A View from the Top… Owning the Talent Management Agenda is Imperative for Global Business Success
Two separate client presentations were given by a CEO and a COO respectively. Both were as invested, if not more, in managing and developing talent as any of us in a formal talent or HR-type role…
So, this blog is about Senior Leadership, members of the C-suite –the ‘inspired ones’ who understand talent, champion it as a business imperative and are creating an organizational legacy through people, and setting the executive leadership bar high (inside and outside the organization).
In this case the ‘inspired ones’ include:
- Antonio Alsonso Salterain, President and CEO, CBS Outdoor International
- BelénGarijo, COO, Merck Serono SA
- CBS Outdoor International: When thinking about the larger CBS organization, think BIG – contemplate familiar things like Jeopardy, 60 Minutes, David Letterman, CBS Sports Network, cable shows like Dexter, and Nurse Jackie (my favs), and CBS radio. CBS Outdoor specifically impacts the things we see every day: thBillboards around the world. Next up for CBS Outdoor: London ’12 Olympic Outdoor Media – which will be huge! This is premier content with premier distribution. Antonio told us that basically every minute of every day, someone is watching/experiencing CBS. They cover 80% of the world population’s media -- touching the masses with a high degree of influence.
- Merck Serono SA: As a biopharmaceutical leader, Merck Serono develops targeted medicines and delivery devices in the areas of neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s). oncology, fertility, and other areas. Culturally the firm places special importance on responsibility to people. The focus is on transforming people’s lives for the better. As the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, breakthrough solutions are applied to people living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases.
C-Suite Talent Perspectives:
- The CBS Outdoor Talent Perspective includes the following talent values: Committed, Brave, Spirited, On Target and Insightful (literally reflecting CBSOI). Antonio’s role as CEO includes: shareholder management, driving change, integrating management teams (both internal and external) and finally: People Development. He believes the CEO needs to do more than protect the business model – and focus on talent, building the right strategy around it. The CEO needs to be the head of talent management and champion “people initiatives” while protecting the ability to share knowledge among employees. CBSOI views knowledge exchange as a “catalyzer for competitive advantage”.
- The Talent perspective at Merck Serono is about awareness –Belen said that putting business strategy ahead of people/capability can be a real blind spot for leaders when aspiring to organizational success. Business success cannot be achieved without rigorous identification and development of key talent to drive the business. Commitment to the organisation as well as talent, and championing talent management, are prerequisites to achieving talent management excellence. Belén thinks “Talent Management almost has nothing to do with HR”. It’s a business issue that must be challenged at the senior management level. The commitment and involvement of the CEO and senior leadership are foundational requirements for success. We must not only champion the efforts and role-model talent management behaviours to others while owning and taking responsibility for talent excellence and results. “Talent IS NOT an HR process -- HR is simply an enabler of talent success”.
Overall, it’s invigorating to hear C-suite executives talk about this view of talent because it’s a vision we all can enjoy, and the view from here is truly inspiring…
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