If talent is the leading indicator of whether a business is up or down, a success or a failure (and it is) . . . do you know how to accurately judge raw human talent? Understand a person's unique combination of traits? Develop that talent? Convert what supposedly are "soft" subjective judgments about people into objective criteria that are as specific, verifiable, and concrete as the contents of a financial statement?
The talent masters do. They put people before numbers for the simple reason that it is talent that delivers the numbers. Success comes from those who are able to extract meaning from events and the forces affecting a business, and are able to look at the world and assess the risks to take and the risks to avoid.
The Talent Masters itself stems from a unique combination of talent: During a forty-year career at General Electric, Bill Conaty worked closely with CEOs Jack Welch and Jeff Immelt to build that company's worldrenowned talent machine. Ram Charan is the legendary advisor to companies around the world. Together they use their unparalleled experience and insight to write the definitive book on talent—a breakthrough in how to take a business to the next level:
• Secrets of the masters. The specifics on how companies regarded as world-class—GE, P&G, Hindustan Unilever (and others)—base their stellar performance decade after decade on their systems for finding and nurturing leadership talent.
• Intimate and systemic. Why deep knowledge and intimacy with your talent and a systemic rhythm of reviews are the foundation for creating a steady, selfrenewing stream of leaders for all levels of an organization—from first-line supervisors to the CEO.
• The competency that lasts. Financial results, market share, brand, and legacy products all have a half-life that seems to grow shorter by the year. Talent is the only competency that endures.
• What to do Monday morning. The Talent Masters tool kit provides the specific guidelines for assessing and improving your company’s talent mastery capabilities.
Corporate guru Charan (The Game Changer) and Conaty, a 40-year HR leader at General Electric, reveal how successful companies stay on top by developing leaders at every level of operation. Heading the list is GE under the leadership of Jack Welch. Nicknamed "Neutron Jack" for his ruthless willingness to fire non-performers, Welch created a new culture at GE by transforming the criteria for executive performance so that management had to get to know their workers, which allowed them to choose future leaders to develop in a series of room-to-grow jobs. The authors offer suggestions for adopting Welch's methods for today's global environment, examining not only GE but also Novartis, Hindustan Unilever, and Proctor and Gamble to suggest that today's leaders need to manage multiple brands in one country, shepherd a single brand across the globe, and spend time working abroad. A liberal use of jargon ("He searches for discontinuities in the external landscape") will distance general readers, but business types will find this useful.
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Over the top value
It's not often that I read a book where every page brings so much value. Reading and putting into practice Talent Masters will no doubt lead to my businesses growing faster and more profitably!
CEO, Able Engineering & Component Services