Change is scary but necessary

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A recent article by Ian Goldin urges Business leaders to shift their focus beyond the short-term and move toward a long term focus. Goldin highlights that truly sustainable growth requires that we go beyond the immediacy of quarterly reporting. He suggests that relying on short-term measures of success in business can create longer- term instability and risk. At the same time, in business it is more difficult than ever to balance the pressures of today with goals for the next decade. Business incentives tend to revolve around swift successes; increasing weight is attached to mark-to-market accounting, quarterly returns and short-term incentive bonuses. Uncertainty in global markets has led many companies and business leaders to seek safety in quick returns on investment. Questions about the role of government and unpredictable behavior, such as was manifest in the recent Washington stand-off, compounds the problem. However, in order to meet both short and long term goals, it is imperative for leaders to think about the future.

Talent Acquisition is one of the major areas where this impact is most obvious. Organizations who have realized how to solve both their short and long term problems with the same talent are driving their business to long-term success. The reality for many organizations is that it can be difficult to predict who the future leaders of the company will be. It’s much simpler to look at a sales pipeline or delivery report and recognize how many bodies you need to meet your demands. Many professional services organizations, who historically hired bench resources to meet future demand are being tasked with hiring people who can meet both their immediate demands, but also have a long term role in the organization. While the model changes, the talent pool remains the same. With that, HR and Recruiting are tasked with approaching potential candidates differently. Attracting that talent to a different model, combined with a more rigorous interview process and lengthier on-boarding process can create additional challenges to an already taxed group.

1021bThe most important aspect of creating a talent acquisition model that can meet both short and long term demand and sustainable growth are the process and communication. Changes that will allow an organization to improve their hiring process to meet both will require constant attention and clear communication at every level. We recently spent time helping a client to implement a process to meet this exact goal. Their strategy was communicated from executive leadership to their sourcing teams, so that every person at every level understood the over-arching goal. This level of communication is imperative in making these changes successful. Adopting a new process comes with challenges, but the resolutions come much more easily when everyone understands the goal.

1021cGoldin suggests that the danger of leaving a damaging legacy is real. The growing financial debt, rising carbon emissions, dwindling natural resources and the escalating burden of chronic disease all have the potential to leave unsolvable problems for the next generation if we fail to act. Short term reactions won’t solve the problem of a damaging legacy. Every business solution must be addressed as both a short and long term issue. With this mounting pressure, it is easy to be paralyzed by the fear of making a mistake. However, no action will certainly guarantee that we solve neither the short not the long term issues with which we are faced.

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