TALENT WINS: The New Playbook for Putting People First

Three senior level career experts explore what it really takes to create and lead an organization that lives by one simple but profound conceit: people, not companies, generate value.

Written for CEOs and all leaders across organizations, the newly released ‘TALENT WINS: The New Playbook for Putting People First’ provides a much-needed framework for transforming how companies acquire, manage, and deploy talent for today’s agile, digital, analytical, technologically driven environment.

The book is co-authored by Dennis Carey, a Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) vice chairman and co-leader for the company’s Board Services practice; Ram Charan a former Harvard and Northwestern University professor and world-renowned business adviser; and Dominic Barton, the global managing partner of McKinsey & Company.

“We’ve seen a sea change in our industry, when virtually every CEO we work with is asking a daunting set of questions that reveal that talent has never been more important to the success of a corporation,” said Carey.

To meet these new needs of business leaders, the authors explore what it really takes to create and lead an organization that lives by one simple but profound conceit: people, not companies, generate value.


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In TALENT WINS, the authors combine their three distinct perspectives to provide a seven-part plan for leaders with insight into how to:

1.  Forge the tools of transformation by developing both a roster of the top talent in a company and a deep understanding of the people on it.

2. Energize the board by steering it away from the traditional definition of TSR (total shareholder return) to a new one: talent, strategy, risk.

3. Design and redesign work by incorporating cross-functional teams that come together, disband, and reform as it suits the nature of their work.

4. Reinvent HR as a result of the CEO and CHRO working together to make tough decisions about what administrative tasks in HR can be automated, outsourced, or offshored.

5. Scale up individual talent by freeing them from bureaucratic structures designed for a different era and offering opportunities to continually expand their skills.

6. Create an M&A strategy that can find, attract, and successfully integrate talented people from the outside in response to trends.

7. Drive the talent playbook by learning the changes CEOs and CHROs will need to make.

With this playbook, the authors aim to help executives deploy human capital as effectively as they deploy financial capital.

The book includes examples of companies that are well along the path of reinventing their approaches to talent, such as ADP, Amgen, Aon, Apple, BlackRock, Blackstone, Google, Haier, Johnson & Johnson, Marsh, PepsiCo, Telenor, as well as the start-ups of Silicon Valley. To get inside their experiences of linking talent to value creation, the authors interviewed hundreds of executives—CEOs, CHROs, chief transformation officers, and CFOs.

According to Carey, who works daily with members of the nation’s most influential boards, the focus on talent needs to start at the top of the organization.

“Today, board discussions on talent are largely limited to CEO succession – and even then, recent research by the National Association of Corporate Directors and Korn Ferry suggest that only one in nine companies have a formal CEO succession plan that its leaders are satisfied with,” said Carey. “To gain the board’s help in driving the talent strategy, CEOs need to put the talent issue more squarely on the board agenda.”

Contributed by Andrew W. Mitchell, managing editor for Hunt Scanlon Media and Ezayo – the No. 1 HR global jobs platform.

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. It help companies design their organization – the structure, the roles and responsibilities, as well as how they compensate, develop and motivate their people. As importantly, Korn Ferry also help organizations select and hire the talent they need to execute their strategy. They have approximately 7,000 colleagues serve clients in more than 50 countries.

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