≡ Menu

‘Look for raw talent, not for English skills’ – The Economic Times

CHENNAI: “One lousy leader can change everything.” Coming from one of the world’s most influential consultants (named by Fortune magazine), this comment summed up the point Ram Charan was trying to make to a hall packed with Indian CEOs. “Trends don’t happen on their own. They are connected by people,” said Charan, who advises CEOs around the world. “A trend by itself doesn’t move. Human beings own it and move along.” Speaking on the topic ‘Leadership in turbulent times’ at an event organized by Great Lakes Institute of Management, he said that China would emerge as the place where a lot of different industries would be anchored from. When someone from the audience asked how long he expected the China influence to last, he replied, “You can have a lousy leader (and everything can change). We are having such a situation here in India, aren’t we?” Charan said putting a leadership pipeline in place was critical and firms should start identifying talent early. Talent must be spotted along two lines – those who are great individual contributors and those who can be future leaders. “Both are completely different skills. Potential leaders naturally link with people to get work done for them, have a nose for making money, are highly tuned to succeed in their next-in-line jobs and can work with highly diverse sets of data. Firms can use these as indicators to identify such talent,” said Charan. He said that mistakes in identifying the right people are inevitable in such a process but the key is to cut losses at an early stage. “There is no excuse to hire four consecutive wrong CEOs. Yahoo and Kodak had four consecutive wrong CEOs,” said Charan. “Identify good talent early and if you don’t have them, start hiring them. I always say, look for raw talent and not for (how he/she speaks) English.” He also said that he is privy to the CEO selection that is going on in Microsoft and there are two major criteria the company is looking for. “First is the ability to perform in the fast changing segments where Microsoft doesn’t have much to show, even after pouring in about $100 billion in the last 10 years. The previous two CEOs haven’t done well,” said Charan. “Second, Microsoft was built in a way where there were a lot of independent silos, which won’t work in today’s consumer-driven market.” Shareholder activism was bringing in a big change in the role that boards are expected to play in a company, he said. “In some companies, boards are already more powerful than CEOs. Other than compliance, one of their major activities is to hire, retain and fire CEOs as they are increasingly doing,” said Charan. He said the biggest changes are those which affect more than one industry at a time and said changes that Steve Jobs brought about belonged to this category. “Four trends – digitization, internet, sensors and algorithms – are going to change every function across every industry.”
Source : Click Here

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment