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Are You Sure Your Company is Healthy?

This single page .pdf written by Margaret Heffernan and provided by the IT Metrics and Productivity Institute presents a few powerful questions and statements about the growth and potential of a company. Using personal experience, Heffernan illustrates the dangers of “buying talent” rather than fostering it from the ground up, explaining how trying to purchase experience is a dangerous idea: Any fool can buy talent; only real leaders develop it. I’ve worked with numerous organizations, founded by charismatic individuals, who grew their businesses on the back of their personal flair and reputations. But they never hired people smarter than themselves and they never successfully taught and developed the more junior people around them. They didn’t mean to, but they put their companies at risk. The failure to develop talent organically put them at the mercy of headhunters and new hires. At best, these were expensive (in time and money); at worst, they entrusted the whole enterprise to strangers. It’s a bad strategy that often crashes. On the other hand, Heffernan also is familiar with companies that make it a point to familiarize the entire organization with the business goals, resulting in a combined effort where everyone benefits. This helps cover the bases when and if key resources leave the company; instead of scrambling to plug holes, you can simply shift resources and stay afloat.

Comment 1
Comment ID: 93
Comment Date: 2012-04-05 13:34:48
Comment Author: Roberto Guandique
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I disagree with the contents of the first paragraph, smart investors and advisers look at not only the Balance Sheet, which only tells you about the Assets, but also look at the income statement, to look at profits, and the statement of cash flow, to look a how cash is generated- as the foundation for the health of any company. Also, on these statements they can see “growth” reflected; which for public companies is an important objective for shareholders. Now, I agree that “People” is a fundamental driver, because without it, the other factors would not exist. I also think that if a leader sees that he/she has not local talent (in-company) for succession, then he/she should “buy” it, just like a lot of good companies do.

Comment 2
Comment ID: 94
Comment Date: 2012-04-05 13:48:33
Comment Author: mlkabik
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Thanks for commenting, Roberto. You bring up an excellent point about the importance of showing growth – particularly for public companies.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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