Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great” and “Built to Last” asks the question, “Do we have all our key seats (remember his bus analogy from his books) filled with fantastic people? If the answer is no, we must resist growth until all those seats are filled with fantastic people”.
What Collins is talking about is that having the right people in the right positions is the key engine for growth for any division (like supply chain) or business you are managing. You can’t grow without fantastic people!
“If I were running a company (or division) today, I would have one priority above all others: to acquire as many of the best people as I could. I'd put off everything else to fill my bus. Because things are going to come back, my flywheel is going to start to turn. And the single biggest constraint on the success of my organization is the ability to get and to hang on to enough of the right people.” is another bit of wisdom from Collins.
This quote reminds me of a supply chain manager that I was talking to about a year ago who told me that he decided that he couldn’t meet his short and long-term goals and objectives with his present staff since they didn’t have the skill sets he needed to grow his savings. Therefore, he was going to hire new talent over the next few months and discharge five of his current employees.
My first reaction to his decision was “Wow! That was a scary decision to make or even consider”. But after thinking about what he said a few hours later, I had to agree with his hardnosed decision since he was right: Without having the right people with the right skill sets in the right seats his job would always be in jeopardy due to his underperforming staff.
That’s what talent management is all about! Getting the right people in the right seats and then nurturing, incentivizing and mentoring them so they become fantastic employees. Take a lesson from any championship sports team. They wouldn’t win the Super Bowl, World Series, World Soccer Cup (you name it), without having fantastic players. Do you think you can win the supply chain game without hiring, training and retaining as many super stars as possible?