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Jamie Kirmess

Are Talent Amplification and Change Management Part of Your 2019 Annual Plan? They Should Be.

Jamie Kirmess / September 10, 2018 / 0 Comments

Companies looking to attract and retain marketing talent are in a fierce war today. Lose, and your strategy will suffer.

We all know what it’s like to fight battle after battle in the war for talent, especially in the Martech space.

It’s the fourth week of recruiting, and your top candidates have accepted different offers. It’s the heart-wrenching text from a valued employee reading, “Can we talk?” It’s losing multiple resources in the same month.

As someone who both works with exceptional marketing clients and also leads a team of highly-sought after consultants, I can relate.

LeadMD’s recruiter, Stefana Valentino, told me, “I’ve recruited in three different spaces, and Marketing Technology (specifically Automation and Ops) is by far the most competitive.”

Her words gave me validation, but validation doesn’t change the talent landscape. So, instead of reacting to dramatic shifts in your talent pool, it’s time to be proactive.

Companies with a solid talent amplification and change management strategy are more likely to stay on track with their plans than those without one. At a time when marketing leaders are under the gun to deliver measurable value, CMOs can no longer afford to neglect this critical ingredient for success.

What is a Talent Amplification and Change Management Strategy?

Talent amplification and change management strategy is an intentional effort to improve organizational performance by enabling your best resource – your people. Having a solid strategy aids in the retention of existing employees and also plans for the need to recruit new employees.

LeadMD’s Talent Amplification and Change Management Framework

In recent months, we’ve put some formality around how we approach talent amplification and change management. Our framework, shown below, is the basis of our methodology.

talent amplification

Step One: Understand Your Organizational Strategy

Once you understand what the organization is hoping to achieve, you can start to create a talent amplification and change management strategy. Let’s walk through a practical example to highlight this point.

Many organizations are making a dramatic shift in their go-to-market strategies in 2019 by moving from a demand generation model to an account-based model. During annual planning, marketing leaders typically evaluate their budget through the lens of execution…

What accounts are we targeting? What tactics can I implement with my existing tech stack? What new software will we need to make this strategy successful?

Too many leaders forget to ask the most critical questions of all: Is there a risk that I will lose talent because of this change? Do I have the right people to make this change successful?

Spend time answering the following:

  • How will this change affect my existing culture?
  • Are there any risks involved in this change?
  • What type of people and skillsets do I need to ensure success?
  • How will I communicate the change effectively?

Often times, we’ve found leaders are unable to answer these questions effectively. This is likely because they are too close to a project or team, leading to bias, or they don’t know the right questions to ask. An objective, outside perspective, will help facilitate this process and will make the time invested worth it.

Step Two: Develop a Strategic Plan

After you’ve developed your strategy, it’s time to put structure around how you’ll accomplish it through a strategic plan.

In the planning stage, you will:

  1. Define what roles are needed to reach your strategic objectives: Working off our ABM example, you may find that you need a skilled data analyst to drive target account identification, a creative to assist with messaging, and a marketing operations manager to lead the systems strategy. Outline all of the roles and responsibilities that will make your outcome a success.
  2. Assess your current talent strengths: Based on your list of responsibilities above, do you have the right people? If not, create a plan for filling any gaps. Filling these gaps may not mean hiring additional headcount – you may choose to invest in training or a consultancy to supplement these gaps.
  3. Develop a communication plan: How will you communicate your needs outlined above to stakeholders? How will you deliver the strategic objective to your current team? Especially when a significant change happens, employees can feel rattled. Creating a communication plan helps ensure everyone is aligned and mitigates the risk of talent churn.
  4. Plan for risks: This step can feel unnecessary because there’s a potential everything will go smoothly. I promise you it won’t, and from my experience, organizations that take the time to plan for risks are more successful. At a minimum, identify high-risk items first. What happens if a key player on my team leaves the company? What happens if I can’t find the perfect new hire? Once you’ve done that, move to less-likely risks, such as “What if the person I hire isn’t cutting it?”

Step Three: Put that Plan into Action!

Executing the plan is the final piece of the puzzle. Depending on how well you’ve thought through your strategy and planning phases, the tactics pillar can be smooth sailing or dangerous waters.

In this phase, you will:

  • Activate Your Talent: Use your communication plan to communicate change, inspire your team, and ensure they are aligned.
  • Recruit and Select New Talent: Tailor your recruiting and selection process to most effectively attract talent that aligns with your strategies and objectives.
  • Train and Develop Employees: Continuously train and develop talent to enable growth and skillsets that align with your organizational objectives.
  • Enable Performance: Develop resources that enable your team to be successful. Understand how to get the most out of your employees by implementing a feedback cadence.
  • Manage Performance: Assess how well employees are doing against their goals to help reach organizational objectives.

September is right around the corner. Now is the time to make talent amplification and change management a focal point in your strategic plan. Get started today by getting a free talent amplification and change management maturity assessment.


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