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People Before Numbers
published by , on 20/01/2011

That’s part of the subtitle of the recent book The Talent Masters: Why Smart Leaders Put People Before Numbers by Bill Conaty and Ram Charan. Focusing on leadership stories, Supervising Success in The Wall Street Journal highlights the book’s leadership development anecdotes. Articles in The Economist and The Globe & Mail summarize the book further.

Leadership does correlate to financial performance. But rather than assume that leaders alone drive the business, look at talent management holistically – much like a professional baseball organization. Their talent management has a passion for the game with multiple layers of teams where all individuals are charted and evaluated in detail to provide talent profiles, depth charts, and talent pools.

Simply focusing on general managers, field managers, a few stars, and coaches is not enough. Because they make significant recruiting investments in each player, the succession, development, and talent projections need to run from the major league team down through multiple levels in the farm system. Aren’t businesses making the same kinds of high risk management investments? That’s the $60,000 question.

CEOs know that talent management needs to permeate the organization. Smarter leaders in smart companies are using Talent Intelligence to know their people and drive strategies for growth. As the book authors say:

“…nothing is more important to a company’s performance than its ability to develop and deploy talent with ‘the right stuff.’ Almost everything else, from economic downturns and interest rate upticks to surprise moves by competitors, is an excuse.”

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