Bruce Kasanoff recently posted an interesting article titled “Why Good Is Not The Enemy Of Great”. (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-good-enemy-great-bruce-kasanoff). In his article he makes a provocative statement: “Our mindless obsession with greatness...
The Availability of Talent Is Deteriorating
• 72 % of 400 CEOs surveyed in 83 countries indicated availability of key skills was a major threat to their business. (USA Today 1/20/16)
• 65% of business leaders say people applying for jobs right out of college are only “somewhat” prepared for success. 40% say they are not prepared at all.
– 40% of executives say new grads are “not prepared at all.”
• 47% of executives believe that 80% of new grads do not have the skills they’ll need to advance past entry-level jobs.
• The most deficient skills were thinking skills (problem solving, decision making, etc.).
Global Strategy Group Study published in Fortune
• “Talent-related issues are the top concern of 16 of 24 CEOs.
“We employed 270,000 people and the lion’s share of these people were out building and installing high-tech infrastructure and doing home installs that were suddenly more complex than they’d ever been…If we wanted to hire somebody to go install IP services in a home, we interviewed eleven people to find one qualified candidate.” (Randall Stephenson, ATT)
While Skills Are Declining, Training Budgets Are Rising
U.S. corporations are scrambling to address the talent issue. In 2014 training expenditures rose by 10%.
• Employers are spending more to build internal skills;
• “Bedrock” roles are typically occupying less of L&D’s time;
• Mature organizations tend to spend 38% more per employee.
Bersin by Deloitte
Total 2015 U.S. training expenditures—including payroll and spending on external products and services—took an upward trajectory, soaring 14.2 percent to $70.6 billion
Leadership Lessons: It is clear that organizations must do something around talent development. Unless action is taken in this area, the quality of products and services will be significantly impacted. It is not just increasing training expenditures that will make a difference in area of decreasing talent. It is training that compensates for missing fundamental skills no longer delivered through the education system (i.e., critical thinking, communication, logic, etc.).
Three possible organizational responses exist:
1. Do nothing and lower expectations to the quality level that talent can deliver. (A recipe for failure!)
2. Automate or outsource work to maintain quality in ways other than through staff. (Go where talent exists)
3. Teach and foster employee capability growth in the midst of producing high quality work. (Build talent where you are)
Unless organizations take the 3rd approach, the U.S. middle class will become a distant memory because jobs will be lost or will pool at the entry level with little or no hope of upward mobility in the organization or society.
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