Leigh Branham is the CEO of a management consulting firm called Keeping The People. His firm helps organizations identify root causes of employee disengagement and turnover, and then creates strategies to fix them. Branham had a great article recently in The Kansas City Star discussing the most effective dynamics of job creation (How Do Jobs Happen? Talent Meets a Need 12/4/12, pp. C9C10). Branham quotes the late Sidney Fine (former director of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics) as providing the best definition of all time for job. As quoted by Branham, Fine states:
A job is a talent that meets a need. (p. C9)
A job is not just a resume that meets a job opening. Its a talent that meets a need. This is a very liberating definition because it broadens the playing field immensely. . . . Just imagine how many jobs could be created if employers emerging needs could somehow be matched with the right talents. (p. C9)
I think Branhams liberating observations create two imperatives; one for organizations and one for individual workers:
1Organizations must do a better job in their talent management. We have too many mismatches between business needs and available talent. Talent deficits will likely increase due to poor global planning. I think this situation is very slowly beginning to change, but we have much work to do. The opportunity for highly positive change is rich.
2Individuals engaged in job searches and career planning must reorient their mission from that of just a job search to an exploration to bring the perfect talent to meet a business need. Instead of just looking for a preexisting job, think about how you can pitch your talent to an organization. You should be your best salesperson. You know yourself best.
I remain encouraged by the latest developments in this field. Increasing numbers of organizations are grasping how important their talent-management processes are and how they must evolve with the times. Simultaneously, increasing numbers of individual workers are embracing the new reality of putting themselves in charge of their careersI am a corporation of one. Although painful lessons have repeatedly occurred along the way, I believe the future of the American workplace is bright.
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