Is your best talent where it can generate the most value?
Do you give talent the opportunity to generate that value?
The graph on the left shows a traditional organizational structure. So-calledcritical positions (in orange) are defined by their hierarchical position within the organizational chart, regardless of the value they create. A top-to-bottom approach where the most decisive roles are necessarily at the top of the pyramid.
However, it might be the case that one of the blue roles carries out a function where there is a critical risk (for example, the company’s cybersecurity) or a role that may yield less income for the company, but has a great margin for growth. With the organizational structure on the left, despite the importance of those roles, people carrying them out are being undervalued.
On the other hand, the graph on the right does consider the relationship between the role and its value or ability to contribute.
Although there still is a hierarchy, it is less vertical; people who are on the same level may have different responsibilities, critical roles are shared throughout the organizational structure, and new such roles appear. There is awareness regarding the importance of security for the company’s systems, and regarding areas where there is a wide margin for business to be explored, and the right people are entrusted to those roles, or new talent is introduced.
This graph, part of this article by McKinsey, illustrates the difficulties many companies find when associating talent and value. It also shows how people who could initially be considered secondary, can play a transformative role within an organization.
Two role-types are identified in the sequence:
– Value creators, who generate a direct profit, reduce costs or increase efficiency.
– Value facilitators, whose job is indispensable for the former to carry out their function.
One cannot exist without the other, and in either category we may find roles and people who are critically important.
Intrapreneurship programs: Linking talent and value.
Turning employees into a company’s main players is one of the most effective ways of creating value, making the most of the talent within the organization. In this respect, intrapreneurship programs, or corporate entrepreneurship programs, can get the best out of the people who make up the company, regardless of their position within its structure.
However, before a program of this type can be created, McKinsey outlines some of the keys that a company’s top management must keep in mind. Here they are:
– Define each role within the organizationexhaustively, to guarantee that people with the highest performance levels adapt to their position and have the necessary skills to fulfil their jobs.
– Define the company’s value agenda, which involves a complex and ambitious process of strategic analysis. Knowing the objectives, challenges, and present and future opportunities, will help to plan the adequate structure to undertake them. It is not simply an exercise in numbers and costs. It is also about finding the right people for each position, in every department, business unit or geographical division.
– Think about people, from their point of view: analyze the function each can perform best, yielding the greatest value, rather than simply distributing people around existing positions. If someone can make a bigger contribution in a position that does not exist, it may be time to create that position.
– Monitor and measure: linking talent and value is not an exercise carried out once, or reviewed annually, but rather a daily assignment that should have priority over other actions, and for which you should assign measurable metrics.
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