Sunday, November 28, 2010

Talent Management – Holding on to your most innovative employees

I recently read an article in the New York Times about some of the challenges Google faces in holding on to its most innovative and entrepreneurial employees.   This is something that we face at Innovations ourselves, and also see our clients face every day.   Here are some of the keys I'd suggest you consider:

1)  Cut out the red tape--Creative people really don't enjoy going through process for the sake of process.  That of course does not mean that collaborating with other people in a way that adds value to the creative process is not something that they fact, to the contrary, most creators find it exhilarating to create with others.  But checks and balances that don't add value to the process can be demoralizing.

2)  Creativity within your own job--For our most creative people, about 50% of their job based on internal and client needs, while the other 50% is really created independently by them.  Of course, their projects are consistent with their roles and our organizational goals, but at the same time it gives them the ability to create  and to continue to develop their own personal brand.

3)  Give them the resources they need--I have found that much more so than monetary reward, our most creative employees want either the technological or human resources that they need to do work on their projects.  Not that they don't appreciate monetary reward, but their requests for resources have far outnumbered any requests for money.

Those are a few of the items that we have found important.  Please feel free on your comments to share your experiences retaining your most entrepreneurial employees.


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Monday, November 15, 2010

Shifting Populations–Diversity only growing

This probably is not a surprise to anyone, but the California Public School System is now for the first time over 50% Latino.  Demographic shifts like this, when combined with the fact that millenials will make up over 40% of the work force within the next four years mean that as organizations recruiting and employing people, our profiles of our incoming staff will be much different than they were even five years ago.   The most immediate question is of course "How do I attract the best people in this group?", but the immediate following question is "How do I retain them once I hire them?"  Again, these are not new questions, but when you overlay these demographic changes on them, the texture becomes much different.

In addition, looking outward from an organization, how does this impact the products and services that I offer to this new work for?  These will be the consumers of tomorrow (they already are today, of course, but to a larger extent in the future), how do I make certain that what I make is relevant to them?

One practice that I enjoy incorporating in my staff meetings once each month is to distribute trend data to people in all sorts of areas (demographic changes, consumer spending, environmental factors), and spend about an hour brainstorming on how these different factors could impact our core functions.   Not only is it a fun exercise, but we always derive value from it as an organization and it has become a source of some of our key initiatives.  It may be something that you may want to try at some point.


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