Education and Experience - Specialization and Diversification: Matrix of Multiple Possibilities

An ideal organizational format of a growing organization would offer adequate space for all the four classes of performers, the Mountaineers, the Miners, the Seafarers and the Explorers. Needless to say, diversified companies organized in terms of business units offer much greater space for all the four classes of aspirants. That said, their existence or requirement is also contextual. If an organization chooses to be specialized and narrowly focused, it will need more Mountaineers. If an organization is narrowly focused but needs new ideas to propel turnaround or growth, it will need more Miners. If an organization is in search of a core competence, it will need more Seafarers. If an organization needs diversification, or is already a business conglomerate, it will need to more Explorers.

The above has important implications for strategy formulation and talent management. The debate whether structure or strategy precedes the other has been settled with the validated hypothesis that structure follows strategy. The discussion in this blog post also leads to a debate whether strategy sets the talent needs or talent helps create a sustainable strategy. Potentially, a broad vision for the organization should lead to induction of an appropriate mix of Mountaineers, Miners, Seafarers and Explorers that can develop and execute a required strategy. Young aspirants need to understand that when they choose their unique educational paths and experience pathways, they are not only categorizing themselves into one of the four classes but are also developing into human dynamos that can power organizations in potentially unique ways.

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Team Building: Gross and Subtle

Organizational teambuilding has to be an integral part of the design of organization structure and business process management. Teambuilding has to be also differentiated from competency building. Competent individuals are the fundamental building blocks of effective teams, and the reverse does not necessarily hold good. Certain industries, particularly consulting, information technology and construction industries, have appreciated the need for aligning team building to business process requirements and the benefit of building teams (from a large talent bench on call) in a customized manner for specific clients and specific processes.

Most industries and most companies, however, are unable to build such flexibility into their business processes and organization structure designs. To be effective and competitive, teambuilding has to be cascaded down from vision, strategy and program setting, selecting the right talent for the right jobs. This would require that, if not a whole company, at least entire departments must be open to continuously organizing and reorganizing themselves in project mode. This, in turn, requires that the temptation of managers to hold on to competent executives must be replaced by an openness to lend and borrow talent across the organization. There must be no mobility barriers for bright talent.

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Employee Value Credits: Driving Organizational Transformation

The Employee Value Credit framework recognizes the intrinsic capability of all employees to be creative, collaborative and value adding. It also recognizes that not all ideas are borne equal; nor can they be treated equal. Employee value credit framework recognizes that ideas can be for current business development or could be for future businesses and accordingly provides for the needed flexibility. It rewards intellectual capability of employees at individual level and that of employee entities at aggregate level.

The Employee Value Credit framework provides incentives that are appropriate to individuals through value credit linked compensation and to departments through additional budgetary allocations to implement their plans. Needless to add, the creation of Employee Value Credit Department with an effective leadership will be a key trigger for implementation of this framework. In the overall, the employee value credits framework, when institutionalized, will create an organizational eco-system that is creative, participatory and collaborative for corporate growth.

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