Why Everyone Can’t Be Talented And How Some Organisations Deal With The Opportunity

Given a standard distribution curve, the amount of really talented managers in business is going to be relatively small. The bulge of managers (as opposed to a manager’s bulge) will be around the middle, classified as average. If that point is then scaled up to the business level, and we assume that talent equals upper quartile/decile performance, it follows that most businesses can only expect to perform at the average level. Suddenly clarity emerges as to why most organisations do indeed only perform at the average level, the quality of their management allowing for nothing else. More interestingly, what follows is why some companies consistently out perform their peers; they have altered the distribution of talent across the curve in their favour.

Before looking at how they achieve this we need to nail a modern business canard, one that states that Talent Management can be applied to everybody in an organisation. We are all talented, is like saying we are all special, an excellent premise if we are motivating a group of 5 year olds, or in group therapy, but nonsense when applied in any objective, robust way to a large number of people who just happen to work in the same business.

Talent is rare, but the businesses that do well over time have more talented people in them through better recruitment, retention and development. They outperform the average because they have more above average people working for them. These organisations invest in their talented (high performing) people dis-proportionally i.e. they devote more money (time, training, development) to this group, per person than other groups. How do they do this without simply throwing money around or creating a cohort of arrogant, high maintenance, unfireable mavericks? By applying these resources within an organisational context that creates (aspirational) meaning and purpose for everyone in the organisation. With an effective Vision, real Values and meaningful Goals the organisation gives people something to buy-into, the talented people become role models and exemplars of this purpose, so pulling everyone with them, so raising the ‘average’ threshold.

The opportunity is obvious. Because talent is in limited supply, if you can obtain more of it than standard distribution would imply, you will outperform your competitors.

If you would like to discuss developing a high performance culture, built around increasing the talent odds in your favour please contact us.

What Every Business To Business (B2B) Organisation Is Trying To Achieve

When all the strategies have been written, all the workshops attended, and all the board meetings or management meetings sat through, what all B2B businesses are trying to achieve is the same thing:

  • Organisations what to deliver an enhanced Customer Experience through optimising all interactions – in all integrated dimensions – more cheaply
  • To increase and extend lifetime value by unlocking new opportunities with all relevant customers
  • To increase the number of high quality, profit yielding relationships with new customers.

These three dynamics can be summarised even more succinctly:

…Deeper engagement, with larger numbers, of more profitable customers…

Think about your own strategy, business plan, sales targets or objectives. How clearly and directly do they deliver the above? If not, why not?

Everything Has To Change, Even Rocks

Twelve months ago managers and employees at Northern Rock could not have envisioned the situation they find themselves in this week. Working in an organisation with an aggressive growth strategy, happy customers and confident investors they did feel pressure to perform at ever higher levels, but didn’t expect to become a hot political topic.
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Change happens!

The new reality for Northern Rock managers is that they need to keep a workforce motivated and engaged in a period of turbulence, when redundancies are expected, job roles are in flux and their future is being debated publicly by politicians, journalists and lawyers.

In difficult circumstances people in organisations look to their leaders to provide a clear view of how to proceed. Managers who advise ‘business as usual’ may feel that they’re encouraging calm in troubled times, but the unreality of their vision does not inspire confidence.

People will respond well to uncertainty and change when confidently led in a positive direction. Leaders who can not only cope with the changes they’re faced with, but can provide leadership in ambiguous times are a real asset to organisations.

Reviewing Your Life-Work Balance

As we work our way towards spring, it’s a good time to look at spring-cleaning in our lives. We hear from people at all levels of business that they feel that one of their biggest personal challenges is maintaining a balance between work and home life that works for everyone.
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The reality is that people will not find a balance that works for everyone, and letting go of that unrealistic objective is a huge step towards defining a balance for the person that really matter in the life balance question – you.

People worry that they aren’t giving enough time, energy and commitment to work, or to home, or to both because of the demands made upon them by others, or because they simply are not organised enough to fit everything in. This isn’t a problem restricted to the adult workforce – schools are full of students trying to balance academic exams, friendships, pocket money jobs, music grades, sports commitments and family time.

After accepting that not everyone will be happy with your choices, the hard work of creating a sustainable balance begins – deciding on what’s really important to you. This sounds easy, but can prove difficult as deciding what’s truly important in your life also means making decisions about what isn’t as important, and making the choice to let some things go. Creating balance in your life isn’t about making room for everything and everybody.
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This month the Canadian government asked employees in one department not to use their BlackBerry smartphones between 7pm and 7am. The devices have become known as ‘Crackberries’ as some people find it so hard to live without them for even an hour. Whilst for some the 7-7 rule may take pressure off them and give them back the headspace they need in the evenings to devote to other activities, for others, such a rule feels like an intrusion into how they like to clear their mind of work worries by planning each day the evening before.
Gaining a balance that works for you isn’t about top tips for time and device management, it’s about integrating your priorities. Take some time to think about what they are, then take action for a more integrated life.

If your organisation would like to support its employees in developing their own healthy balance, contact us.

Transformational Leadership – Unlocking Leadership Potential Across Your Organisation

Organisations are now in a permanently turbulent change state, the days of the status quo are over. Transformational leadership is the most effective response; it effectively positions you for the future and increases your capacity to deal with the challenges of today. Unfortunately, many organisations are still over-managed and under-led, with no real process for developing leadership potential.

Structured Training’s proprietary leadership model 4SLTM is a practical, scalable tool for really energising your leadership potential. Our 4SLTM programme can be run for a senior management team, a whole level of management or even for every manger in the organisation.

Organisations would benefit from 4SLeadershipTM who are trying to:

  • Increase the performance of the organisation through more effective leadership
  • Create a more self confident management population around their responsibilities as leaders
  • Develop a complete leadership vocabulary for all employees to measure their managers, and their own leadership contribution against
  • Balance operational management responsibilities with being much more effective leaders
  • Create a management cohort which can deliver a much more high-impact, coaching based leadership style
  • Develop increased accountability and ownership within the middle management cohort to enable them to carry through real change within the organisation

What our clients say:

“We have been successfully working with Structured Training for a number of years around a variety of different development needs.

Transformational Leadership is very much part of our strategic agenda as we look to build further on our significant growth over recent years with our exciting strategic plans. Structured Training’s 4SLTM Leadership Model is an excellent tool to connect people with their leadership potential.

Structured Training’s Transformational Leadership Programme has been a real stimulus to this growth and is helping develop our managers into real leaders of the future.” Director – Market Leading FTSE 150, Business Services Company

We’d love to talk to you about how Structured Training could help your organisation. Contact us.