Talent’ has the distinction of being both a crucial topic and a shorthand for some of the not-so-cleverly repackaged common sense that chokes the business shelves in bookstores. For our third issue, we’ve put aside all of those admittedly exciting demographics charts and graphs – call it the ‘Talent Crisis’ genre of business art. Instead, we explore how people and companies shape careers, and how companies score or stumble when all of that talent is oceans away.
In Mass Career Customization, Cathy Benko and Anne Weisberg take a critical look at the traditional career ladder and describe a new model – one based on the realities of the modern workforce and on recognition of the flaws in the ad hoc approaches used to patch over century-old legacies. In keeping with the global nature of business, we also look at the challenges of engaging and integrating a knowledge-based organization around the world, based on the research of Frederick D. Miller, Bhushan Sethi and Vivek Sethia.
Beyond company walls, open innovation extends the talent pool still further. But the means to attain it, alliances, demand keen scrutiny. Scott Wilson and Doug Tuttle examine the risks and opportunities associated with strategic alliances.
On the topic of strategy, we revisit the finance function—the bedrock of a well-managed company—and consider how leaders in this discipline have taken it beyond table stakes and turned finance into a competitive advantage. Steve Ehrenhalt, Peter Koudal and Atanu Chaudhuri’s Finance Masters examines the contrasts between finance as a strictly operational group and as a strategic partner. I would especially like to thank Frank Calderoni, executive vice president and CFO of Cisco, for his candid and informed discussion of this topic with our executive editor, Richard Woodward. The interview starts on page 46.
Rounding out Issue 3, your editor had a fascinating chat with behavioral economist Dan Ariely, New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational. I won’t give anything away except to say the conversation ranged from how we order beer in groups to how we are affected by pricing – a topic also covered here, from a different angle, by Larry Montan, Terry Kuester and Julie Meehan.
Finally, we feature a look at the health care consumer, based on new original research into this evolving market. Paul Keckley and Laura Eselius discuss the implications in the health care and life sciences field as consumers assume new power. Opportunity knocks.