“The Leadership Deficit”: “Recruiting & Retaining the Multi-generational Workforce” |by: Jason S. Morga, Lance J. Richards |Kelly Services

Businesses everywhere are grappling with an unfolding skills dilemma that is challenging the way we manage and plan the workforce of the future.

People are remaining in the workforce longer than they used to, yet there is a growing shortage of skilled talent. The aging and declining workforce is a global phenomenon taking place in all industries and across traditional boundaries.

Generational differences, which emerged over the last decade are beginning to solidify and have lasting implications for the management of human capital.

In addition, the rise of a new breed of self-employed “free agents” is injecting a volatile element into the mix which is forcing employers to reassess the way they select, deploy and interact with staff.

How do companies prepare for and manage these trends ? What are the keys to success as the workforce continues to evolve ?

This paper explains why talent is dwindling, and paints a detailed picture of the profile of those that comprise the contemporary workforce. It discusses the challenges employers face, and offers suggestions for recruiting and retaining top talent, as well as casting a spotlight on companies that are tackling these challenges in innovative ways.

Leadership Deficit Image

Follow the below link to read the complete white-paper…

The Leadership Deficit | Kelly Services United States


What “Drives Employees” to Work Hard ? |by:Em Maier | Inc.


” Many assume that Passionate Employees accept less money because they love their jobs, but a new study indicates that they end up earning more”.

Workers who are passionate about their jobs don’t care as much about money. They’ll come early & stay late, without expecting overtime pay. Right ? 

That’s one theory. But it may not be true. For decades, labor economists have argued about what motivates workers–and how that affects compensation.

In one corner are those who support the “donating” theory. Workers who love what they do are more willing to accept lower wages, the academics argue, because they’re getting satisfaction through the environment. They’ll come early and stay late, without expecting overtime pay. 

In the other corner are the proponents of “motivation-productivity.” They argue that an engaged employee works harder at his or her job, increasing work output and simultaneously garnering higher wages. 

In a study published in August 2013, a group of Italian economists sought to clarify which of these two theories is more accurate. The authors focused on 4,134 paid workers from 320 Italian non-profits, noting that non-profit wages are frequently lower than in other industries. It seemed more likely these workers would be driven by passion than money. 

Individuals were asked to rate their identification with a definition of work: as a mere contractual relationship where labor is exchanged for pay. Those who agreed completely with this statement–in effect, those who were working just to get paid–in some cases earned as much as 5 % less than average. 

Intrinsic motivations do have an effect on wages, the study found. Those who are willing to work for nothing actually tend to earn more than people who are in it for the money. 

Why might this be? In part, these employees tend to be more productive, putting in more overtime hours, which compensates for the donated work. While the effect on pay was limited (amounting to about 1% of total wages), their results suggested that intrinsic motivation creates extra productivity, leading to higher pay. 

Additionally, the researchers suggested that having personal goals closely aligned to that of the company’s is correlated with significant gains in productivity, and can be correlated to commitment and loyalty. 

So what’s the takeaway for employers ? Make sure your employees care about their work, and their increased productivity will pay for itself. 

How to “Navigate Past, Revenue-Inflection Points” of a Business Lifecycle |by: Christine Comaford | Chief Executive

When companies hit a wall and seem to stop growing it’s natural to wonder whether the problem is sales, marketing or something external in the industry. Nope… It’s much simpler than that.

Roberta is a CEO at a mid-sized automotive parts company. She and her business partner, Greg, rapidly grew their company to $85 million in revenue, but then conflict arose. They each had clear responsibilities, but Roberta kept diving into Greg’s area.

Seeing Roberta’s micromanagement as an attack, Greg began to withhold information, which resulted in awkward moments at board meetings. Roberta in turn felt attacked and exacerbated the problem by recruiting the loyalties of key board and team members.

When companies grow, they come to certain places where the things that used to work, the things that created that level of success, don’t work anymore. We call these inflection points. It’s essential to navigate to, and through, inflection points. Otherwise you end up like Roberta and Greg’s—stuck between them.

Here’s the trouble with inflection points: at each one,a company must reinvent itself in order to continue growing. Companies are either moving forward or moving back – stasis is not sustainable to reach that next inflection point, companies need to intentionally map out a plan to get there, and then execute with tremendous intentionality. Changes must be made in each of the following areas: people, money, and model.

People – As the company passes the higher revenue inflection points, the CEO will need to step back more and more, empowering their executive team to take more responsibility, and in the extreme this can mean a large scale organizational and/or cultural overhaul.

The only way to break the endless cycles of an organizational stuck spot is to start treating the system instead of individual symptoms. In order for your organization to change, everyone has to be involved – starting at the very top of the organizational chart and working all the way down to the people on the front lines. Coaching and training are essential here to help leaders adjust their own beliefs and behaviors.

Money – At each inflection point you’ll want to ask a number of money-related questions. How is the business funded? Do you need expansion capital? How are departmental budgets created (or not)? How are costs accounted for and what is the discipline in reporting? Financial systems must be looked into and explicitly altered to fit the next inflection point.

You’ll want to look at how efficient your operations are, how streamlined your expenses are, how you track ROI on all projects—internal and external. Looking at sales will be essential too: does your process of creating and converting new business work well, are your incentive programs motivating, and are sales commissions tied to profit per sale. What are your sales channels? Are your top and bottom lines optimized ?

Model – What’s your business model? How will the company grow– organically or via acquisition? As a company grows, core competencies shift, markets (customers, competitors, environment, distribution channels and technology) evolve, and some opportunities are more leverage-able than others. You’ll want to consider whether today’s product line will be the same as tomorrow’s, whether your product path is working and how you can scale your relationships with clients, strategic alliances and key influencers.

Through neuroscience-based coaching, Greg quickly saw that Roberta had the company’s best interests at heart, and Roberta no longer felt the need to micromanage.

Within four months the Roberta-Greg battle had ended. Within six months Greg was in a new, more appropriate role with a fresh new focus, and the entire organizational chart had been revamped and optimized. Within fifteen months of training and coaching the entire company had become aligned, profits had hit a new record, and leadership was a common daily topic across all company levels. Roberta and Greg now work together very well, and the company is one cohesive team.

The company quickly grew past the $100 million inflection point. They plan to pass the $250 million inflection point within three years.

Creating an “Analytics – Driven culture” | TIBCO Spotfire


One of the challenges that many CIO’s face in driving adoption of analytics throughout different layers of the enterprise is demonstrating the business value that can be delivered to different types of users.

For instance, some senior executives are accustomed to making judgments based on intuition and gut instinct versus evidence-based decision making. Other user types, such as mid-level managers, may rely heavily on customer, market, and/or operational data on a day-to-day basis but may not otherwise be aware of the merits of using analytics to quickly spot trends or reveal fresh insights about key developments.

Companies such as Amazon, Facebook & Google that are highly successful at leveraging data-analysis to drive their businesses and obtain a competitive edge all have one thing in common – they’ve nurtured organizational cultures that embrace the use of analytics.

shutterstock 141107077 300x300 Creating an Analytics Driven Culture

A big part of the challenge for many companies is that while the adoption of analytics is on the rise, analytics “is not yet deeply ingrained into the fabric of most companies as an integrated, enterprise-wide approach,” says Narendra Mulani, senior managing director at Accenture Analytics.

For instance, while the use of analytics as a predictive tool has nearly tripled from 12% in 2009 to 33% today, only one-fifth of responders (22%) say they are “ very satisfied ” with business outcomes driven by the use of analytics to date, according to a recent  Accenture  survey of 600 executives in the US and the UK.

This may be due, in part, to the fact that 45% of respondents describe their analytical capabilities as either limited, in need of improvement, lacking Senior Management support, OR piecemeal.

A top-down approach is often most successful at fostering a culture of analytics by having senior management demonstrate how they’re able to extract meaningful insights and apply those to making decisions that advance the company’s mission.

In many cases, this often starts with a single executive acting as a champion for analytics who can clearly articulate how she’s using data and analytics in her role as well as talk about the business or operational benefits that have been obtained.

Data visualization techniques can also be used to show other executives and key stakeholders how new trends and vital insights can be quickly recognized and acted on. Seeing is believing. Being able to visually show what analytics can do for a marketing manager or a financial analyst is a critical step toward driving adoption and spreading the good word about the business value of analytics.

When influential leaders evangelize and communicate the benefits of data analysis throughout all corners of the enterprise, they can help employees in other roles, from line of business leaders to senior staffers, understand that analytics should be the fundamental method for achieving results throughout the organization. 

“Sales” : Where are the “Glengarry Leads ? ”: “What leads are the best leads ?” |by: Ryan Junk |Club Solutions

“Glengarry Glen Ross” was a great film back in 1992, and the same questions asked in the film are still asked today. ” What leads are the best leads ? “, And as Shelley “ The Machine” Levene learned — there are no such things as “ weak leads !! ” 

What is a lead ? 

A lead is the name and contact information of a non-member. It’s really that simple. Far too often I notice sales people trying to only get names and numbers of non-members that want to join their club. I’d agree that those are hot leads, however as we all know, sales is a number game.

Where do the best leads come from ? 

Member referrals are the best leads you can get. If you have a great product and create the right community within your club, your members will do most of the work for you. Your job is to get them in to experience it.

What’s the best way to contact your leads ? 

Like I discussed, Fortune is in the Follow-Up, “ The best and only way to successfully contact your leads is to communicate with them on their terms, the way they want to be communicated with.”

Since a name and contact information does not give you that information, you need to create a system that allows your sales team to reach these members at different times and days, using different mediums. This will also allow management to check on this work to ensure execution. New leads need to be contacted immediately, and far too often new leads sit in data bases or lead sheets for too long before the initial contact, and even longer in between contact attempts.

Do leads have expiration dates ? 

Leads are perishable items. If your leads were put through your follow-up system and management has verified that the proper contact attempts were facilitated, then I’d expire and remove all leads after 30 day. Yes, I said 30 days. I know that everyone reading this can remember a time that a lead joined past 30 days, however these leads are the exception and not the rule. Old leads clog up your data base and give a false sense of security to your sales team, as well as contribute to wasted time by making contact attempts when in return, our sales team should be getting more fresh leads.

Should all of our leads come from member referrals ? 

Although member referrals are the best leads, your sales team must get out into your community. Chances are, these leads usually do not have friends that are members, or they would have visited by now, and when you get them in for a visit you have not only added a new member, but a whole new referral pool that would not have existed if your team did not venture out beyond your four walls.

If you and your team are using L.A.S.E.R and you are going through your identification process, don’t just look at your entire lead data base. Look at how many new leads you are collecting and start from there. A common mistake is to increase contact activities (calls, text, e-mail, etc.) when the answer may be to purge all old leads, which will create the right amount of urgency to get new leads. This just may cause the discomfort your team needs to drive the right urgency !!

” Lead acquisition is not glamorous work and in many cases is the “Achilles heel of most sales teams”….Create the right behaviors and routines around lead gathering, and you will create a winning team !!! 

“FOUR Pillars” of Leadership | by: Todd Hixon | Forbes


Listening to CEO’s and other senior leaders talk about building businesses is always a privilege. Last week I did this at the ” X Site conference” in Boston (designed to recognize the high-tech revival in Boston) and again at the 50 th Anniversary gathering of 1,000 past and current partners of my former employer, the Boston Consulting Group ( BCG ). 

At the X Site conference, I was struck by the talks given by Miguel de Icaza, a serial CTO currently at Xamarin, and Wayne Chang, a serial founder, most recently of CrashLytics. Xamarin brings the well-loved C# development environment to iOS and Android. Their website reports 12,000 customers, 67 employees, and $12 million raised from good investors. CrashLytics provides developers with detailed state-at-moment-of-failure analysis of mobile apps, a key tool for making apps reliable. It accepted a very attractive inbound offer from Twitter.

BCG has evolved to become a Top-tier General Management Consulting company “. 

It’s an amazing growth story : in the last 25 years BCG increased its revenue ~80x (19% compound annual growth rate) with increasing profitability. This was driven by a steadily deepening value proposition and global expansion. Twenty-five years ago there were~4,000 U.S. public companies similar in size to BCG.

Only FOUR, have performed as well or better, one of which is ” Apple”

We heard the FIVE, living BCG CEOs speak sequentially about the challenge they faced and how they managed. It was a unique opportunity to learn about leadership and the development of a company, and of course I lived that history until 2000.

This rather diverse group of leaders (consulting and software) spoke in remarkably similar terms… 

Each emphasized, what I will call FOUR Pillars of Leadership : 

1. Strategic Vision With Adaptation – Each speaker’s strategic vision centered on the customer value proposition. de Icaza spoke about bringing the proven appeal of C# to mobile developers, and nurturing the customer experience. Chang emphasized that crash analysis is a huge pain point for developers: CrashLytics had tremendous inbound interest before it began marketing. Several entrepreneurs talked about knowing when it’s time to pivot. They urged “asking the killer questions” (the questions about what will kill the company’s strategy) early and often.

BCG faced a strategic crisis in the 1980s when its original “strategy boutique” value prop ran out of steam (just as I became a partner). The CEO at the time, Alan Zakon, called the pivot. His successors implemented and reinforced it in different ways. Each of them was able to boil down their strategy to a simple phrase, like “make it happen” or “go north”. It’s remarkable how well that worked.

2. Strategic Values – They are the things that a company holds to be most important. For Xamarin it is “delighting developers”. For CrashLytics it’s “building for tweets”: a user emotional experience so good that customers tweet about it. They put a big investment into a one-click install, and a nifty automation when a case is closed that shows a trouble ticket getting smacked by a big red “closed” stamp. For BCG it is “Insight + Results”: neither alone is sufficient, the two together are very powerful. Many companies forget their past leaders; that fact that BCG brought its former CEOs and partners back to participate in the 50th anniversary celebration speaks to the continuity of its values.

Values need to be aligned with strategy, but they are much more constant. BCG’s strategic values have not changed since 1980, when the big pivot began, but the vision has evolved quite a bit with different market states, phases of change, and leadership styles. Strategic values smooth out the rough road of management and give people a beacon to follow.

3. Investment In Talent – It’s an axiom of the software industry that a great programmer is worth more than 3 or 5 average programmers. I’ve heard that “rock star” programmers in Sil Valley have agents now. Google, Facebook., etc. go to extraordinary lengths to hire and retain the best people.

Likewise BCG was founded on the belief that bright, motivated young people can create breakthroughs. It made waves early on by “overpaying” for the best talent, so much so that the Harvard Business School objected strenuously, (However, I once observed to an HBS dean that the BCG starting salary, if expressed as months of HBS tuition that it would pay, had been declining for many years). 

In later years aggressive hiring was backed by big investments in training and coaching. A consulting firm, and probably a software firm too, can be no better than its people.

4. Disciplined & Relentless Execution – In the software business this is sprints, all-nighters, rigorous quality control, A/B testing, and top flight customer service.

For BCG it’s people development, resource allocation, driving through to measurable results, moving to the most valuable part of the market, and global, cross-functional teamwork.

BCG has raised its execution game in the last 20 years, as its continuous growth, even during the global financial crisis, attests. People are the theoretical limit of a firm’s performance, and execution determines how close to that limit it performs.

Those of us who were with BCG in the early years were astonished by what the firm has accomplished. Back at work now, I came away from last week with renewed faith in the potency of great leadership.

The “Rise of Multicultural-Managers” globally & their “Economic Imperative” |by: Yves Doz | INSEAD


” Many multinational companies have hidden, unrecognized multicultural ” Gems ” within their ranks. To find these and get the most from their unique skills means taking the time & trouble to carefully develop and deploy multicultural managers in critical positions “.

Multicultural managers can make a huge, positive difference to the success of global innovation projects and processes. The research of Hae-Jung Hong, now an assistant professor at the Rouen Business School and co-author of our article  (“ How L’Oreal masters multiculturalism” in the June 2013 issue of Harvard Business Review) on cosmetics giant L’Oreal shows How unique features of multi-cultural minds enable them to play ” FIVE Critical roles better” than their mono-cultural counterparts. 

These roles are : 

  1. Making creative associations and drawing analogies between geographical markets, allowing L’Oreal to develop global products and build global brands while remaining sensitive to local market differences. 
  2. Interpreting complex knowledge – i.e. tacit, collective and culture-dependent, hence impossible to simply “explain”_ across cultures and contextsan essential skill when marketing products like cosmetics, where much of understanding is tacit and culture-dependent. 
  3. Anticipating cross-cultural conflicts, and addressing them, something critical to the effectiveness of global teams. 
  4. Integrating new team members from different cultures into teams that quickly develop their own norms of interaction and a strong “in or out” identity, making joining the team once it has been in existence for a while particularly difficult. 
  5. Mediating the relationship between global teams, with a high level of cultural diversity among their members, and the senior executives they report to, or their interaction with local subsidiary staff they collaborate with, who are usually mono-cultural. 

In short, their ability to be creative, to share complex knowledge across locations, contexts and cultures and to manage global innovation and product development teams effectively is precisely why multiculturals in integrative roles in the innovation process do make such a positive difference.

Multiple Cultures Means Creativity : 

Indeed, using lab experiment methods (with students or executives performing revealing exercises), INSEAD Professor Will Maddux and his colleagues found that the experience of multiple cultures favoured creativity. In addition, they identified intercultural, cognitive integration (one’s ability to simultaneously hold and apply several culturally different schemas and thus to think as a member of one culture or another depending on need and context, or to think simultaneously as member of several cultures) as the key to creative, adaptive and leadership skills fostering their career success.

As one of the managers Hae-Jung Hong interviewed put it : ” The most important skill I need in order to develop and launch this product line successfully is to exploit what I’ve got from one part to other parts of the world, which brings something innovative in the market. I am able to do this because I have references in different languages— English, Hindi, and French. I read books in three different languages, meet people from different countries, eat food from different countries, and so on. I cannot think things in one way only. That’s not my way. – (Indian-American-French project manager). 

Observing multiculturals in action, a mono-cultural executive at L’Oreal commented :- Multiculturals have a kind of gymnastic intellectual training to think as if they were French, American, or Chinese and all together inside them.” 

Yet not all multiculturals are equally skilled at integrating across cultures at work. Personality plays a role: Being extroverted, assertive, and sociable, contributes to effective multiculturalism. A balance of integration strength between cultures is also a required condition for effective bridging. If in the self-representation of a multicultural person one cultural identity “wins” to the detriment of the others, the person cannot actually be effective as a multicultural !

And not all organisational contexts are equally propitious for multiculturals to play effective roles. Organisational culture, human resource management policies and cultural value conflicts in the organisation reduce OR enhance a multicultural’s willingness and ability to be effective. Being appreciated and trusted by their colleagues and peers in global teams is also a must, but colleagues may zero-in on one of their cultures and make the development, OR maintenance, of balanced integration skills harder, and multicultural managers’ roles less effective.

“ Being There ” is Not Enough : 

Some individuals are multicultural by ethnic background and early childhood experiences. But, can one become multicultural through expatriate assignments as an adult in a multinational company, or just by living and working in multiple countries and cultures? The experience of living in multiple cultures obviously helps, but just “being there” is not enough. One needs to have strong on-going interaction with people belonging to the local culture, and become embedded in the local culture. Expatriate “villages” will not suffice. Beyond mere language fluency, actively learning about the local culture and creating opportunities to experience it first-hand are also needed. Just understanding the behavioural adjustments – for instance in decoding polite “no” answers, or in giving feedback to others without offending them- is not enough, one needs to delve into the underlying “whys”, i.e. the meanings not just the manifestations of culture.

Despite all these efforts, though, “born multiculturals”, for instance with parents from different cultural origins, may still enjoy an advantage: They can bring recollections from childhood to bear on experience later in life. Studying and working abroad as an adult, immigration, or an international marriage may provide the quality of interaction required, but becoming multicultural takes time and effort as several cultures need to be internalised. Further, some immigrants may strongly aspire to adopt the culture of the country they move to, or feel under social pressure to do so, or alternately, find they stay hostage to the culture they came from – for instance by living in an immigrant community and not mastering the local language. Neither can achieve the integration balance so critical to effectively develop and use unique skills as a multicultural manager.

Although the length of exposure to different cultures is not a strong determinant of multicultural skills (beyond a minimum of two years), frequent “rotational assignments” in multinational companies may be detrimental to the development of deep multicultural skills. Long ago André Laurent, the pioneer of this line of research at INSEAD, studied expatriate executives at IBM and other major multinationals. His findings were reported in an evocatively titled article “Once a Frenchman, always a Frenchman”. He observed that experienced expatriates learned to behave as a “global” executive, but this learning effort actually reinforced their identification with their culture of origin. Their social identity (a “global” executive) conflicted with their deeply felt inner personal identity (a member of a “local”–national–culture).

In her study of the “multicultural lives” of many of INSEAD’s MBA students, Professor Linda Brimm, another long time INSEAD faculty member, made similar observations in her book Global Cosmopolitans (Published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2010).

The Multicultural Manager : Integrator OR Pioneer ? 

Managers who find maintaining a balance between their various cultural identities relatively easy may be good “bridges” between their cultures; managers who live their multicultural identity as conflicting may excel at comprehending new cultures, suggesting they should play different roles in a multinational company.

Carlos Ghosn, perhaps the paragon of the successful multicultural executive, reflecting on his own experience (in a speech in Prague in October 2012), adds a deeper contrast, arguing that his ability to succeed as CEO of Nissan was enhanced by the combination of being Lebanese (from a multicultural country he described as a crossroad of warring armies and conflicting religions) and Brazilian (a country he described as a peaceful example of integrated multiculturalism) and having become a French engineer. This is multiculturalism times two, OR three !! 

The operational link between HR policies and the opportunities offered by multicultural managers as “hidden gems” remains largely to be built, and more research is needed on these issues. Multicultural managers at companies such as L’Oreal have emerged from the growing pool of “international talent” over the past decade, bringing their experience and insights into “new markets”.  It hasn’t taken long for their colleagues to become aware of their unique skills, and of their usefulness.

” Bur for every one company that recognizes the opportunity offered by multicultural managers, How many miss it entirely ?? ”