As many of you know, Tom Peters speaks constantly about finding, cultivating and keeping talented people. Tom defines Talent pretty broadly. He says you shouldn’t always assume that a 4.0 grade point average is the answer. You should find people who think creatively, work well with others, and are innovative. This process works for the best baseball teams and symphony orchestras, so why shouldn’t it work for your organization?
To prove his point, Tom often uses former GE CEO Jack Welch as an example. Welch oversaw huge growth and success during his tenure at GE. Welch was a talent fanatic, and his obsession paid off in spades!
I thought about Tom’s ideas, as I was reading an article in Business Week about Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company’s new Marketing Czar. Farley, a veteran from Toyota, is trying to revive the Ford brand ("brand power" is another of Tom Peters’ favorite topics).
One of Farley’s comments struck me (and I thought it could easily have come from Tom Peters mouth). The article was talking about pulling together a team of top people. The team could come from anywhere and have a variety of skills: Here is the paragraph:
In early December, Farley sat down with Toby Barlow and George Rogers, respectively executive creative director and CEO of Team Detroit, the WPP agency that handles Ford’s ad business. Farley got right to the point. "Do you guys play Fantasy Baseball?" he asked. Both men had heard of the virtual leagues put together by baseball fanatics, but neither belonged to one. Farley said he wanted Team Detroit to put together a kind of fantasy league, scouring the planet for the most forward-thinking and creative talent. Farley didn’t care where the people came from. They could come from WPP, PR firms, universities, or digital agencies. They could be freelancers. They could be from Detroit or Dubai. "Team Detroit should be like a general manager of a baseball team," he says. "I’m looking to them to find me the best players for every game."
Reviving Ford’s brand will be a huge challenge and who knows if Farley can achieve his goal. But if you ask me (or Tom Peters), he is certainly going about it in the right way. The idea is simple: good people can find answers and help keep your organization ahead of the pack.
I totally agree with your comments. In fact, we’ve created a new leadership training video that features people like Jack Welch, Sir Richard Branson and others talking about the very traits your mention. They go futher to explain why courage,choice, passion, risk and listening to diverse points of view can help us to survive and thrive during bad and good times. Here’s a link to the video: http://www.successtelevision.biz/wiofcale.html Enjoy!