Archive for January 2013

Are You Protecting Your Organization’s Largest Investment?

Are you, is your company protecting your largest investment? So now you may be asking, “What is our largest business investment?” Is it in plant and machinery? Or inventory? Or perhaps some key databases with product or client information? Where is your largest investment?

Many executives and managers may not realize that for most organizations, the largest expenditure or investment is in people, often times referred to as “human resources.” According to Rick Anicetti, former CEO of Delhaize America (parent company for the well-known leading grocery chain Food Lion), a company’s people and their ability to get things done better and faster can be one of the true differentiators in a very competitive global market. In a small business dinner sponsored by the Triangle Organizational Development Network (see blog about this meeting), Rick further went on to state that “a company’s human resources (or people) are not only the most important investment of the company, but also its most expensive and fragile resource.”

The criticality of human resources is further confirmed by a recent e-mail I received from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) that quoted a recent survey: HR professionals have stated that the biggest challenge they face over the next 10 years is retaining and rewarding the best employees (59% listed this in their top 3 challenges) and the second biggest challenge is developing the next generation of corporate leaders (52% listed in their top 3.) Clearly, especially as the economy improves, companies need to step up their focus on retaining their critical human resources.

A good career plan will have a balanced approach to building short term skills for the current job and looking at longer term career development

A good career plan will have a balanced approach to building short term skills for the current job and looking at longer term career development


One of the most proven ways of engaging employees and retaining top talent is to invest in career and skills growth programs. These programs need to provide education and opportunities to enhance current skills, but beyond that should also provide some longer term career guidance. Providing career path examples and encouraging a longer term focus can provide employees motivation to stay within the enterprise to develop a rewarding long term career.

Total Engagement Consulting offers an innovative approach using organization-specific career road maps that can fully engage your staff by providing valuable career progression information to keep them vital, enthused and wanting to grow their careers. Here are two additional links:
1. Link to more details on Total Engagement Career Road Mapping Services.
2. Link to a methodology for calculating financial business justification for career services.
You may also contact me at Stan@TotalEngagementConsulting.com for a word document summary of these services and to discuss how this process can be tailored to you so you can optimally engage and retain your most valuable resource.

My own career road map as an example - it contains a mapping of my career positions as well as the skills I developed in various roles.  This map can then be used to provide career path guidance to others seeking a career in consulting.

My own career road map as an example – it contains a mapping of my career positions as well as the skills I developed in various roles. This map can then be used to provide career path guidance to others seeking a career in consulting.

A Follow Up – Innovative Diversity Leadership for the US Armed Forces

Last week I published my annual review (link to blog) of progress in the US Armed Forces around LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Diversity following the ending of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) at the end of 2010. I now follow up that article by sharing some great

Dr. Adis Maria Vila, United States Air Force Academy Chief Diversity Officer

Dr. Adis Maria Vila, United States Air Force Academy Chief Diversity Officer

resources from one of my Linked In connections, the Diversity and Inclusion Leader of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Dr. Adis Maria Vila.

Two key points to start with:
1. Fostering diversity and inclusion initiatives at the US Service Academies is an outstanding and critical emphasis since these academies develop many of our military and national leaders.
2. The excellent methodology that Dr. Vila deployed at the US Air Force Academy is easily transferable and applicable to all kinds of enterprises: educational, business, non-profit, etc.

Here are the links to these two well-written, well-organized clear articles, authored by Dr. Vila::

“Building a Culture of Inclusion at the U.S. Air Force Academy,” in the Spring, 2012 National Civic Review.

“Next Steps for Building a Culture of Inclusion at the U.S. Air Force Academy,” in the Winter, 2013 Insight Into Diversity (once the entire magazine comes up go to pages 6-8)

Some of the key sharings from Dr. Vila fom her last two years of experience in her diversity and inclusion leadership at the USAFA that are transferable for all of us in this field include:
• The importance of understanding the history and culture of the organization to assure developing a diversity and inclusion strategy that is relevant and that will resonate with leaders.
• Extensively collaborating across the organization to create a plan that clearly articulates the core importance of diversity and inclusion to the organization’s strategy.
• Building a core of advocates across the organization who will assist with the communication and execution of the strategy
• Deploying the strong combination of top-down direction setting, board-based bottom-up performance improvement, and cross-process process redesign.

Finally as a diversity consultant with a specialization in LGBT diversity, I am very pleased that Dr. Vila did explicitly include LGBT diversity in the mix. In one article when writing about the composite of individual characteristics included with diversity, she wrote, “This description of diversity is broad and is likely to expand even more as lesbians and gays openly serve in the Air Force.”

Do study these two articles and use them to make your own diversity and inclusion efforts more effective!

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