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May 20, 2006

The Value of Talent

Ajit links to an article which essentially shows how "classifying employees by their role in the success of your business rather than by their function can improve the effectiveness of recruiting, staff development, and deployment."

The article categorizes employees into four broad groups, based on the their "value" and "cost impact:

Creators devise and implement an organization’s distinguishing value proposition or business model. They include senior executives and the chief designer in a fashion house. These are scarce resources with skills that take a long time to acquire and are costly to develop and maintain.

Ambassadors represent the organization’s public face and are responsible for customer experience. Among other positions, they are bank tellers, supermarket cashiers, nurses, and field installation technicians. In most cases, these workers are easily replaceable and their skills do not have to be particularly sophisticated, but if they don’t do their job well, the business can suffer significantly.

Craft Masters ensure the quality, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness of an organization — the essential ingredients for the faultless execution of a business strategy. These are the design engineers in a high-tech business, the “nose” of a perfume brand, the whiskey blender in a distillery, and the auditor in an accounting firm.

Drivers keep the business running. They are assembly-line operators, back-office agents, and administrative assistants. Although they are neither crucial to the success of a venture nor hard to hire, in most companies they represent the largest category of human capital, and bad management of this group can lead to operational disruption or quality problems.

I can see this classification being a good starting point for organizational diagnosis...and here are some things it could throw up -

How many people in your organization who were hired for the role of a "creator"are actually playing that of a "craft master"? A whole host of people who are expected to create value actually just end up managing a portion of the value chain

Look at your HR team...which category do most members belong to?

From your business continuity perspective, you would need to have strong pipelines for the "drivers" and "ambassadors"segment, and robust succession plans for the "creators" segment...do you have those?


  • I'm a firm believer that models are only of indicative value ,each organisation needs to evolve and define roles based on current and short term goals. Roles must be defined based on future challenges not on past results.

    By Blogger LEO, at Sunday, 21 May, 2006  

  • and all along I thought that Drivers were people who drove Ambassadors (amongst other cars !)


    bad joke.

    Time to get back to work !

    By Blogger Gautam Ghosh, at Monday, 22 May, 2006  

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