The three challenges for leadership teams and the types of intelligence required

And yet, it is not easy to build an effective leadership team. To be effective, a leadership team is responsible for three things: articulating a strategy, co-ordinating delivery of plans, and creating a strong culture in the organisation. So, how do our organisations do in these three areas?

The three challenges for leadership teams
On strategy, according to Kaplan and Norton, just 7% of employees fully understand their organisation’s strategy and what it means for them.

In my experience of working with dozens of senior teams, these are the top three challenges facing most leadership teams. Strategy, Execution and People.

To try and solve these challenges, it’s not that helpful to spend more time on these issues, or to work harder on them. Instead, you need to start with fixing the leadership team itself. A leadership team should be smarter than the sum of its parts – and yet often the dynamics in the team mean that the collective intelligence of the team isn’t realized.

In practise that means meetings which bounce between boredom and conflict; a focus on operational issues instead of strategy; a leadership team that is more like a committee than a team – teams should support each other and collaborate.

Leadership teams can be smarter than the sum of their parts
To unlock the hidden intelligence in your leadership team means understanding the three types of intelligence that senior teams need.

Emotional intelligence or EQ: ‘How strong are our relationships within the leadership team?’
Creative-Analytical Intelligence or IQ ‘How effective are we at thinking through problems together, developing solutions and making collective decisions?”
Practical Intelligence or PQ: ‘How good are we at delivering results, executing projects, and driving transformation?”
EQ, IQ, and PQ can be assessed using a diagnostic, allowing you to adapt the way the leadership team works to unlock its collective intelligence.

Often that means starting with the team’s emotional intelligence. This is foundational, as evidenced by the research of Anita Williams Woolley and the MIT Centre for Collective Intelligence which shows that a team’s ability to solve problems together is predicted by its member’s social sensitivity. Specifically, they saw teams who were good at interpreting how other members were feeling, and teams where people took turns to speak, were better at solving complex problems.

Here’s how you can help your team build its emotional intelligence. Get the team together and get them aligned on three questions: why, what, and how.

Why do we exist as a team – what value do we create and for whom?

…Therefore, what should we be focused on, what are our priorities, what should we talk about in meetings?

…And therefore, how often should we meet, what different types of meetings do we need to have, and how should we behave?

Answering these questions helps create the ‘emotional foundations’ of the team; it creates the conditions where trust, honesty, and psychological safety are possible.

Turning ideas into action
Once the team has solid emotional foundations, you can then get down to improving strategic thinking and execution excellence.

Improving strategic thinking typically involves stretching the team’s thinking in three dimensions.

Get them thinking deeper – what are the real underlying issues?
Consider a wider range of options – do you go beyond the first, obvious solutions?
Plan further ahead – what might be the knock-on consequences of this idea?
Once a well-thought-out strategy is articulated, you then need your team’s practical intelligence (PQ) to turn it into a roadmap, metrics & dashboards, and a communications plan to make sure each individual understands their role in the strategy. Gone are the days when you could do an all-staff presentation to showcase the strategy and assume everyone knew what to do.

The power in the leadership team
Your leadership team will succeed if you can make it a real team that is smarter than the sum of its parts. The leadership team can then power a strategy that everyone understands, detailed plans which coordinate the whole organization’s work, and a culture that unlocks the potential in each team member.


Why A Laser Focus on DEI Is Urgently Needed To Win The Post-Pandemic War On Talent

Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times reporter and creator of “The 1619 Project”, recently made national headlines for rejecting an offer of tenure from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the alma mater she dearly loved. Her rebuff culminated a messy HR debacle in which the Board of Trustees initially declined to vote on her application, only to reverse its decision amidst credible accusations of racial and gender bias. In a stunning turn-around announcement, Hannah-Jones snubbed the belated offer and instead chose to take her talents to Howard University, bringing along with her the considerable sum of $20 million in donations that she spearheaded to establish a brand new Center for Journalism and Democracy. The reason she gave for joining the Howard faculty was very simply put in her note of gratitude to the renowned Historically Black university: “Thank you for always treating me with dignity and respect, and for offering me a home where I can do my work unimpeded.”

The drama that played out so publicly in this hiring-gone-wrong scenario is not unique. Stories of fierce competition for top talent and unforeseen, last-minute scoops by key competitors are plenty in the increasingly cutthroat field of hiring and recruiting.

However, this fiasco stood out more sharply than most because it played out against the backdrop of a post-Black Lives Matter world, when one would think that organizations have finally learned they can no longer allow diversity, equity and inclusion to take a backseat in their operations. This incident serves as a cautionary tale to organizations that remain obtuse to the ground-shifting post-George Floyd environment, where DEI priorities have moved front-and-center in both employees’ and employers’ minds and agendas. As for UNC’s spectacular hiring failure, their trustees managed to lose a standout figure in journalism, along with millions of dollars that could have benefited their institution, to a life-long appointment and an iconic position with another university by continuing to engage in the old business-as-usual approach of dismissing concerns about diversity and inclusion.

And yet, the newfound focus on DEI priorities at corporations is not the only significant change affecting organizational management practices. Alongside the growing concern re: DEI, another radical transformation has taken place in the world of work. It is actually not the ubiquitous shift toward working from home that we have all either experienced or heard so much about, but a more nuanced, related phenomenon. Driven by a host of practical and yes, existential factors created by the life-altering effects of the Covid pandemic, this phenomenon even has its own hashtag and it is now being called the “#Great Resignation”.

In essence, as we haltingly enter a post-pandemic world, employees are heading for the exits in astounding numbers in search of a better work-life balance, more purpose and meaning, and simply put, happiness in the workplace. As an unanticipated consequence of the lockdown, people are rethinking how they are valued at work, how they fit into the organizational culture, how they want to spend their time, and even what work really means to them. According to the Labor Department, a record 4 million people quit their jobs in April alone, throwing HR departments into a state of chaos that many are calling unprecedented. Both large-scale research studies and anecdotal evidence from recruiters show how Covid has created the Greatest Work Exodus in recent history.

Our Obsession With Black Excellence Is Harming Black People
The Great Resignation: Why Employees Don’t Want To Go Back To The Office
Black Women’s Equal Pay Day Equals An Extra 214 Days Of Work
The upshot? A real-time labor market survey concludes that “net increases in employment since the spring of 2020 have come primarily from a growing number of individuals working for a new employer, rather than returning to their pre-pandemic employer.” The result is that the #GreatResignation is actually turning into what LinkedIn’s CEO Ryan Roslansky has recently called “a talent migration that’s bigger than anything we’ve seen before”, or, as he calls it, the #GreatReshuffle.

The significant disruptions in work patterns ushered by the pandemic lockdowns are now giving rise to a new era where employee concerns have become much deeper than just working hard toward the next promotion or gaming the job market for a little more pay. A whole host of factors that traditionally had been kept on the back burner as other concerns took precedence have now emerged as top priorities for a large number of workers. Being forced to work from home has given people the chance to shed the energy-draining office hustle and be able to reconnect to what is truly important to them. Furthermore, witnessing the fragility of life during a prolonged period in isolation has also imparted the type of life-altering perspective that only great trauma or enlightenment can bring. The end result has been a stronger sense of agency in making bold decisions and a seismic change in the level of tolerance workers now have for what used to be accepted as the necessary evils of professional life.

Thus, the Stagnation of 2020 is rapidly morphing into the Restructuring of 2021. The question now becomes: how will this ‘Great Reset’ take shape? And who will be the winners and losers in our post-pandemic world?

One thing is clear: given the dramatic spike we are witnessing in employees rethinking their jobs and, fundamentally, the role that work plays in their lives, organizations will be more pressed than ever to attract and retain high-performing employees. Not only has the sheer number of job openings and work opportunities increased due to the #GreatResignation, but the potential for remote work has also expanded employees’ geographical options.

And so, for altogether different reasons than the current racial reckoning, we arrive yet again at the fact that issues of diversity, equity and inclusion are about to play a central role in this new labor landscape. “Workers who are satisfied with their company’s efforts on [DEI] issues are actually happier with their jobs,” says Laura Wronski, a research science manager at SurveyMonkey. “They are more likely than others to say that they have good opportunities to advance their careers, and they are more likely to feel like they are paid well for the work they do.” Inasmuch as DEI matters are closely enmeshed and intimately intertwined with increased levels of job satisfaction and employee fulfillment in the workplace, organizations will be forced to direct even more attention, intention, and resources to these issues if they want to edge out their competition on this drastically-changed battlefield.

Companies that thought they could skate along with their current DEI efforts by engaging in CYA, box-checking practices will swiftly find themselves on the losing end of the post-pandemic world order. This ‘intersectionality’ — to use a common term in the field— of the post-George Floyd world with the post-Covid one, has set up issues of belonging and equity to become the one-two punch that will knock out those that adhere to old, tired practices such as in this article’s opening example at the UNC. Therefore, a laser focus on DEI is perfectly poised to become an even more pivotal factor in winning potential employee interest, commitment, and yes — that all-important employer-brand loyalty — in the war for top talent.


What Keeps Human Resources Professionals Awake At Night?

We posted this question as an icebreaker in our HR Superstars community, because we figured if anyone is going to share vulnerably immediately, it’s going to be Human Resources Professionals (aka People Ops):

What one aspect of your HR role has kept you up at night in the last week?

​​After reading through the myriad responses, I am even more in awe of HR leaders (and I used to be a Chief People Officer!) Here’s what I learned…

HR does it all!
We received over 220 total responses, broken down into nearly forty categories! Some of the concerns we saw were implementing performance management, career development, returning to the office, competencies and skills matrices, compensation, ongoing learning and development, and communication with the C-suite.

Here’s a thread that offers more clarity into an HR challenge (disciplinary action):

I can’t give information, but when a valued employee really messes up, nothing illegal or immoral, it is difficult to decide how to address and repair the damage and how to move forward. Sometimes, firing isn’t the answer.

Response: Thanks for sharing, I feel you on this. I think that most of the time, firing is not the answer, especially because people talk and then the org or team gets a reputation that it’s not safe to make mistakes. I’m curious how the expectations and agreements were set up from the beginning and if there were any obstacles to the employee speaking up and asking for help?

And another that discussed both cultural issues and employee off-boarding:

I’ve been doing exit interviews, and while most of them have been easy and joyful, the harder ones are the ones that stick with me, the employees who felt that they’ve been wronged and hurt by our organization. I keep thinking about how what I see from my perspective is sometimes so far removed from their day-to-day experience in the organization. I didn’t even know some of the things that have been unearthed in these interviews had been happening. It’s something I hope to plan to rectify moving forward.

Response: I commend you for prioritizing proactive feedback to reduce the number of exit interviews you get in the first place.I understand the struggle of obtaining solid participation numbers when it comes to feedback. Creating a culture of continuous feedback is a company-wide effort that needs to be initiated and backed by leadership. Sending you a DM.

What really keeps Human Resources professionals up at night?
To make sense of the data, we consolidated the forty themes and charted the data below. These are the top seven concerns of HR professionals:

Talent Acquisition and Retention
Performance Management
Culture and Morale Issues
Returning To Office (Health & Safety)
Building the HR Function
Remote/Hybrid Work
Employee Wellbeing

Talent Acquisition & Retention
No surprise here, as this was an ongoing concern even before the pandemic. Now it seems that with remote work becoming more normalized, employees are moving to parts of the country that have a significantly higher quality of life at a fraction of the cost of living. One example is The Great Exodus from regions like Northern California:

During the fourth quarter of 2020, roughly 114,600 people left the Bay Area, up 29.7 percent from the same period in 2019.


When people are talking about this Great Resignation… that’s sometimes a break because you have control. You can choose to say, ‘I’m not going to do this anymore. I can choose to go somewhere else’.

John Foster, CHRO of TrueCar
Despite how the media frames these phenomena, for people teams, there is nothing great about exodus or resignation. The stakes have never been higher to build a strong employer brand, create opportunities for internal advancement, and build a robust culture where people can thrive.

Remote/Hybrid Work
This one is not a surprise either and, as I’ve shared, is related to that top concern of talent acquisition and retention. We even made this our June theme in the community with round-tables on dynamic work and community members sharing their reopening office plans.

What we saw in 2020, was that many organizations who were forced to go remote in order to survive were dealing with trust, communication, and engagement. Technology helped to ease these struggles, but that alone was not sufficient.

As offices reopen and hybrid work is becoming the new, new normal, we are seeing a whole slew of emerging issues that tech alone can’t solve. Creating competition between the here’s vs the there’s, uneven odds of getting promoted, and cultural dilution, to name a few. Since this way of working is here to stay, we are seeing a huge opportunity for innovation in the field of HR and the need for strategic initiatives.

Performance Management
Many of these comments had to do with successfully rolling out performance management software or the implementation of process. Issues like performance reviews, engagement, culture and morale, psychological safety, and team communication all fall into this category.

Community members also voiced concerns about executive buy-in. Here is the response and advice that was shared:

Executive sponsorship and involvement is critical for success in any company-wide software roll out. I would say the “must do” prior to rolling out is to get executive buy-in, including a company-wide announcement by your executive sponsor to explain why you are doing this, to set expectations around key dates, and to ask for feedback/questions.

The shift to strategic HR
Many Human Resources professionals are bogged down in administrative tasks like payroll and benefits, they struggle to get ahead of employee attrition, and they are not seen as true partners to the rest of leadership. What’s needed is to get ahead of these issues by becoming strategic business partners and planning a people strategy to ensure a strong employer brand and high performance and engagement.

But one of the main concerns we hear from HR leaders is that they are too busy to be strategic. When two-hundred people people say that forty distinct concerns related to their roles keep them up at night, that’s a pretty strong indicator that this issue is real.

We created the HR Superstars community to help with this concern; to elevate HR to a strategic business function. Because that’s what HR is. They are not ancillary. They are most valuable when they lay out and execute the frameworks for how to pair people performance with business performance.

To be a part of this movement, please join us in the HR Superstars Community! We host fireside chats with successful, progressive people leaders from large organizations. You can access actionable resources like webinars and playbooks from academics and industry experts. Best of all, you will have a place where you can connect, grow your networks, and get answers from people who have been there.

Perhaps the next time someone asks you what is keeping you up at night, you can respond with,”nothing at all”.


At Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles Provides 7 Lessons For Business Executives

Simone Biles’ decision to compete Tuesday in the balance beam final at the Tokyo Olympics made international headlines and underscored several important lessons for business leaders that the world-famous athlete is demonstrating at the international sports competition.

Empower Others
John C. Simmons, chief marketing officer of InboxAlly, noted that “When Biles said she didn’t want to risk the team [of] a medal because of her screwups, that was a great leadership lesson. In an office setting, that action empowers others to take on responsibilities. After all, just because you are a leader doesn’t mean you should do everything yourself.”

Overcome Short-Term Thinking
Martha L. Sullivan, president of Provenance Hill Consulting, said Biles “is giving America’s corporate leaders a lesson in how to overcome short-term thinking in their organizations and what teamwork is at its core: Redefining the win. Ms. Biles understood what was at stake, for herself, her colleagues, and her team.

“Conventional corporate wisdom would advise sucking it up and focusing on meeting everyone else’s expectations for her to win. By exercising her personal expertise and experience and by stepping aside, she demonstrated a different strategy that would elevate the team and mitigate the risk. Situations and circumstances change quickly in athletics and business,” she said.

Sullivan noted that “Our ability to acknowledge the perils in an evolving situation is crucial to understanding the stakes and how to adapt. Ms. Biles accomplished this task in record time, redefining the opportunities for the team winning on the fly.”

Joe Szynkowski runs The UpWrite Group, a strategic communications firm. He noted that, “Leaders too often hold on to their ideals or decisions with an iron fist. What if a better idea comes along? We are all entitled to change our minds, just as Biles decided to compete in the balance beam final a few days after seemingly shutting it down. Executive decision-makers should be firm in their philosophies, but flexible enough to adapt when the time comes.”

Tune Out The Noise
“Social media has erupted with both positive and negative chatter surrounding Biles’ decision. In the end, it’s just that: Chatter. Executives need to tune out the noise when it comes to making choices regarding their company or their own personal career moves. We can lose ourselves trying to make everyone happy,” Szynkowski observed.

Know Your Limits
Zero Gap founder and women’s leadership advocate Jacqueline V. Twillie said Biles, “has demonstrated the power of knowing your limits; as a peak performer, she can raise the bar and has a reputation for setting new records. Yet, even with her success, she doesn’t allow her ego to stand in the way of the team’s potential.

“By stepping aside [from earlier contests at the Tokyo Olympics], Simone provided an opportunity for teammates to step into the spotlight. Her insight into managing her mindset teaches leaders to step aside and step back in despite any external noise. Leaders can take a page from Simone’s book, block out the noise, and make difficult decisions for the greater good,” Twillie said.

Empathize And Connect
Career coach Michelle Enjoli said, “The biggest leadership lessons that Simone Biles is providing business executives at the Tokyo Olympics centers around empathy and connectivity. Successful leaders are people centered and develop a connection with the people whom they lead.

“Connected leadership is one where business leaders remain present and engaged. In Simone’s case, it can be hard to disconnect and expect her to be at the top of her game mentally and physically and just win.

“As humans, that is not always possible and therefore the need for empathy and connection is essential. The ability to actively listen, engage in open dialogue and have hard conversations are all great lessons that business leaders should focus on in their businesses. When overlooked, that disconnect can lead to undesirable consequences like a long-term decline in productivity, creativity, engagement and employee retention,” she counseled.

Prioritize Mental Health
Jenny Dearborn is the chief people officer at Klaviyo and former chief talent officer at SAP. She said, “Companies need to take a lesson from Biles and realize that mental health should be top of mind. There’s been a huge focus on the “great resignation” caused by Covid, but what employers fail to realize is that employees are resigning not because they are unhappy with their jobs, but because they are experiencing post-Covid PTSD, This response puts a spotlight on mental health and the therapy that we need collectively as a society due to Covid.

“The best employers are the ones that give their employees mental space and resources to deal with this unprocessed trauma. Employers need to be checking in with people frequently, ramping up mental health services, hiring HR business partners and putting them through training to recognize symptoms of mental health burnout and workforce PTSD.”


In Kansas City, A Glimpse Of The True Future Of Business

A record number of people quit their jobs in May, 3.6 million, following the 4 million who walked out in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many are launching businesses, or considering it.

Who are these New Builders and what motivates them, in this mid-pandemic era? On a recent visit to Kansas City to speak at the Chamber of Commerce, I met three who look far different than the billionaire amateur astronauts dominating the headlines lately.

Two of the business owners I met launched in the past year, and the other in the last recession. Recessions often give people the unexpected energy to launch: If life is topsy-turvy, why not ride some of those waves to your next phase?

On a walk around the city, I also saw evidence of the economic energy of 100 years go, which bears some similarity to our own time (and it’s not just that this summer’s hedonism invites comparisons to the Roaring Twenties).

Civic Saint
Entrepreneurs across America look a lot more like Godfrey Riddle, Jennifer Hart and Elaina Paige than Jeff Bezos, or even the rising generation of SPAC millionaires. (I’m deliberately retaking the word entrepreneur to include small businesses, in part because reserving the word entrepreneur for white men at the head of tech companies has been one more tool for keeping women and people of color out of the circles of power.)

Riddle, a black man, is typical of the rising generation of Millennial entrepreneurs, who are motivated by the idea of making an impact in the world. Affluent Millennials have already changed the investment market by putting money into what are called ESG investments, which seek a double bottom-line return, profit and impact. In fact, 87% of Millennials believe that “the success of business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance,” according to a 2019 survey by Fidelity Charitable.

Riddle launched Civic Saint, a fledgling fashion brand, in October 2020. When he was a kid, his family lost a house to foreclosure.

“I didn’t understand it,” he said. “Why would a business be taking something away from a kid who needed it, meaning a house?”

He remembered the sense of confusion over the years, and wondered about how businesses could be structured so that they helped build communities, not structured so they disenfranchised people.

Riddle went on to a career as a fundraiser for nonprofits. But then a few things happened that told him to quit waiting. He was diagnosed with cancer, and he lost both his mom and dad. Then George Floyd’s murder happened. He took all that grief and energy and launched Civic Saint, whose messages of solidarity resonate in a city where gun violence is surging. Some of his T shirts read: “#BLM,” “human,” and “persist.”

On my walk around Kansas City, I passed a storefront called Do Good Co., which sells some of Civic Saint’s wares. Riddle is not the only entrepreneur thinking about how to combine a sustainable business with a thoughtful impact – and, like entrepreneurs of generations ago, he kept his day job while he launched his company. His business is already breaking even.

Hartline Construction
I arrived in Kansas City, of course, via the airport, the center of a planned construction project which seemed to be a sore point for pretty much every Kansas Citian I met. The tiny international airport is easy to navigate now, but Kansas City has been growing in stature – it’s giving St. Louis a run for its money as the capital of the Southern Midwest. That means an expansion is in the works that will consume the easy parking.

Meanwhile, the company that won a bid for some of the work is a female led construction firm, Hartline Construction, which was founded during the last recession.

Jennifer Hart lost her job as an architect, and in a process familiar to many women, had to reinvent herself, quickly. Construction companies were still working: there was her answer.

Today, she is driven in part by the idea that she has built a company that employs people with good, stable jobs. Talking to her reminded me of speaking with Meribeth Franklin: During the pandemic, women business owners I spoke to were motivated to keep their companies going to care for their employees.

“Do your research and educate yourself, and move forward,” she advised people starting businesses now. “Keep on Keeping On. Know you and know you can do it. Females and minorities have a few more hurdles, but we can jump those hurdles.”

Next Paige Agency
Elaina Paige, also launched this year, in the middle of the pandemic. A professional dancer who had, among other things, danced with Beyonce on tour, she returned to Kansas City and spied an opportunity. The city was home to a burgeoning arts scene, but there was no professional talent agency for visual and performing artists.

As of last month, her 11-employee firm had already signed 50 artists to represent through her Next Paige Agency, and is launching classes and more services soon. She told me that she saw her business when she was a kid, just like Riddle did.

She received a $50,000 grant from a nonprofit called Kansas City GIFT to help in her mission, which includes putting Kansas City even more on the map as a center of the arts.

Why did she come back to Kansas City, and why is she staying? “The best way I can say it, is that home is where the heart is,” she said.

What’s the lesson in these entrepreneurs? Starting a business is hard – maybe harder than you realize – and you have to realize what motivates you. The image in the media would tell you that profit and power are the only acceptable motivations for an entrepreneur. The real picture is much more complicated, and personal – but if you’re going to succeed, you need to know yourself well enough to keep going.

Twilight Of The Giants
Kansas City is also home to two huge privately held enterprises that grew up, not coincidentally, in the early part of the last century: Hallmark and Tension Envelope. My walk through Kansas City’s arts district brought me into the shadow of the Tension Envelope sign atop an old manufacturing building.

Those two companies rode another similar wave in U.S. history: after the turn of the century saw huge technological innovations that established new networks and connected people – think the telephone, lightbulb and car – the next few decades saw both the commercialization of those inventions, and social changes that grew out of new connections and relationships.

By the early 20th century, the trust busters were moving to break up giants like Standard Oil. But it wasn’t only size that turned the government on John. D. Rockefeller.

Rockefeller’s enormity put him in the spotlight, and then, his treatment of employees and fellow businesspeople showed him to be out of touch with new social norms and ideas of equality. In fact, it was a woman journalist, Ida Tarbell, who helped the breakup along with her stellar reporting about – not to put to fine a point on it – what a jerk he was.

A cursory look at Hallmark and Tension Envelope show that they’ve grown and thrived by staying deeply connected to Kansas City. Hallmark, for instance, has an innovation center where it supports local entrepreneurs. The family that owns Tension Envelope produced one of the city’s mayors.

Rockefeller eventually became a dinosaur – albeit an ultrawealthy one — because he grew disconnected from the people around him . If you look at what’s really going on in entrepreneurial cities across the country, where the rising generation is more connected than ever before, today’s ruthless profit-seekers and gamifiers start to look like fossils, too.


Young employees feel forgotten by bosses

Young workers are feeling isolated after spending 18 months working from home due a lack of communication with their employers.

A new report from software company Advanced found one in four employees aged between 18 and 24 have been working in their bedroom while living at home or isolating in a flat or house share with strangers.

These young employees reportedly feel let down by the lack of time their employer has spent checking in on them, as just 37% have had regular check-ins from their boss since working remotely.

The pandemics impact on young people:

COVID causing career lockdown for young people

COVID impacts ambition of disadvantaged young people

Coronavirus pandemic widens graduate inequalities

Alex Arundale, chief people officer at Advanced, said employers need to be more considerate of how their young employees have been working during the pandemic.

She told HR magazine: “While it will be some time before we understand the true cost of the pandemic on young people, HR teams have a responsibility to find out exactly how the pandemic is affecting the budding careers of young employees.

“This means actively listening and responding to their concerns, and then working together to address them by putting in place the right structures, processes and tools.”

Each person is different so their needs will be too, said Arundale.

“HR teams will therefore need to listen and support young people on an individual basis.

“Some young workers, for example, will want to communicate with their boss and their colleagues more frequently than others, especially if they are continuing to work in isolation at home,” she said.

According to the report, 44% of 18–24-year-olds are looking forward to returning to the workplace, compared to 19% for over 25’s.

Over half (60%) cited social interaction as the main reason for wanting to return to the office.

For those who haven’t returned to the office yet, Arundale said team chats are a useful tool to stay in contact with younger members of your teams, as are virtual happy hours and team lunches.

She advised: “Buddying up is also invaluable so that young people working remotely, especially those starting their first ever job, have a dedicated person to coach, guide and support them during what is a very testing time.”

Arundale added HR teams play a vital role in noticing how workers deal with stress and signposting them to the right support.

“And it should go without saying, effective mental health strategies and a company culture that normalises mental health issues can help young workers feel supported,” she said.

Advanced’s 2021 Workforce Trends Survey was carried out online by Research Without Barriers between 11 June and 21 June 2021. The sample comprised 1,058 employees working in organisations in the UK with more than 100 employees.

Exclusive: Google Cloud Exec Rob Enslin Talks Neurodiversity In The Workforce And How The Autism Career Program Seeks Top Talent

Update 7/27: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Shar Bacchus was part of the Autism Career Program and is a Technical Program Manager at Google. They actually are part of Google’s Disabled Leadership Advisory Board (DLAB).

Google on Monday announced in a blog post the launch of what it calls the Google Cloud Autism Career Program. The Bay Area-based tech titan said it’s designed to “hire and support more autistic talent in the rapidly growing cloud industry.”

This effort by Google is the latest in an ever-growing trend, spearheaded by organizations big and small, to amplify the worthiness of disabled people in the workforce and their potential impact on myriad industries. Companies like Ablr and The Ability People have made it their mission to get employers to be more mindful and inclusive of disabled people when it comes to hiring. In a society where disabled people are widely viewed as incapable of making meaningful contributions to the economy—there’s the ableism monster rearing its ugly head yet again—the technology industry can serve as a prime example of the opposing perspective. To wit, it is the unique, lived experiences of disabled people that make products from Apple, Google, and others as good as they are—they are literally built for everyone by everyone.


Even the mainstream media is taking notice of the neurodiverse community in the job market. The venerable 60 Minutes news show recently aired a story in which co-host Anderson Cooper interviewed six autistic people from across the autism spectrum about what it’s like not only to work but to find it and maintain it successfully.

The Autism Career Program is the result of a collaborative effort between Google and the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, itself a part of the university’s School of Medicine, to develop the initiative. The school’s goal with the Project is to consult with and advise employers across the cloud computing industry on hiring potential workers from the neurodiverse community, and show how to make these employees’ careers a success. For its part, Google sees tremendous opportunity in funneling autistic people into the burgeoning cloud computing landscape. There are many ways they can excel.

The Great Resignation: Why Employees Don’t Want To Go Back To The Office
U.K. Government’s National Disability Strategy Receives Lukewarm Response
Shante Broadus Is The Latest “Boss Lady” To Help Narrow The Gender Gap In The Music Industry
“One key pillar of our pilot program is to train up to 500 Google Cloud managers and others who are involved in hiring processes. Our goal is to empower these Googlers to work effectively and empathetically with autistic candidates and ensure Google’s onboarding processes are accessible and equitable,” wrote Rob Enslin, President of Global Customer Operations for Google Cloud, in the company’s announcement. “Stanford will also provide coaching to applicants, as well as ongoing support for them, their teammates and managers once they join the Google Cloud team.”

Enslin added Google is using the new program to “break down the barriers that autistic candidates most often face.” In addition to bias, Enslin explained the typical job interview process often puts an autistic applicant at a disadvantage because there are no accommodations—such as extending the interview time or answering questions in a Google Doc rather than verbally over the phone—with which the candidate can use to showcase their strengths. More often than not, they end up succumbing to their weaknesses exploited by how conventional job interviews are set up and managed.

In an exclusive interview with me conducted over email, Enslin said Google’s impetus for working on the Autism Career Program was influenced by two factors. First, as Enslin alluded to in the blog post, Google sees the neurodiverse community as a veritable treasure trove of talent largely untapped. The second factor is inextricably tied to the first: the cloud computing industry is an area of the tech sector that’s growing rapidly, and the demand for talent is commiserate with said fast growth.

“There is an incredible opportunity within the technology industry for individuals from all backgrounds, and we’re eager to open more doors through our program,” Enslin said.

Enslin explained how the cloud computing industry is an ideal environment for attracting top talent—particularly autistic talent. From sales to customer support to data science to engineering and more, there is an abundance of opportunity for hungry tech workers wanting work. Google believes autistic people can be successful doing anything in the organization; Enslin was confident in saying that because, as he told me, “they’re already here making critical contributions.” There are numerous Googlers, as employees are colloquially known, who identify as disabled and work on making Google’s products more accessible. It’s similar elsewhere in tech as well.

The bullishness with which Enslin and Google regard the contributions from those in the neurodiverse community stems from an institutional belief they can train hiring managers and other leaders to embrace disabled workers’ skills. In reality, however, the Autism Career Program is a microcosm of Google’s philosophy on diversity and inclusion vis-a-vis disability. As Enslin put it: “Google is incredibly proud to create a workplace for all individuals. While this program [the Autism Career Program] is just one example of Google Cloud’s commitment to inclusion, it is an important one,” he said. “With a team that is more representative of the diverse customers we serve, we will also create better products, services and experiences for our customers.”

When asked what feedback on the Autism Career Program has been like, Enslin demurred. He instead offered a quote from Shar Bacchus, who serves on Google’s internal Disabled Leadership Advisory Board (DLAB).

“Responses to neurodiversity programs at work are as varied as the number of neurodiverse candidates and employees participating in them; there’s no single answer that covers everyone’s perspective. But I personally am excited that I work for a large company that’s constantly learning to recognize and appreciate neurodiversity in its workforce; solicits my opinions and is building processes to address my needs,” Bacchus said in a statement. “I’m also excited about the work still ahead of us in appreciating and integrating neurodiversity, at Google, and across the globe.”

As for what the future may hold for the Autism Career Program, Enslin said it’s early days yet so the primary focus currently is to ensure the launch is going well. He added he is pleased with how things are going thus far. He said Google will monitor its progression and continue to check in with Stanford to “identify the most effective and sustainable way to scale the program while preserving the qualities that we hope make it successful in the first place.” Moreover, Enslin reiterated the company’s stance on uplifting the disability community, saying “we remain committed to supporting the hiring of people with disabilities more broadly through our accommodations process in interviews and partnership with organizations like Disability:IN and Ability Jobs.”


Are You Living Life By A Question?

Have you ever wondered how you could transform your life for the better if you let the magic of you lead you through a less travelled path of life?

Did you know that Neil Armstrong—the first person to walk on the moon had an option to attend MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)? Who would refuse this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? This naval aviator did.

After watching a football game, he chose to study at Purdue University instead. That decision changed the course of his life and eventually that of history. Had he followed the predictable route, he might never have become the legend he is.

Let’s talk about another bold risk-taker—Sarah Blakely, the self-made American billionaire. The founder of Spanx had saved 5,000 dollars from selling fax machines door-to-door. She used all of it to start Spanx. What if she hadn’t followed her intuition? What if she hadn’t taken this risk? The women’s fashion industry would be completely different.

Predictable routes are steps you should take. The choices made to appease others or to follow a standard lifestyle such as attending university, choosing a job that will pay your bills, getting married, having kids… You buy the right clothes to impress your “friends.” You buy a house in a certain neighborhood. You drive a car that others will admire. All of these choices should secure your future.

Melinda French Gates And MacKenzie Scott Award $40 Million To The Winners Of The Equality Can’t Wait Challenge
Best Advice From Founders On How To Start A Business That Makes An Impact
With An $80 Million Series C, Elvie Founder Tania Boler Looks To Take Her Breast Pump Company From Cult Favorite To Mass Market
They should cement your status in a certain group and yet, you don’t always feel fulfilled. Why is that? Because you are living a life based on decisions, judgments, calculations and conclusions.

What would it be like instead to be living life by a question?

The Audacity of Asking Questions
The power of a question resides in its potential to open up a myriad of possibilities you can explore. For example, when you ask yourself, “If I choose this job or project now, what will my life be like five years from now? Will it offer me more possibilities to choose from, add more value to my life, and permit me to be a greater contribution to the world?” Wait for a moment to receive the answer and notice what comes to you. Note the energy in your body. What does it communicate? How do you feel when you think of that possible future?

The millisecond after you ask a question, if you feel light and expansive, happy and enthusiastic; if there is an inner smile in you, know that you are in alignment with your true self. If you feel down or heavy, a bit sad or stuck, know that this option will demand you to betray your core being.

It may be a high-paying, excellent job offer but it may suck the light and life out of you. Ask yourself, “Is reaching that destination so important to me? Is it all about that end result? What about the arduous journey I will have to endure until I reach my target? Is it really worth it?”

Intellect and Intuition
At this point, there will always be a tussle between intellect and intuition. The job of the mind is to ensure you are safe. In most cases, we have assigned it that responsibility. Therefore, the mind will deter you from following your heart’s calling.

Intuition always follows bliss. That is why when you abide by it, you experience an unexplainable joy and contentment. How do you decide which path to choose? You simply tap into the uniqueness of you. How do you do that? Ask a question.

Lucid Living
As per recorded history, the total number of human beings that have ever lived (and are living) on this planet until now is over 100 billion! No one life has ever been the same as another. This means there are over 100 billion unique stories to discover.

You have developed distinct talents in this lifetime. It is time to unveil your hidden treasures. Choose a path that will allow you to exercise your uniqueness and make a difference in the world, and to the world. You are 1 in over 100 billion! That is how unique you are. Your story in this tapestry of human history needs to be told. Don’t squander the miracle of you in the name of a standard existence!

Each day when you awaken, take a few deep breaths. This will calm your mind. Then, ask yourself – “How can I be the best version of me today?” Sit with this question for a few minutes. Don’t rush to get an answer.

If a reply does not seem to come your way immediately, or if you’re not sure how you should interpret the response, don’t worry. Know that the universe will present you situations throughout the day whereby you can demonstrate the best version of you.

Allow Yourself to Be
Another powerful aspect of living by asking questions, rather than living through conclusions, is living in allowance.

Allowance permits you to see things from a fresh perspective, without any judgment or obligation to do anything. You will therefore invite more opportunities. It opens doorways to unforeseen futures. If certain aspects of your life seem different, it may signal the birth of a new creation that you hadn’t planned or anticipated. If you allow yourself to take that path (instead of your predictable one) there’s no telling where you might end up. By following your intuition, and overcoming the primal fear of taking risks, you will change your life and perhaps even leave an indelible imprint on the world.

When you lead an authentic life, following your true calling, you are constantly in a state of bliss. Instead of bringing out the worst in you, your struggles make you stronger. When you arrive in a place of inner peace, when you are content and healthy, you are a contribution to yourself and to everyone and everything around you.

Conventional wisdom dictates that people who concentrate on themselves are selfish, but that is not necessarily true. Even the unabashed optimist/altruist who cares more for others than she does for herself, who’s always there to listen and give support, money, her time and energy, will eventually need to recharge, refuel and reassess. If you understand the energy dynamic and heed what your personal energy is communicating to you, you can continue to give without depleting your own resources. Nourish your life, your needs, and you will be able to give even more.

Louise Hay, the renowned author and founder of Hay House, a leading publishing house, once said: “Should is a word that makes a prisoner of me. Every time I say ‘should,’ I am making myself wrong, or I am making someone else wrong. In effect, I am saying I am not good enough.”

Living life from a perspective of how it should be led—choosing those standardized paths and probable outcomes is the route most people take. Having led miserable, uneventful or unfulfilling lives, most regret not having followed their dreams and passions. Many wish they could turn back the clock to alter the trajectory of their lives. Time travel is still science fiction, however it is never too late to start leading an authentic life—you can still live every moment in the realm of possibilities rather than foregone conclusions.

No matter where you are in the journey of your life, press the pause button. Ask yourself, “Am I the best me I can be?” If the answer is no, take baby steps to alter your course. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to evaluate your choices based on your own happiness.


A conversation on organizational trust with Punit Renjen

Professor Sandra Sucher and research associate Shalene Gupta study trust at Harvard Business School and are the authors of the upcoming book The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain It. They sat down with Punit Renjen, Deloitte Global CEO, to have a candid conversation on the power of trust and how leading organizations build, measure, and nurture trust.

Sandra Sucher: We so appreciate your time to sit down and have this honest conversation. To start, what was a personal moment in your life when you recognized the importance of trust?

Learn more
Explore the Future of Trust collection
Learn about Deloitte’s services
Go straight to smart. Get the Deloitte Insights app
Punit Renjen: Thank you, Sandra. Trust is a topic with deep resonance for me on both a personal and professional level. We often take trust for granted until it’s shaken or even lost, and then we quickly come to understand its critical role in any relationship. One experience that stands out for me is from 1994, the year I was being considered for partnership in Deloitte. I’d been with the firm in the US for eight or nine years, but I needed to take a break. In the 1990s, the concept of sabbaticals and work-life balance were not as widely accepted as they are today. I made my case to the managing partner for the region.
He agreed to do it. I trusted him; we didn’t set it down in writing. But it was both a professional and personal risk in the sense that I trusted him that I could come back and pick up where I left off. And he trusted me to come back. Trust needs to be mutual for effective relationships. Many people said that I was out of my mind to do it. But I returned refreshed and refocused and was accepted into the partnership in 1996.
Sucher: Why did you decide to make trust a major initiative at Deloitte?

Renjen: In recent years, the concept of trust has been strained. The challenges facing society—a global pandemic, the climate crisis, social and political upheaval, and inequality—are happening at a time when there is a significant trust deficit, and in large part because of it. The implicit social contract between institutions and individuals has frayed. And we’ve seen the results firsthand. If we don’t have a reliable way of calibrating and measuring trust, we will be further adrift.
Deloitte saw the need for a tangible and pragmatic approach to assessing and improving levels of trust for organizations. We developed a way to measure and manage trust across a wide range of stakeholders, including customers, employees, shareholders, and regulators, among others. What really started to crystallize our thinking was that trust is something very tangible, and we and other organizations need to be explicit and proactive in managing trust. So we researched and analyzed this topic deeply and came up with a comprehensive approach, methodology, and, most importantly, a trust measurement and insights platform, to help our own organization and clients quantify and understand where they stand in terms of trust across all stakeholders.
Shalene Gupta: In our research, we have certainly seen that play out. In the book, we examine some high-profile cases such as Uber and Boeing, as well as some lesser-known cases, where organizational leadership were not made aware of the early indicators [that] they were on the path to losing trust. There is a paragraph in our book where we assert that “a breach of trust involves much more than the risk of bad publicity. It can be an open invitation for clients to switch to another brand, employees to leave, investors to pull their funds, and governments to slap down sanctions, and it can lead to your company’s demise.”1 And while it says trust once lost can be recovered, the consequences during the time it takes to recover can be enormous—up to 56% of market capital loss.2
Sucher: I agree. In addition, we have learned a lot in our research to demonstrate that trust is not a vague feeling that needs to be guarded, but one that spurs performance and can make an organization better: Teams that trust their leaders perform better. In a study of a global hotel chain, 6,500 employees rated their trust in their managers from 1 to 5. A one-eighth point increase in trust on this rating scale was correlated with a 2.5% increase in revenue.3 One study found that trustworthy companies outperform low-trust companies by 2.5 times;4 meanwhile, 85% of stakeholders report they are more likely to sever their relationship with a company that suffers a negative trust event.5

Gupta: Deloitte is a huge organization spread over multiple countries with multiple initiatives. How do you scale trust across the organization?

Renjen: We have principles based on accountability and responsibility. If there’s no clear accountability, then everybody’s responsible, which means nobody’s responsible. It’s a simple but effective management principle.

The second element is clarity. In terms of what needs to be accomplished, how, by when, and with specific measures of impact.
The third element is communication, frequently and transparently. Communicating with stakeholders isn’t always easy; in fact, it can be very challenging at times. But frequent and transparent communications is a tool for building trust. Organizations must be accessible and transparent with their customers, employees, investors, and other important stakeholders. If something uncomfortable needs to be addressed, move with speed, call it out, and lean into it with courage. Wishing away the issues or deflecting them are surefire ways of losing trust. This is business, and it’s imperfect—people understand that, but when you are evasive, trust is lost.
I also believe organizations need to pay attention to their incentive and reward structure and what they measure. The wrong construct can lead to the wrong behavior.

Ultimately, however, it always ties back to our purpose of creating tangible impact for clients, for our people, and for the communities in which we live and work. We are centered on intent and competence as our core trust enablers. Our purpose and values are embedded in everything we do.

Sucher: What ingredients does Deloitte have that help it become a trusted organization?

Renjen: Our recipe isn’t complex, but it requires you to always use all the ingredients. First, we hire the right type of individuals—those who share our values. Next, we enculturate them. Deloitte operates in many countries with different customs and traditions. However, our people are governed in their professional lives by a common purpose and shared values around the world, centered on integrity and high ethical standards. Do we get it right 100% of the time? No, but when we do make a mistake, we respond quickly. We think our recipe has worked well—our 175-year heritage as an organization attests to that.

As we have discussed, trust for an organization can and should be measured and managed. But it’s one thing to measure trust; it’s another to actually act on what you measure. Clients who have used metrics indicate that leaders respond to results differently. Some shy away from them, while others embrace them as cues for course correction. Deloitte has developed a process that includes taking clients to unique collaboration spaces to creatively brainstorm solutions. This helps clients understand trust measures and creates a clear path from insights to actions.

Sucher: How do you think about yourself as a leader? A lot of the research we’re doing shows that who a leader is shapes how they build trust.

Renjen: I think the framework that you and Shalene laid out in your book is a great way to define trust. We have also defined trust in a way that allows organizations to act on it. Fundamentally, people’s trust in an organization is based on their assessment of that organization’s competence and intent. We have been using this to think about our programs at Deloitte—from impacting climate change, to helping communities rebuild in the wake of COVID-19, to our own purpose-driven initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion. It’s critical that we marshal the full impact of these investments in a way that authentically conveys what we stand for and what we have accomplished.
Gupta: Thank you, Punit. Let me briefly expand on the thinking that went into our framework.
First is competence. Competence is an organization’s ability to deliver a product or a service that fills a need. This is the basic requirement for building other types of trust. According to a University of Notre Dame study on trust between vendors and buyers, trust in a vendor’s expertise and reliability—their competence—was essential for building the more affective parts of trust, such as trust in a vendor’s motives.6 However, competence can only take a company so far.

Customers also care about an organization’s motives: a belief that organizations will do what is good for their stakeholders, or at the very least try to minimize any potential harm. We expect when we buy a product or a service that it will live up to its promise, and that the company that sold it to us will not actively try to harm us and will take a reasonable amount of care to ensure our well-being. We cannot police each and everything a company does, so in order to engage with a company, we have to generally trust that they have good motives and do not intend to hurt us.

The next element of trust is means: our assessment of how fairly an organization acts to accomplish its goals. Companies that are trusted to act fairly are given more leeway, while companies that aren’t are scrutinized. In 2008, senior managers at Nokia were celebrating 67% increase in profits, yet they knew, thanks to increasing labor costs and competition, they would need to close their Bochum plant in Germany, laying off 2,300 employees. The move was widely perceived as unfair, and the outrage was so great the public boycotted Nokia products.7 Yet, in 2011 to 2012, Nokia created an innovative approach to managing a vast restructuring. As a result, employees stayed on their jobs until the end, and 60% of 18,000 employees across 13 countries knew their next step the day they left the firm.8 The program was recognized by the Finnish government as a best practice in restructuring.

Finally, impact. If we don’t believe a company’s actions will have a positive effect on our lives, we will work to limit its power. Consider the case studies we have cited. If an organization doesn’t make good on its stated purpose or mission, then that’s a case of lost trust, which can often be a major misstep for an organization that has the right intent but fails to follow through on impact.

Renjen: That’s a great way of thinking about building trust for an organization. Certainly, there are several parallels between your thinking and how we have defined trust in the context of the enterprise. I also have a few observations from my personal experience. I believe that what we do in our professional lives defines a lot of who we are. I’ve spent 35 years with Deloitte and will finish my career here. I am proud of the organization that has been built on a foundation of trust, purpose, diversity, and inclusion. I want to look at myself in the mirror and say, I had a hand in creating that. That’s guided the way I have approached my career and the person I am today.

Sucher: Where should organizations begin now to strengthen trust within their stakeholders and build that trust equity?

Renjen: Trust begins with communication. Companies can take steps to get ahead of a trust crisis through transparency, understanding, and listening. Most companies do a pretty good job of articulating the things they’re doing, and why, but they don’t always do a good job of sharing what they aren’t doing, and why. This communication void can raise questions and concerns for investors and other stakeholders.

Should a crisis occur, CEOs often get mired in issues of potential legal liability, sometimes losing sight of reputational exposure; there needs to be a balance between the two. To be certain, a CEO has fiduciary responsibility to protect the financial health of an organization, but he or she also needs to foster an atmosphere of integrity, truthfulness, and realism. They need to hold firm on the issues that define them and the organization.

Sucher and Gupta: Thank you for your candid insights. As trust researchers, we are so glad to collaborate with an organization that has this kind of commitment to trust. During the past year, we’ve dealt with a pandemic, social and political unrest, and widespread economic crisis. At heart lies a deeper question: Who can we trust? Trust is a relationship in which we are vulnerable to others’ actions—a relationship in which we are not just relying on the other party to do what we want; we are trusting them to do what we want and not hurt us in the process.


Strategic Business Growth: Now Is the Time to Think Like a Startup

Strategic Business Growth: Now Is the Time to Think Like a Startup
chalkboard what do you want to change for strategic business growth
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

I’ve said on more than one occasion that organizations are very focused on economic recovery right now. And I still believe that’s true. So, I was particularly interested to hear how companies were reporting on their financial progress during Q2 earnings calls.

Organizations that want to focus on business growth right now need to think about how they are going to build (or possibly change to) a supporting organizational structure.

One of the companies that caught my attention was Pepsi. Their quarterly revenue rose more than 20% from a year earlier. What struck me was a quote from their CFO Hugh Johnston. “A lot of the things we did through the pandemic, continuing to invest in the business, are paying dividends now that mobility has increased, and consumers are getting out more.”

I’m not here today to debate about Pepsi as a product. But I do believe that Johnston’s comment about strategic business growth is important. It reminded me of something that I read in ChartHop’s “Guide to Intentional Growth” about laying the groundwork for business success. Organizations have an opportunity where their business growth is concerned. I say “have” because I believe it’s not too late. But it does take planning.

Build a Supporting Organizational Structure
One of the reasons that I titled today’s article “think like a startup” is because organizations have a terrific opportunity right now to make some of the changes they’ve always wanted to make. It kinda reminds me of a startup.

A startup organization doesn’t have much structure at first. As time goes on, they add staff, and even then, they still might not have much of an org chart. But after a while, a natural order starts to fall into place – both in terms of organizational structure as well as individual roles and responsibilities. Certain employees will accept ownership of tasks, like the office manager who starts keeping track of everyone’s vacation time.

Groups or teams of employees will start collaborating because they see the value in each other’s talents – for example, marketing and HR will work together on company branding initiatives. And employees will ask other individuals with more experience for guidance or approvals. This might happen when someone needs a new computer – the employee, accounting, and IT will work together to make sure the right equipment is purchased (and paid for!)

Now, don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t all miraculously appear one day in a startup. And sometimes employees need a little nudge in the right direction (if you know what I mean). My point is this – one of the reasons we hear about startups being successful is because they are flexible and agile. They don’t let years of history keep them from creating change. In fact, they embrace change as a way to move forward. They create their strategic business growth strategies and then build the organization to support them.

Unfortunately, there are organizations that sometimes make the mistake of building the organization and then their business growth strategy. You’ve probably seen it too. It can be difficult for these organizations to get out of their own way and, like I said … think like a startup to create necessary change.

Organizations that want to focus on business growth right now need to think about how they are going to build (or possibly change to) a supporting organizational structure.

Seeing the Plan Can Help You Achieve It
Recently, I had the opportunity to hear about ChartHop and their story. ChartHop is a company that’s helping organizations achieve their business growth strategies by providing employee data visualization tools. One of the features that ChartHop provides – that’s very relevant to our conversation about business growth – is the ability to create workforce planning scenarios using the employee data from your existing HR Information System (HRIS).

This is exactly how workforce planning aligns with and benefits the company’s business growth. Organizations create strategic plans and then they need to find the people to help them achieve those goals.

ChartHop Logo
Realistically, there’s more than one way to accomplish that. From a talent perspective, organizations can buy, build, and/or borrow talent. They can plan multiple scenarios using a variety of combinations. What I liked about the ChartHop platform is that the organization could easily create, edit, and change their workforce plan based on their strategic goals and assumptions. The data visualization would allow the company’s talent strategy to be as agile as changing business conditions dictate. The results could be huge in terms of HR’s ability to source, hire, and engage the best talent – which we all know is a priority.

The Key to Business Growth is People
Organizations have an opportunity to create competitive advantage. Like the Pepsi quote mentioned at the beginning of this article, it requires investments and planning. A big part of the investment and planning piece is related to talent.