Our mission here at CEO Works is to help enterprises around the world achieve Talent to ValueTM.
Talent to Value is the game-changing talent management practice at the heart of our firm. “Achieving talent to value” is a matter of, first, dynamically and iteratively connecting the organization’s ambition to five to seven value hotspots; second, connecting these value hotspots to activity systems and the vital few critical roles that drive value delivery; third, “clicking” the right talent into each and every one of these forty to fifty critical roles (what we call role•talent combinations); and, finally, washing out the execution risk through a precise transformation framework.
You’ve just been offered the CEO job at a multinational corporation and it looks like a great opportunity. The position plays to your strengths, expands your network of influence internationally, and advances your long-term career plans. But are you ready and willing to face the risks inherent in the design of this particular role?
By Bill Allen and Dhaval Bhagat
Heading into this next decade, all eyes are on HR to navigate us through the complexities of our post-pandemic reality.
This is the second and final installment of Shefali's Talent to Value journey. If you missed Part I you can read it here.
In 2012, the Salwan family relocated from Singapore to America. Shefali’s husband, Sumeet, had been promoted as head of HR for Unilever, North America. In a crowded and competitive market, fresh off a financial crisis, establishing a coaching practice felt like a swim upstream, without commensurate returns on impact or gratification. Shefali turned to coaching—for herself.
“Learning to dive in my mid-40s felt uncomfortable. In scuba, you have to exhale more in order to sink. You have to do something that feels against self-preservation.” CEO.works Co-Founder, Shefali Salwan is no stranger to swimming in unknown waters. Shefali has lived, worked and managed change in a dual-career household across three continents. The other “careerist” is her husband and CEO.works co-founder, Sumeet Salwan.
“My career has had its ebbs and flows. At times, I felt like I was in a boat crossing a river and at others, walking along the banks. I have had to pick my battles, and suspend the ego. When you are in the middle of it, it feels messy. Looking back, I realize I have always looked to what brings me meaning and where I can have the greatest impact. This has been my steady compass.”
“We have bigger things to do right now than focus on value.”
This is what I have been hearing in many of the conversations I’ve been having with private equity owners and operators in the last while. We live in strange times indeed when value (traditionally expressed as market cap), an all-encompassing indicator of success, takes a back seat.
Is it possible to scale global startups fast enough when windows of opportunity are tight and capabilities need to be supercharged overnight?
That is the question leaders of the LIVEKINDLY COLLECTIVE, a global plant-based foods company, and CEO.Works, the “Talent to Value” firm, were discussing in late spring 2020. “Executive talent sharing” is the modern and practical solution they came up with to address the problem of scarce leadership talent in these unprecedented times.
The way I look at it, onboarding programs should be taken more seriously in the world of talent management. Done well, onboarding can help people in roles critical to a company’s value agenda get traction in their jobs much sooner, accelerate results, and reduce time to value. Onboarding, therefore, has to be more than just a matter of lining up a series of personal introductions. It should be a matter of precisely introducing a person to what is “new” to them—the specifics of their work, the challenges of the business, the anticipated risks they will face, as well as their key working relationships—in a way that will have a significant positive impact on both their performance and their results.
Throughout my three decades in human resources and executive coaching, I have worked closely with high caliber talent to unlock their potential for optimal performance and engagement at work. My goal for each client is to coach value into existence by Connecting Talent to Value™. This value refers to the value agenda set by leaders to drive a company’s bottom line, or the organization’s intended impact.
I have seen many scenarios where it’s clear that someone has exceptional skill and ability and an excellent performance track record to go with it. Then a role change takes place, and the candidate struggles to realize the performance they achieved in the past.
Like most CHROs, I have spent all of my career operating within the universe of talent management. The established, widely accepted practices and processes of talent management, many of which are highly consensual, have stood me in good stead. In fact, I and my C-suite partners have only ever had one serious concern when we look at our well-equipped HR departments: how we manage talent isn’t always linked tightly with what is relevant to the company’s performance.