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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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Clarity & the New England Patriots – what do they have in common?

Written by:  Tim Saumier, CEO

Let me start this conversation by saying I’m not a Patriots fan. In fact, they are considered the enemy to my lowly Miami Dolphins who have brought nothing but disappointment for two decades running. While the Patriots may be the enemy I have an enormous amount of respect for the leadership and their process. patriots5Yes, they’ve been criticized over the years for filming others practices, deflating footballs, etc. but the reality is their leadership has built a culture of excellence for two decades running. I remember when Drew Bledsoe went down in the second game in 2001 with an injury. My first thought was ouch – my second thought was we may have a shot with Bledsoe gone because they are putting in this unknown quarterback drafted in the 6th round from Michigan named Tom Brady. Even after starting the year 0-2, this no-name steps up and carries them to the Super Bowl Championship and the end of the Drew Bledsoe era.

Earlier this year, Brady was suspended for the first four games of the regular season, up steps the #2 quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (who?) and they win their first two games. He gets injured in game two and up steps the #3 quarterback Jacoby Brissett (who?) and they go 1 – 1 with him. Tom Brady comes back in game 5 and wins. Now they are 5-1 and arguably one of the strongest teams in the NFL.

So what is it they have that allows them to keep performing at a high level regardless of injuries, distractions (think Aaron Hernandez), etc.? 

The conversation above is centered around quarterbacks but reality is they’ve had injuries and distractions across the board but for some reason they keep winning. The Pats have 124 wins over the past decade (#1 in the NFL and 20 more than the second team – Indianapolis). It starts with Leadership – Robert Kraft at the helm of the Patriots and his head coach Bill Belichick who joined the Pats in 2000. patriots3These two gentlemen are the clear leaders (not the players). They have established a culture of team first and have put a system in place where average players perform way above their individual capability. Tom Brady is a great quarterback because he plays within the New England Patriots system. Could he play elsewhere? Yes he could but the question is whether he would be as effective. I highly doubt it.

So what is it they have? 1) Clear leadership – Kraft & Belichick 2) Clear Systems & Processes 3) Clear Culture – you join the patriots they don’t join you 4) Clear role definition – everyone has a role to play. Yes they have talent but it’s the talent that fits their culture & their schemes – not the other way around. Corporations talk about talent like it’s the magic recipe to fixing everything. patriots4It doesn’t hurt to have talent on the team but without Clarity of Leadership, Systems, Processes, Culture, & Role Definition, it is pretty hard to be win as a team.

I’d appreciate your thoughts even if you don’t like football.

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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Never Stop Learning

Written by:  Carol Zimmerman, Director of Health Care

There’s a syndicated radio show I listen to in the mornings that, for the last couple of weeks, has been having a “Generation X versus Millennials” contest each morning. The Generation X-er (of which I am firmly in the camp) must answer current event and pop culture questions, while the Millennial has to answer trivia from Generation X’s heyday. It’s amazing to me how knowledge moves forward and we lose information that was once so common. Today’s Millennial didn’t know what the letters VCR meant. VCRAnd I’m sure I don’t know who won an MTV award this year.

Career-wise, it’s imperative that you stay on top of your game. But there’s more to it than that. Sure, you’ve attended conferences and know the latest methods, ideology, and trends. But do you know what events may be affecting your clients and customers? Do you know how to interview in an era where putting on your best attire and showing up 15 minutes early just isn’t necessarily how it’s done these days? Do you know how to produce a quality resume and then get it out there? This Gen-X’er recently had to coach a Millennial on how to forward me their resume from their computer.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

learningMake sure you are taking time to learn new things every day! Read current news or a paperback novel. Look up a place on Google that you’ve never been to and probably never will. But learn just a little something about it. View it on Google Earth. At your favorite restaurant, take time to look up that menu item that you’ve never heard of (tzatziki anyone?). Study up on that latest new electronic gadget, even if you know you will never have a use for it. What does it do? What might it be used for and by whom?

One of my favorite people ever was a highly intelligent international businessperson who never lost his childlike wonder at new gadgets and technology. He wanted to learn it all and was delighted by it all.

Make today the day you start learning something new. Then repeat – every day. We’re never too old and in today’s information and technology age, it has never been easier. You never know when just little tidbits of information will become useful to you in your career.  I encourage your feedback and would like to connect with you on LinkedIn.  You can learn more about me HERE also you can follow me on twitter @CarolZTI as I focus on helping people just like you maximize their career. Learn more about TYGES on our website, 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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