Five Ways to “Protect The Talent!”

September 29, 2015 by

“Protect the melon!” – The Dodos,”Ice Age” (2002)

In what I consider the funniest scene from the animated film “Ice Age,” a group of dodos frantically try to protect three melons. The confusion and chaos that ensues demolishes the melons and causes the dodos to be extinct.

A rallying cry for CIOs  everywhere should be “protect the talent!” If you don’t, you will have disarray and circle the drain of organizational extinction.

  1. Retain the quality talent you have, at all levels. From the new hire fresh from college to the seasoned professional who is expert at handling internal stakeholders and influencers, pay attention. Do they have interesting work? Are they compensated and rewarded appropriately? Are they supported by their managers? Are they allowed to take risks, and even fail once in a while, without dire consequences? Does the culture support high levels of engagement?

  2. Rid yourself of poor performers. They will kill your culture, drive down engagement, demoralize and irritate the quality performers, and derail quality and time to market. While poor performance can manifest in technical skill shortfalls, the most damaging poor performance is behavioral. Failure to meet commitments, blaming others, concern with self success above team success, lack of teamwork, lack of customer focus – these are just some of the toxic attributes of poor performers.

  3. Get creative with workforce arrangements. Teleworking, flexible scheduling, short term assignments, creative commuting – these are the new normal. The new workplace is not the office; it’s the office plus the Internet. Make 21st century technology an enabler of talent management.

  4. Constant recruitment. Always have the door open; the time to bring in great new talent is when the talent presents itself, not just when you have an opening. Keep job postings perpetually open. Go to or hold job fairs. Survey your business network opportunistically for people making a change or looking to make a change.

  5. Be social – virtually and locally. Social networks are an opportunity to elevate your brand as an employer. Get all the CXOs on a couple of forms of social media. Find local events – sponsor science fairs, summer tech camps, local youth sports teams, be visible in local tech professional groups. If people see you as a vibrant, engaged organization, this adds to your brand.

Just like monitoring your technology environment, attention to talent must be 24x7x365.

“The winner’s edge is not in a gifted birth, a high IQ, or in talent. The winner’s edge is all in the attitude, not aptitude. Attitude is the criterion for success.” – Denis Waitley


The #SuperBloodMoon #EclipseLunar on September 27 was amazing. One social media post opined that never had so many pictures of the moon been taken. Certainly, it was an interesting case of #social meeting #science.

Technology is increasingly among the primary issues with corporate scandals. Volkswagen put software in cars that fooled emissions tests. Among the reasons for the recent ouster of United Airlines CEO was difficulties with integrating United and Continental systems that resulted in customer dissatisfaction. Jeep had to do a recall due to security issues.  All boards should have information technology appropriately on their radar and agendas.

OH: Autonomy does not mean anarchy.

Great infographic from the Center for the  Future of Work that highlights how robotics, analytics and other technology enablers can make a positive impact on the workplace.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.