Okay, so I just asked the most rhetorical question in the world, I know. In a December interview that appeared in the UK newspaper, The Telegraph, (and oddly enough didn’t seem to get much press here in the U.S.) the Oracle of Omaha shared his optimism regarding the long-term prosperity of the U.S. economy. The source of his optimism? Women, and more to the point, the fact that our country is just now starting to embrace the full potential of more than half of our population. Mr. Buffet makes some salient points and I highly recommend reading the short interview!
With Mr. Buffett’s insights in mind, let’s take a quick look around at the current landscape. In January, 2.16 million people voluntarily quit their jobs (this is independent of retirements). This is the largest number since 2008. We all know who the most mobile people are, too; the most talented. You know that so-called Talent War we’ve been reading about for the past two years? I think we just heard the proverbial shot heard around the world!
Here’s another interesting tidbit…a recent, major study demonstrated that companies with the most diverse leadership teams deliver a return on equity 53% higher than the least diverse companies. This is in addition to delivering a 14% advantage in EBIT as well.
Gallup, for nearly a decade, has reported that only 3 out of 10 employees are thoroughly engaged. And according to 2012 research from the Corporate Executive Board, CEOs recognize the need to draw an additional 20% of productivity from their existing human capital in order to meet current performance goals. Historical, annual gains in productivity, since the early 1990s, has averaged a little more than 3% per year.
The fact is, there’s a hidden workforce and enormous, untapped talent pool lying just beneath the surface in many organizations.
If we’re to trust in Mr. Buffett’s insights (and who wouldn’t?), and acknowledge the current landscape supported by the research, shouldn’t we, as leaders, thoroughly consider one of the best investments we can make in our organizational fitness at this time? Investments in talent that will add dimension to our leadership acumen, strategic insights, and cultural inclusion?
If we’re to quickly capture a 20% increase in productivity of our current human capital we need to embrace and act upon one of the most exciting investment tips I’ve heard in years. There’s still a bounty of low lying fruit right within our midsts!
© 2013, Terry Murray.