Summary of The Playbook for Putting People First

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In a talk at the 2018 Degreed LENS conference in New York City, McKinsey partner Carla Arellano explains why firms must build data-driven talent strategies for acquiring, developing and keeping the skills that are vital to their success. Talent is the most important factor in business achievement, says Arellano, so every initiative or financial plan needs a corresponding talent plan. Her succinct, timely argument for prioritizing talent will appeal to business leaders and HR professionals.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How talent has become the most important factor in organizational success;
  • Why leaders must identify and nurture employees who contribute disproportionately large value; and
  • Why HR must embrace data, analysis and other evidence-based methods to tie learning and development initiatives to business outcomes.
 

About the Speaker

As a partner in McKinsey’s OrgSolutions group, Carla Arellano specializes in talent analytics.

 

Summary

Global business leaders are shifting their emphasis from strategy to talent. Typically, a company refreshes its strategy several times a year, so firms need employees who can adapt to and execute new initiatives. Moreover, the pace of business disruption is accelerating. A company that joined the S&P 500 in 1935 could expect to stay on the index for about a century. Today, new competitors will replace half the S&P 500 within 10 years. Successful firms allocate money quickly and flexibly according to their vision of the future. They are tactical and nimble in reallocating talent, though it isn’t always clear where to move people due to the evolution of work and the influence of other factors, such as automation. The book Talent Wins names various ways that top firms put talent first, including four strategies:


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