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Key to Avoiding Talent Problems

Written by:  Tim Saumier, CEO

As we begin 2017, I find myself having numerous conversations with clients regarding their talent problems. talent6We did a five part series last year on this subject, here they are Part I, II, III, IV, & V.

Today, I want to focus on a pretty amazing company that understands talent and it has shown up in their financial results year over year for the past couple of decades – Danaher. For the average person, they won’t recognize the Danaher name. It is a publicly traded holding company with a number of different brands/products throughout its portfolio that grew from a small $700 million company in the 90’s to nearly $20 billion in recent years using their “secret sauce” – the DBS (Danaher Business System) which is modeled after the Toyota Production System (TPS) but with many enhancements in my opinion. Last year they split the company in to two companies (Danaher & Fortive) to help focus them in particular areas. Regardless of the split, they will continue forward with the DBS model and it will show up in their performance.

Many articles have been written about Danaher so my intent is not to replicate them but rather I want to focus on what I see as one of their key ingredients to the DBS success – how they handle talent. While this is not the end all be all, this is where I see they have a distinct edge over their peer group of companies as well as the many companies out there trying to emulate/duplicate their DBS model and ultimately their success. Here’s what I’ve seen:

They have a farm system (think baseball) where they consistently hire new college graduates (undergrads and their coveted new MBA graduate program where they recruit from the top 10 programs in the US). talent4Regardless of what’s happening with their market / businesses they’re committed to hiring the brightest & the best and they tend to pay them to the right of the bell curve – meaning they pay well. For the high potential MBA’s, they put them in a rotation program where they garner experience in commercial roles, operational roles, and strategy roles ultimately letting the “cream of the crop” rise to the top and become their GM’s/Presidents.

The key here is they are not necessarily filling open requisitions that were created by someone who left the organization.

They in fact are over hiring to keep building their “bench strength.” Very few companies do this as consistently or well as Danaher. Most companies try to run lean and wait for someone to resign. This is a huge mistake in my opinion because whether you move a person internally or make an external hire there is so much opportunity cost being left on the table due to lost leadership and productivity. This is something that most presidents don’t truly grasp. They get it conceptually but do nothing to build their bench strength. I equate it to orders are flowing in from your customers and you are out of stock – lost opportunity. Something you never get back.

What’s amazing to me is this is all a math equation. Companies have an idea of their turnover % each year, they know the ages of their employees, and they have a projection of the headcount they will need to complete the goals for the year. talent3They can also pretty easily figure out the trends for what types of roles are turning over and build bench around these specific roles. I can tell you the patterns of my clients and I don’t have all their data.

So why am I sharing this today?

To get you to think of talent as a real investment – not a short range transaction. Consider putting together a Sales Operation Planning process around talent and get serious and intentional about finally getting ahead of the game in your talent pipeline. If you have not figured it out, this is only going to get worse for everyone as company tenures are shrinking, loyalty to companies is all but gone, and people are getting recruited out for bigger jobs, bigger titles, and bigger money. If your average turnover was 5% last year, expect it to rise. If you choose to do nothing, expect tough times in the future as you won’t have the talent you need when you need it. It’s time for leaders to step up and do something about talent instead of blaming others. This is a leadership problem to solve.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback. This is one man’s opinion.   You can find me on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @timsaumierTI.  Also, you can learn more about TYGES at www.TYGES.com, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog.

Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.

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Achieve Your Goals with 3 Steps

Written by:  Kraig Ware, VP of Commercial Growth

Why is it that some people just have goals and other’s obtain them?  What if their secret to success is simple?  It is…if you follow these 3 Steps.

Your goal is just a dream or vision if it isn’t written down.  A written goal is like a destination that you want to go to; but, you haven’t been there before.

The power of a writing down your goals is bigger than you think.  warningI read a great book by Tony J. Hughes called The Joshua Principle.  It cited a study from a graduation class that only 3% of students had specific written goals at graduation.  When these graduates were surveyed twenty years later, this minority (3%) made more money than the other 97% combined.

Step One is to write down your goals.  Once that is completed, two things usually happen.  One, the excitement will kick in and you will more than likely jump straight to Step Three and GO or two, you will do nothing at all.  Don’t make these mistakes. To use a driving analogy, let’s say you are in your car and you want to get to a destination that you haven’t been to before.  First, you would obtain a physical address and type it into your GPS or let Siri know where you wanted to go.  To take some words from the group Clash, “Should I STAY or should I GO now?”  What’s your answer:

ANSWER:  STAY

So, your in your car, GPS set…what if you just sit there, engine running, with your car in park?

I realize that this doesn’t make any sense.  But seriously, have you ever had a goal that you didn’t start to do what was necessary to obtain it?  Today? 2017? 2016? 2015? 2014?   If we’re honest with ourselves, it is no different than sitting in a running car, GPS set, and our gear in park.

Everything you need, just no driver.

ANSWER:  GO

Why do so many people veer off the course at this point and fail to obtain their goals?

To keep with the driving analogy.  Now your car is in drive and you are making “progress” toward your destination (written goal).   Once the destination (goal) is set, your GPS or mobile device is ready to give you directions, step by step, to your set destination (goal).
car-shoulderPerhaps, your car is out of line or doesn’t have enough gas…meaning, even though you are trying to drive toward your goal, which is commendable, your car keeps wanting to veer off course or worse yet, run out of gas.  Your car needs a simple alignment and a full tank.  In our case, we might need some time to think things out, create a detailed plan, and get some help, guidance, knowledge, or other resources to keep us from veering off course and stay aligned to our goal(s).  Not only will it take less effort in the long run, it will get you there with less wear-and-tear on your car (you).

OK, so what is the Second Step?

failure-jordan2In my opinion, failure is not a bad thing, at least an effort is being made to get to your goal.  Failure is just one step towards your success.  On top of that, valuable things will be learned along the way.  I believe that we fall short of our goals because we leave out Step Two all to often.

Before you jump in the car and go, you need to do Step Two and ask yourself three questions:  #1 Why?  #2 When?  #3 How?

These three questions are vital as they fuel your passion providing motivation (WHY), set a timeline/deadline (WHEN), and create a well thought out plan and/or establish needs/resources (HOW).

Don’t miss this…Step Two is the hardest and most important step.  

Let’s keep with the driving analogy and set our destination(goal) for a new restaurant we have been wanting to try out.  How could we fail at such a simple goal?  Well…to keep things simple, perhaps you “really” aren’t hungry (WHY), or you missed your reservation time and they’re booked up when you arrive (WHEN), or you left the house without your wallet (HOW).  All three areas (questions) need to be aligned for your goal(s) to be obtained.

These tips will help you on your current journey to obtain your goals.  If you haven’t set your goals just yet, no worries.  The great thing about setting written goals, they can be set at any time.  It doesn’t have to be done when a new year arrives.  If you want to make something better or obtain something great, take these three simple steps:

Step One – Write down your goal(s).

Step Two – Ask yourself/team three questions: Why? When? How?

Step Three – Go!

One last thought…nothing great really happens by accident or is going to show up at your doorstep.  Extraordinary things, take extraordinary people, with extraordinary effort. We are all capable of being extraordinary, it’s a choice.  Bottom line…the secret to success is you.  Good luck!

I encourage your feedback and would like to connect with you on LinkedIn. You can also follow me at twitter @SKraigWare as I focus on striving for excellence within the business world and within our personal lives. Learn more about TYGES at www.TYGES.com, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog at https://reinventingrecruiting.com/

Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.

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