Currie Article Review: Building a Game-Changing Talent Strategy

Currie Management Consultants, Inc. is recommending HBR’s Building a Game-Changing Talent Strategy, as required reading.  This piece takes us through some best practices and guidelines for creating and maintaining a successful team of highly talented employees.  Through the case studies presented in the article, the authors have identified the following three essential attributes of a supremely game-changing organization: Purpose Driven, Performance Oriented and Principles Led.  These elements are distinctly comparable to three of the 12 Currie Success principles:

     Currie Principle #3 Focus and Purpose
     Currie Principle #9 Results Orientation
     Currie Principle #11 Integrity


Let’s take the three attributes listed above, combined with the three Currie Principles, and apply them to your industrial equipment distribution company.  To start, some examples of enterprises which epitomize outstanding leverage of talent are pulled from the article and summarized below.

Case Study 1:  BlackRock

This company excels at placing the right people in the right positions.  In addition to successfully creating an employee value proposition, BlackRock is led by four guiding principles, which are strictly adhered to:

  • to be fiduciaries to the clients
  • to be passionate about performance
  • to be innovators
  • to be “one BlackRock”

 Case Study 2:  Envision

As we learned in the last article and review (2012 Global Workforce Study), employee engagement is critical to the performance of the company.  Lei Zhang, of Envision, was ahead of the curve on this, and created an employee model which greatly appealed to gifted individuals.  Jerry Luo’s quote sums it up nicely:  “Envision is here to help people achieve their ambitions and to help improve the world.”

Think about your equipment distribution company when you read about Envision’s “open innovation” mindset.  Many of Currie’s clients have become highly innovative game-changers due to consolidations, diversification initiatives, advancing technology, and creative wealth-building strategies.

Case Study 3:  Tata Group

This company embodies the concept of talent capture.  As an acquisition firm, Tata Group has mastered the art of swiftly and accurately identifying the culture of the newly acquired organization.  Pay close attention to the quote in this section:  “why don’t you guys just tell us what to do?”  How often have we seen this in our distribution companies?  In response to this issue, during our Leadership Development Program, the Currie team teaches future executives about the concept of Situational Leadership.  In a nutshell, Situational Leadership is the application of a specific management/leadership style (Telling, Selling, Participating or Delegating) based upon a quick analysis of all the variables of the circumstances, including the “Readiness of the Follower”.  Using this methodology, on a much grander scale, has allowed Tata Group to mitigate a tremendous amount of risk.

One would be hard pressed to find a client of Currie Management Consultants who hasn’t heard the ceaseless iterating of the phrase “employer of choice”.  This article aligns perfectly with the top employer concept, and is an exceptional follow-on to 2012 Global Workforce Study.  Based upon the continuation of the development of talent theme, a list of questions has been established.  Reflect on the six questions below, and consider the following:  what are the talent management practices critical to the support of a game-changing industrial equipment distribution company?

  1. What is your organization’s Talent Strategy?
  2. What is your vision for your equipment distribution company, and how well do your employees know and understand your vision?
  3. What message are you sending your team through your commitment to being an employer of choice?
  4. Is your top executive team focused enough to stick to the plan for leveraging the talent at your company?
  5. Does your equipment dealership still have a lingering silo mentality?
  6. Do you know where to find the best people?  Note the article’s interesting mention of the use of headhunters (page 4).

Please follow the link to read Building a Game-Changing Talent Strategy.  Comments, questions and other feedback is always welcome.

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