Daily Archives: July 19, 2011

Talent Development: A Litmus Test

A recent post on the SCMR blogs by Robert Rudzki on Talent Development provided a great litmus test for determining whether or not your organization has what it takes to achieve the next level, which requires top-notch talent.

Bob provides an 8-point litmus test which includes the following key points:

  • Has the company’s strategy and objectives been translated into the required skills and competencies for the supply management organization?
    Talent cannot be developed appropriately if the organization does not even know what skills and competencies its talent needs to have.
  • Has a curriculum of development opportunities being created and made available to all personnel?
    It’s going to be hard to get talent interested in development if they are not even aware of the opportunities available to them.
  • Has a time budget been established?
    Talent development takes time. Time must be allocated for talent to train and develop, and such training and development must be mandatory, not optional.
  • Has a career ladder been established and communicated?
    If the organization wants talent to apply themselves and reach the next level, the talent must see a reason for doing so. If talent does not think they will get a reward for their effort, they will not see a reason for doing it.

Sustainability Requires More Than High Level Planning Guidelines

A recent article in Supply & Demand Chain Executive on how CEOs pursue business opportunities where corporate and societal priorities converge, summarized a recent Accenture study that noted how many CEOs are looking for sustainable profitability and ways to create value in line with societal goals.

The article, which noted that the Accenture study found that

  • 70% of CEOs realize that Sustainable Value Creation strategies must be evaluated using different criteria than traditional opportunities due to the longer time horizon required to generate returns and
  • 91% of CEOs face difficulties in identifying societal issues that link to competitive advantage and in measuring the societal and business performance of ‘sustainable’ initiatives

is promising in that it indicates that CEOs are now open to strategies that create value in a sustainable manner, but disappointing in that the five implementation imperatives to help companies create sustainable value that it summarizes are reduced to the point that they are nothing more than fluff that will result in the creation of bad strategy in your average organization.

Consider the following pieces of advice:

  1. Recognize the Opportunity
    This is obvious. If the organization does not understand that it should be sustainable and conscious of societal desires, it’s not going to even go down the sustainable path.
  2. Recalibrate Your Radar
    If the organization doesn’t change the way it thinks, then it’s not going to seriously consider sustainable strategies. Also obvious.
  3. Research, Develop, Repeat
    A good strategy does evolve over time. An organization that doesn’t realize this gets left behind. But stating fact is not helpful.
  4. Rewire the Organization
    Sustainable strategies do often require a different modus operandi. It’s not business as usual to go sustainable.
  5. Reinforce the Value
    The CEO must take a leadership role. But that’s true of any initiative.

They are not likely to produce good strategy. Why?

  1. They do not address the fact that the organization must also recognize the challenge to be overcome.
  2. They do not address the fact that the organization first has to understand what sustainable means. Otherwise, the radar can’t be recalibrated.
  3. They do not indicate what the measures are that will indicate success.
  4. They do not address How? It’s difficult to successfully engineer massive organizational change.
  5. They do not address how the CEO reinforces this value vs. other organizational values.

Organizations need lots of help, and lots of depth, to get sustainable. High level fluff is not going to help them.