Wednesday, January 18, 2012

i-TFTD #351: Flow with Talent

#351-1. The kind of leadership my dad learned in World War II—where the leader makes all the decisions and tells everybody else what to do—that's the flaw in organizations.
-Scott Cook, founder and chairman of financial software maker Intuit (1952-)

#351-2. We can build organizations that are far more adaptable, far more inspiring places to work, far more innovative than anything we've seen so far. But there's a huge ideological challenge in doing that, because inside most huge organizations is a bureaucratic caste that believes it's their role to make decisions.
-Gary Hamel, management thinker and author

#351-3. Today, talented people need organizations less than organizations need talented people.
-Daniel Pink, author of many books including "A Whole New Mind" and "Drive"

Leaders at all levels are struggling with a dilemma on how they should approach their role: should they base it on what they have observed leaders do in the past, or, should they go with what they intuitively sense is today's expectation? Should they go the whole hog on participative, inclusive, diversity-celebrating, empowering decision-making or are there decisions they need to weigh in on with their knowledge, experience, judgment and vantage point in the organization?

And amidst the agonies of making and fine-tuning such stylistic choices, leaders know that the talent pool they have is the critical foundation on which business success is achieved. Talented people today have multiple and overlapping options for their careers. Have you noticed how many full-time employees leave their jobs in large corporations with its associated perks and then come back to do more or less the same job as a contractor? I know many women who have taken a break in their careers, started their own ventures, went back to jobs and interspersed with freelancing stints.

The biggest challenge to help leaders perform effectively in such an environment is for HR decision makers. Some textbook-throwing is called for, methinks.

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