A consumer products company had enormous success driving core brand growth. Their strategy was shifting to include growth in emerging markets, but they were pursuing it in a disciplined fashion. The company recognized that a talent strategy was needed to anticipate and plan for this growth.
Demographic data revealed that nearly 50 percent of the workforce could retire within five years. As a result of this understanding, developing bench strength in key roles and safeguarding business-critical capabilities became an imperative.
Our work began with a thorough diagnostic with the company’s board of directors and top senior leadership team to better understand talent strengths and opportunities. This SWOT analysis was supplemented with regional data from HR directors. From this analysis, a talent blueprint was developed to sequence both operational and strategic talent plays.
The role of the general manager was identified as a mission-critical role to the company’s success. The senior executive participated in the development of a success profile, which indicated “futuristic” competencies and experiences needed to lead in varying countries with differing levels of P&L accountability and complexity. From this effort, the company launched a custom-designed GM development program to build these targeted capabilities.
A systematic approach was needed to plan for talent as the company grew. The CEO and senior leaders agreed to an integrated business planning approach, synchronizing financial, strategic, and talent planning into the normal business planning cycles. Talent analytics became essential to developing strategic growth options. This systematic process supported having the right talent, in the right place, at the right time, and it raised the visibility of talent as a critical catalyst for growth.
The results of these interventions were dramatic. The talent and leadership strategy made a significant contribution to the company’s overall success, with its share price tripling in three years — even against the backdrop of an economic downturn.