BE DiFFERENT or be dead: the stand-out leaders’ mantra
NEVER has it been more important to carve out a distinctive and unique place for your organization in the market than it is today. The economy is unpredictable. Competition is intense as new competitors are entering the market at a blistering rate. New technology “rains down” relentlessly.
Markets are cluttered with sameness; products and services are undifferentiated and competitive claims are lost in the crowd. Customers are more empowered than ever before, establishing relationships with suppliers that deliver distinctive solutions and ignoring those that don’t. Which organizations are successful and survive this challenging business environment, and what separates them from the others that struggle, hang on and eventually fail?
Those that are able to win this battle are DiFFERENT from their competitors. They survive the scrutiny of the discriminating customer by providing relevant, compelling and unmatched value.
Those that have no distinctive identity simply don’t make it.
They die. How can organizations stand-out from the herd and distance themselves from it? It starts with reinventing how strategy is developed. The emphasis is shifted from strategic direction to execution. Many plans look good on paper but can’t be executed. They are theoretically pristine but worthless as they fall short of delivering results.
The BE DiFFERENT or be dead Strategic Game Plan is designed for execution and answers 3 questions:
1. HOW BIG do you want to be? – growth goals
2. WHO do you want to SERVE – target customers to achieve growth
3. HOW do you intend to compete and WIN – value proposition that gives The WHO reasons to buy ONLY from you. Being the best of the best is ignored; being the ONLY ones that do what you do is coveted.
Marketing is focused on creating experiences rather than flogging products. Investing in current loyal fans is given priority over providing special promotions and deals to acquire new customers. Mass markets are ignored in favour of concentrating on the individual and discovering their “secrets” that will unlock economic value. The world of “me” gains momentum.
Customers are looked at holistically; experiential packages are designed for each of them to satisfy their broad life desires. Creating happiness is the marketer’s end game. Customer Service is out; SERVING Customers is in with the end game to “dazzle” the customer and take their breath away. Internal rules and policies are re-vectored to make customer engagement a friendly process. The customer is brought in to the organization to get their fingerprints on how they want to be treated.
“Leadership by Serving Around” is the new culture. “How can I help you?” are the words leaving leaders’ lips not “Do this.”
The BE DiFFERENT Bottom Line:
To Stand-out from the Herd you need to provide value that people care about and that is unique. Failure to deliver and you’ll be ignored, invisible, common and dead (sooner or later).
(About the Author: Roy Osing (@RoyOsing) is a former executive vice-president and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience. He is a blogger, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead.)
Written By: Tracey Arnish, Senior Vice President, Talent at SAP
The economy is improving, and changes in social norms have raised the stakes in recruitment. At the same time, there doesn’t appear to be enough people with the right complex skills entering the job market. How do you recruit the best and the brightest when there are five generations in the workforce? How do you reach them at all?According to a recent LinkedIn study, approximately 25% employed people are actively looking for their next role. However, a staggering 60% can be swayed to talk to a recruiter or their personal network about new job opportunity. And with the idea of a “job for life” long forgotten, talent is more willing to move than ever before.Recruiters are vying for the attention of a limited talent pool. But as we see from this LinkedIn survey, it’s not because people are not looking. In today’s competitive talent market, recruiters are tasked with finding talent that possess complex skills needed to guarantee future business success. And sometimes, these skills are so unique that it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.
3 Ways To Find A Candidate For That Hard-to-Fill Position
With 7 billion people inhabiting our planet, how do you find that one person that can help raise your brand to superstar status? Here are three strategies for attracting the best and brightest talent our world has to offer.
1. Target potential candidates before there’s a new job opening
Data is everywhere. So why should data scientists and analysts have all the fun? Data mining for recruiters can be as simple as a Google search, a trip to Facebook or Twitter, and a visit to key blog sites. However, if you really want to take advantage of all that data, you need tools that can help you pull it all together, analyze it, and uncover critical insights. With some of today’s recruitment analytics tools, recruiters can pinpoint strategic geographies—even specific neighborhoods, college campuses, or competitor office buildings—to attract top talent. You can even find out which social media channels your potential talent pool uses to connect with the outside world.
But analytics doesn’t just show you where your potential candidates are, it maximizes time and ROI by telling you which candidates are worth your time and effort to develop a relationship. Predictive analytics can match ideal candidates to open (and future) positions and when the time is right to actively recruit the potential candidate.
2. Go where your future talent lives, works, socializes, and plays
Gathering place. Confessional. Neighborhood. Community. Whatever you call it, social networks have created a place where people all over the world are testing new ideas, flaunting their successes, and looking for support to learn when they fail.
Social media is where others can live vicariously through our personal experiences. In addition to recruiting activities such as job fairs and college campus visits, actively listening, watching, and engaging with future job candidates on social media platforms is a great way for recruiters to get to know them. By putting their ear close to the proverbial social-media ground, recruiters can find out who’s out there. What do they want from work? What do they value? Are they happy with their current employer and why?
In addition to performing primary and secondary research on potential candidates, social media provides an opportunity for recruiters to draw an audience for their employer brand story.
3. Treat recruiting like marketing—everyone loves a good story
The power of how you tell a story can inspire and excite. Does your employer brand story resonate with the best candidates? Good employer brand storytelling fosters a personalized connection and uses peer-to-peer experiences to show authenticity and generate trust. And the best people to tell that story are not recruiters or marketers—it’s your employees in every area of the business. They are the ones who can tell candid stories that give a realistic view of life at your company. By weaving those stories together into the employer brand, you encourage the right people to apply because they value the perspective of their potential peers and like what they hear.
You think you found the “one”? You’re not done!
Just because you found the “one” and convinced this person to work for your company, it doesn’t mean your job is done. Rather, it’s only the beginning. Hiring managers must consistently re-recruit their employees to keep them engaged and loyal.
Here’s some tips on how to get started:
1. Connect employees’ work with their individual values.
No matter the generation, all employees want to feel valued. They want to perform duties that have meaning and have an impact on the overall company. Find out what each employee values—even down to the social causes that are close to their heart.
2. Create opportunities for consistent, 360-degree feedback.
Another thing people always appreciate is feedback—and not just during annual performance reviews. This dialogue should take place weekly and provide actionable items, such as signing up for corporate learning, setting up a meeting with another colleague, or asking for the opportunity to take part in a meaningful project to gain leadership skills, make a greater impact in the company and world, or spice up daily life at work.
3. Help employees picture themselves moving through the ranks.
If employees see a future with their current employer, they are more likely to resist the temptation of a recruiter’s call. Look for internal talent when filling open positions. If your talent doesn’t have that one unique, critical skill set, see if it’s possible to help an employee develop that skill through corporate learning before you reach out to your list of potential candidates outside the company.
Above all, no recruiting strategy is complete without the right leadership—and that is especially true for re-recruiting plans. When there’s a management team that understands the value of developing a competitive workforce, you’ll have the time, money, resources,
and support to convince hiring managers that re-recruiting your employees is just as important as recruiting new ones.
(About the Author:Tracey Arnish was appointed Senior Vice President, Talent in March 2013. In this role Tracey is responsible for SAP’s End to end Talent strategy ensuring that SAP continues to live the philosophy that “Everyone is a Talent”, and that each individual is fully enabled to grow a meaningful career at SAP. Under Tracey’s leadership Talent Acquisition, Total Rewards and Talent Management and Development, are responsible for the design of leading solutions in support of a compelling career experience for each and every one of SAP’s 65,000 talents globally, and ensuring that SAP has the talent it needs now and for the future. With over 15 years of progressive Human Resources experience, Tracey has worked in both the private and public sector with organizations. Passionate about building an organization that attracts and retains the best talent, Tracey brings focus to developing a culture that enables the achievement of the strategic business plans and supports colleagues in achieving their career best with an employer of choice. A mentor and coach to others Tracey is passionate about supporting talent and helping others realize their full potential.)
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