Saturday, May 17, 2008

Talent Anxiety In Global World

In a recent post at Bnet, Jessica Stillman blogs about a finding from The EquaTerra Globalization Study where more than 500 business leaders in North America, Europe and Asia shared their opinions about globalization. Stillman concludes that U.S. leaders are more worried than their European and Asian counterparts about finding and retaining talent. She poses this question:

"What’s behind the anxiety of U.S. business leaders? Is the issue simply that not enough Americans are getting the training and skills they need to succeed? Or are Europeans bosses finding it easier to lure talent from around the world?"

I like this question about what is behind the anxiety of U.S business leaders because it points to 2 important prongs in the talent issue - creating a skilled workforce and hiring skilled workers. I think getting the best talent available for U.S. companies is inextricably tied to the quality and the effectiveness of the U.S. education system starting at the primary ages in producing skilled, motivated workers who are poised to be lifelong learners. Without a reliable, plentiful pool of homegrown talent to pull from, U.S. CEOs have no option but to seek talent elsewhere. For this reason, business leaders as community stakeholders should take the time to weight in heavily and forcefully on the education conversation with discussion, direction, resources, and shared responsibility toward solutions. Businesses have a lot of problem-solving knowledge to share as well as an important role to play in quantifying and communicating their needs for the future.

My dialogue-furthering question would be how about it? Why not get together and build what serves the education/skill needs of all critically involved? Why not define together what is needed, as David Brooks says, in The Cognitive Age?

Who can we count on to lead this skills revolution?

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