How so did we win I hear you ask? Well, did you know that there is a CEO who values the importance of developing talent that they suggest that everyone spends a day a week talking about this (and a few other things too)?
Just think about that for a moment. A company exists that understands the importance of its people, their talents and the inevitable organisational intangibles that come from managing them that everyone spends a day a week on things like this. This means that people are free to do things that they value most highly, the things they enjoy the most!
That is the path to victory!
We're not talking about 50 hours a year training and development time, we're not even talking about utilisation rates, we're talking about setting aside a whole 8 hours of each and every person's working week and letting them do as they see fit. This means they can use this time to work with their team, their manager or on anything they believe is valuable and important to them. Here's what the CEO said about giving people a day a week for such activities...
"It forces the conversation with a manager who is over-managing... I come to you and I say the project is late, you guys have screwed up, my classic old management style and you sit there and say you know what, I'm gonna give you everything I've got 80% of the time"
"It forces the dialogue, it serves as a check and balance on this sort of command and control management that a lot of companies have..."
That's it folks. Its that simple. Command and control management be gone...
With all this talk about talent management, engagement, people are our greatest asset and so on, it takes a pretty smart (or depending on how you view the world, pretty stupid) CEO to make such a bold commitment to employees, customers and shareholders. Clearly the CEO believes that every employee spending a day a week to win the war for talent has a huge payoff for everyone involved.
While it may look extreme, at its heart, the approach asks a really great question of other organisations, namely how much time and energy is being lost on activities that don't add to productivity and the bottom line?
Put another way, would the principle of spending a day a week on talent and talent development in its widest context improve the bottom line of other organisations?
Clearly, this CEO thinks it applies to their firm, so why not others?
So which firm am I talking about? Before spilling the beans, its worth taking off on a quick sidetrack. Like many of the firms who gain recognition for great work, their overall reputation and perception in the eyes of different stakeholder's can cloud our thinking. For example, if I told you this was GE, you're likely to first think about Jack Welch, Mr. Eddison, the financial performance of conglomerates and so forth. I believe my point would be lost. In a similar vein, if I said it was Toyota, thoughts of their culture, manufacturing methods and eco friendly cars would similarly come to mind before the point I'm making. I'm sure you can see the dilemma here...
Anyway, back to the point. A company has committed to giving everyone a day a week to get engagement, leadership, congruence and all the other good things that come from conversations about talent management right.
Why isn't this a bigger story or am I missing something here?
By the way, the company in question often tease us with their "I'm feeling lucky" gambit, along with their free massages and offering each and every one of us a bird's eye view of where we live (hint - its not NASA!).
p.s. Thanks to Jack for putting me onto this 🙂
p.p.s. The CEO in question is talking about these ideas here. You'll need to go to 47:05 to get the quotes, but the entire piece is well worth watching.