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Bridging Talent and Business

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Bridging Talent and Business

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At IBM Connect, in the Netherlands, I had the change to listen to a presentation by IBM’s Laurent Boes. He should have gotten more time, but that’s just my opinion. His topic; Smarter Workforce. One slide, or more a summary, just made so much sense that I want to share it with you.

HR, front and centre

If we accept that unleashing your workforce is pivotal to the success of a Social Business, than we have to accept that HR plays a big part in this. This, however, is not about recruiting, but about assessing what we have (top employees) and how we can have their performance rub off on other employees.

And yes, arguments can be made whether HR is still a valid department.

AMC Theaters

A short example. As a case Laurent uses AMC Theaters and their interpretation of the information below. AMC found that the most valuable employee, the human who contributed the most to the net profit of the company, was the popcorn seller. By identifying and acknowledging this, they were able to train other popcorn sellers and new popcorn sellers and raise their revenue by 1.2% per customer.

Just imagine what effect that has on profit when added up over their 378 venues. Here’s a hint: millions.

The list, or workflow, then:

What job role has the biggest impact on the business

Depending on the size of your company, this might be quite a task. Of course, there are some roles easily eliminated, but you really should consider all.
It just might happen the mail intern does such a marvellous job that the impact on the company is confounding.

Be thorough in finding this role.

Why are great people great

When you’ve found the role, there’ll be people who do it better than others. This is not to discredit anybody, it’s just that some are more highly motivated than others, and thus, better at their job. Find out what makes them tick, what, exactly, differentiates them from the other.

Make some effort to get to the bottom of this.

Recruit, train and develop to that standard

Once you’ve established, or quantified, the standard, you can replicate it. Really, you can. For starters, you can adjust the hiring criteria to match the standard. Then, with the correct training, your new recruits will fit in better to the standard you’ve established.

The current employees can be trained and their assessments should, over time, reflect the new standard.

From liking to leading

The most successful employees within a company do more than just like their job. In a natural way, they tend to lead by example, simply because they do the job as well as possible.

That’s where you want to end up.

Innovate, transform, create

The consequence of this all is that employees are trained into a certain mindset. This mindset was unobtainable before it was quantified. This helps with changing the mindset and the philosophy of the whole company.

Over time, the newly hired, together with your champions, will act as trojan mice and will “infect” those employees who are difficult to change.


As with everything, this process takes time. Especially when the goal is to change the whole company. But, with smaller steps, the return can be greater. Focussing on the 20% that make the biggest difference in the company, may provide the biggest yield.

The other 80% will come around.., in time.


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