Reinventing The Career: What Should Organizations Do?

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  • Excellent post Josh! I’ve seen many companies trying to get career and succession planning to work and you touched on many of the issues they are having like managers hoarding talent or exporting “problem” employees. Some even stated that their functional area leads become suspicious if a manager from another unit is advertising one of his/her employees to them. So I am curious to see which guidelines will help improving these issues.

  • Sara Holmqvist

    The images are very blurry?

    • Sara what platform are you working on?

      • Sara Holmqvist

        I was on my Iphone – but now that I switched to my laptop the images are clear. 🙂

  • Bill Brantley

    I love this! Am I correct in assuming that to survive in the new career management, the best candidates will have robust project management skills?

    • Absolutely – a critical skill today in any professional position and leadership role.

  • Great post. I’m sure you will have already read it Josh, but i think you would like some of the ideas in the book The Alliance. I think the concept of jobs being viewed as a “Tour of Duty” plays into some of the themes you’ve discussed here. Thanks for the insights.

    • Definitely, I’ve read it. Very appropriate. What I’ve been doing since reading it is digging into all the practices that make this possible in companies…

      • I’d be interested to know any practices which seem to facilitate the implementation of this type of framework. There would probably need to be a serious amount of data analysis as the degree of commitment needed to achieve what is effectively a paradigm shift in career management/employer-employee relationship would only be sustained if grounded in a data-driven vision of the eventual upside. IMO.

        • I just had a meeting with a large tech company and we spent an entire day on this. Some of the ideas included A) doing away with job descriptions, B) reducing the # of job levels, C) moving leaders from business to business, D) redoing the onboarding process, E) creating a set of career coaches within corporate HR, F) doing much more analytics on talent mobility (which showed them how much work they have to do).

          • I believe idea A would be a big mistake. It’s treating the symptom not the cause. A JD is actually a great first interaction if you have the right information within it. i.e. No more Company background followed by bullet point duties followed by bullet point requirements. Instead, use your company data to show the potential career paths within your organisation, how success in the position will be measured, X number of key objectives to meet in the first year, the skills that are needed short term but more importantly the skills that can be acquired in the medium to long term etc. It’s actually shocking that the same JD is put in front of active candidates and passive candidates (though i dislike the terms). Would love to discuss all the others but it’s late here in HK so sadly i shall have to sign off. All the best.

          • Yes, doing away with Job Descriptions is fairly radical, but it gets the point across – jobs/roles change pretty frequently and we have to unlock the opportunity for jobs themselves to change.

          • Agreed. Often a wise tactic to start the debate at the extreme knowing the likely outcome is going to be far more restrained – particularly when some large organisations are concerned. Like turning the Titanic. Look forward to more of your posts.

  • Steve Yeardley

    The only thing i can see missing is the nepotistic model that exists within a large number of local authorities where its about who your friends are at a higher level as to whether you progress, regardless of your ability. It then manifests as a power game where decisions are made by those who know nothing yet hold positions of power…like shuiffling deckchairs on the Titanic is the best analogy…

  • Fascinating, Josh. I wonder if you have any observations on what this means for college-level and MBA-level learning that traditionally helps grow that middle management workforce. Presumably, it means less demand for those degree programs. Do you anticipate that engineers, designers and other professional talent will go back to get MBAs to build their leadership and management skills? Or look for alternative ways to get that? Or at the BA/BS level, do you anticipate computer science and other engineering departments encouraging their students to do more interdisciplinary work that includes business?