Article: The power of an idea whose time has come


The power of an idea whose time has come

CEOs have come to realize that business and talent are so inter-linked that one discussion cannot happen without the other
The power of an idea whose time has come

“Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come”
- Victor Hugo

1 out of 3 CEOs spends more than 50 per cent of time on talent related activities. Never before have CEOs spent so much time on talent as they are doing it today.

Earlier, business would talk about strategy, alignment, feasibility in terms of financials etc and then move to the talent discussion only at the execution stage. CEOs, however, have come to realize that business and talent are so inter-linked that one discussion cannot happen without the other – that it is actually the ONE and the same conversation. Businesses have started rethinking their talent management strategies as it has become not only the starting point of pursuing new business opportunities, but also the answer to competitiveness.

The People Matters &’s CEO as the Chief Talent Officer Study 2013 shows a clear shift in where CEOs are spending their time on talent related activities. Leading in No. 1 and 2 positions are “coaching and mentoring” & “leadership development”. Earlier, CEOs would talk about how people are their greatest assets but some would hardly know 50 people in their organizations by name. Maybe this strategy worked in the past, but not anymore. Everyone can now see that the emperor is not wearing clothes.

Today’s CEOs are hands-on and work with their frontline teams, lead from the front and take every opportunity to coach from the trenches. The CEOs we spoke to this year had many instances of where they spend their time in talent related activities.

A great example of how a leader can turnaround the organization by focusing on the talent lever is K. V. Kamath. In the Big Interview, the non-executive chairman of ICICI Bank talks about how identifying and nurturing talent is his mantra for growth.

We also featured two contentious topics this month: The Tehelka sexual harassment case and Yahoo!’s move to implement the controversial bell curve. As the year draws to a close, we also take a look back at the events in the past year with our Flashback Series. Besides our regular columns, we have a special spread on the 2013 L&D Leadership League Awards, the first time such an award has been instituted for the learning and development community.

For us, 2013 has been a year of innovation. We redesigned the print magazine and the website (, with a sharp focus on rich media content for both as a way of engaging the reader across mediums. We launched our tablet app three months ago and the response has been phenomenal. It affirms our belief and will encourage us to continue to innovate.

We thank all our partners, contributors and well-wishers for supporting us to contribute meaningfully to this community. And most importantly, we thank our readers for giving their support and engaging with us with your praise, feedback, suggestions and criticisms.

Have a great year ahead!

Happy reading!

Esther Martinez Hernandez,


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Topics: Leadership, Strategic HR, #Editor'sDesk

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