The Power of Talent
In This Issue
In Search of the Absurd: A New Mindset About Talent
Blog of the Month: Understanding the New Science of Recruitment
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Upcoming Events
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Issue: 18
November 2015

How are you approaching the war for talent and retention? Although you may be asking important questions to guide your efforts, are you asking insightful questions as well? This month's newsletter provides guidance to transform your talent and retention mindset into the profound and absurd. See the article by Dr. Richard Mirabile below for important considerations in revolutionizing your approach. 

This month we also explore the new science of recruitment, which details effective strategies to consider for your organization. In addition, be sure you see our What's New section for a chance to win $100 gift card and the latest additions to our firm. You won't want to miss the holiday and winter events coming up in December, either! 

Here at Torchiana, we know that successful organizations are created through strong teams comprised of the right individuals. As always, our goal is to help your company grow through all facets of leadership development, executive coaching, career management and career transition/outplacement services. Please contact us if you'd like to discuss how Torchiana can assist with your career management needs.

All the Best,
Kristi Rocha & Lynne Saiz
In Search of the Absurd: A New Mindset About Talent
By Richard Mirabile, Ph.D. 

mindset_to_result.jpg Albert Einstein once said that, "Unless an idea is absurd, it has little chance of succeeding." Profound words from a profound source. 

Fast forward to the present day. Talent strategies are now the current buzz. Just look around at what's going on. Start-up companies are springing up with glitzy technology solutions. Recruiters are utilizing social media to find new sources of talent. Mature companies are revisiting their compensation packages to entice employees to stay put, and most companies now have senior level positions dedicated exclusively to the task of Talent Acquisition and Development. 

What's not new about this is that HR professionals have been singing the "strategic importance of talent" tune for decades. What is new, however, is that operational leaders from all functional disciplines are now joining the chorus. Rightly so, because if companies don't find ways to ensure that they have the best talent available, they won't survive the competitive onslaught that is underway. In short, talent has finally become the not-so-secret sauce of long-term survival. 

In response to this critical challenge, those responsible for creating talent strategies are asking important questions to help guide their efforts. For example, 
  • How do we attract and acquire the talent we need? 
  • How should we compensate our workforce? 
  • What are the most effective ways to develop people? 
  • How should we deploy the talent we have? 
  • How do we retain our best people? 
Important and relevant questions indeed. However, while these questions are necessary, they are also insufficient. Said another way, they're simply not profound. They don't push the envelope. They keep us stuck in old ways of thinking, and we all know what Einstein also said about solving problems using the same modes of thinking that created them. 

Profound questions stimulate profound dialogue, and consequently, more profound answers. Reframing questions changes the rules. When we ask questions from a particular frame of reference, we get answers and solutions that tend to fit within that frame. There is nothing particularly wrong with that, but nothing potentially revolutionary with it either. 

Therefore, in addition to the traditional talent questions that we must continue to ask, we should also be asking questions that force us to consider a different way to think about the issue. Questions such as: 
  • How do we increase the "value contributions" of our workforce without increasing headcount or simply giving them more work to do? 
  • How can we make the list of our "best people" a longer list? 
  • How do we expand our definition of "talent," recognizing that contributions come in many forms? 
  • How can we help employees who are "good performers" to become "extraordinary performers?" 
  • What can we do to tap into the deepest levels of passion, energy and commitment of our workforce? 
Asking the right questions will more likely lead to innovative solutions - to new ways of thinking and problem solving. In the case of talent strategies, perhaps the most important point is that asking more profound questions opens the door to exploring a long overdue issue about workforce talent. In short, how do we tap into the enormous performance and motivation potential that lies untapped in our workforce? This is the "secret" part of the sauce that is yet to be discovered. This is the next big thing. 

If Einstein were leading a discussion with a team assembled to address the talent issue today, he might start by asking this question: 

"What would it take to unlock even a small amount of the untapped performance and motivation potential of our workforce?" 

An absurd idea? I certainly hope so! 

Suggested reading: 
  • Bury My Heart in Conference Room B, by Stanley Slapp 
  • Drive, by Daniel Pink
Blog of the Month: Understanding the New Science of Recruitment
Recruiting highly talented employees has become more than an art, it has now become a science. Taking a scientific approach means utilizing a number of strong measureable recruitment and selection strategies in order to attract candidates to your organization. Years ago, behavioral descriptive interviewing was introduced and has proven to be remarkably successful in helping organizations select the best candidate with the right fit for any position. The science has grown exponentially since then and there are now several more-effective recruitment and selection strategies that are far more advanced than simply asking the right questions. 

For instance, in my professional practice one of the first steps I take is to identify the organizational culture as well as the cultural and skill competencies required for success. This then gives our recruiters the guidelines by which to compare candidates.

Read the rest of this blog post for additional effective recruitment strategies to consider.
What's New?
The Career Partners International (CPI) Global Research Institute is extending the Global Trends in Career Transition Survey until Monday, November 23rd. Don't forget to complete the survey right away to enter for a chance to win $100 gift card, which is perfect for the upcoming holiday season. 

As Torchiana continues to expand our products, services and footprint, we are excited to grow the team with the addition of new Outplacement Consultants and Executive Coaches. We are delighted to welcome Rose Baldwin, Shannon Ratay, Jennifer Gelfi-de Smedt and Karen Davey-Winter.
Upcoming Events
HR Strategy Forum: Norcal Winter Networking Social 
When: Wednesday, December 2nd, 3:00 - 6:00 pm 
Where: Charles Schwab, San Francisco, CA 

GrowBold Holiday Mixer and Celebration 
When: Tuesday, December 8th, 4:00 - 6:30 pm 
Where: Exelixis, Inc. 210 East Grand Avenue, South SF, CA 94080 
About Torchiana Mastrov & Sapiro

Established in 1980, Torchiana is the Bay Area's most experienced independent career management firm. Our staff of professionals have expertise in all facets of leadership development, executive coaching, career management and career transition/outplacement services. We have established strategic alliances with select organizations to fulfill additional human capital and business needs.

We firmly believe that your people are your most valuable asset. Our offices in San Francisco, San Ramon and Santa Clara provide service to more than 300 companies and we deliver our services worldwide through Career Partners International (CPI).