across the globe, which allows the organization to draw from the global talent pool, and not just the local talent pool in its home country or the country of its outsourced service center. And a diverse team is a powerful team. Cummins Global Business Services, which manages IT, HR, Finance, & Customer Care, and which is in the process of adding Procurement, hass less than 950 employees but manages 670 Million in Global spend. That’s more than 670K of spend per Cummins FTE. Now, the number drops to about 270K when you include the resources utilized in partner and supplier organizations for local support, but considering the wide umbrella of services support, that’s still quite impressive. Especially when you consider that more employees are outside the US than in the US and many are in low cost locales (like India).

Disney is a global operation, it needs to be global, and it understands that it needs to be global. As a result, Disney puts a great emphasis on staffing its international sourcing offices with local talent. Disney knows that the best way to identify talent is to have talent in the first place and only people who speak the same language (and understand the culture) are going to truly know the difference between who looks good on paper and who will work good in the organization. There is a strong cultural component to EQ.

At Pitney Bowes, employee engagement is one of the four key metrics that are used to measure organizational performance (with the other three being customer service, financial performance, and innovation). Furthermore, it is one of the four key components that must be mastered to be best-in-class (with the other three being structure, performance, and technology). As a result, they put a lot of effort into defining roles and responsibilities with a clear career path that not only made it easier for HR to find, and hire, raw talent, as they made Supply Management an attractive career option, but made it easier for them to identify what the organization needed to do in terms of training and knowledge management to improve its talent pool.

Tomorrow’s post will address some selected insights from HP and the Hackett Group and then Part IV, the final post in the series, will address some of the first steps an organization will need to take on its talent management journey.