Talent: Making People Your Competitive Advantage

April 18, 2008

book coverEdward E. Lawler III, (Jossey-Bass, 2008)

Organizations can gain a powerful competitive advantage by tapping into their talent and learning how to effectively organize and lead it. But, according to Professor Edward Lawler in Talent: Making People Your Competitive Advantage, although many organizations acknowledge the importance of people, most do little or nothing to make them a source of competitive advantage.

According to Professor Lawler, companies that are truly competing on the performance of their people need to adopt a Human Capital or HC-centric approach to organizing – simply doing better talent management is not sufficient. Rather, special attention needs to be given to implementing organizational structures, processes and systems that will help manage and support the performance of an organization’s human capital.

Talent provides a comprehensive framework for helping human resource professionals, senior executives, CEOs and corporate boards structure their organization in order to effectively attract, retain and manage their talent. Once a company has identified its most suitable HC-centric approach, Professor Lawler discusses how to effectively implement it. Drawing upon decades of research, Talent touches on many actions that will make this transition easier, including:

  • Creating an employer brand to attract the right talent;
  • Motivating a company’s talent;
  • Establishing a shared leadership approach;
  • Creating an information system that analyzes the effectiveness of talent;
  • And, identifying the new roles that human resource departments, corporate boards and CEOs must play.

Talent shows that in today’s business world, it’s in most companies’ best interest to put people front and center as their main source of sustainable competitive advantage.

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