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Talent Reframed: Moving to the Talent Driven Firm

Center for the Edge


This working paper was written by  John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison on the occasion of the planning session of the  Aspen Institute Roundtable on the Talent Driven Firm and was distributed in advance to Roundtable participants .

These days hardly a news cycle goes by without one CEO or another talking about talent:

  • How important talent is to success
  • How worrisome it is that talent is becoming scarce
  • How determined CEOs are to win the race for talent

At the same time rarely a day seems to pass without a newly clipped Dilbert comic strip getting pasted to someone’s cubicle wall. Dilbert is popular not just for the laughs, but because it so effectively captures the stultifying nature of today’s corporate workplaces.

The contrast is striking. On the one hand we have public declarations of love for talent from the top of the organization. On the other hand, skeptical, even cynical messages of unhappiness float up from employees. Ironic, yes—and indicative of a deep problem in how many companies approach and regard their talented workers.

This is not just a U.S. issue — it spans the entire globe. Success in global competition increasingly hinges on the ability of companies and governments to seriously commit to talent development in ways that extend well beyond conventional education and training programs.

Many companies (and countries) focus on the worthy goal of attracting and retaining talent. “Attract and retain” is the mantra governing most of today’s boardroom talent discussions:

  • How do we find and hire the most talented people?
  • What should our recruiting strategy be and how can we more effectively manage the recruiting pipeline?
  • Once talented employees are in the door, how do we offer the best benefit packages?
  • If our talented employees are at risk for leaving, what do we do to keep them?

Download the thought leadership piece below to learn more. Excerpt approved for distribution by the  Aspen Institute.

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