The people agenda

Optimising performance at the front line

People, we frequently hear, are at or near the top of the agenda for every CEO. Why are people issues so important? Because:
  • Once thought of primarily in terms of cost, people are now being valued as rich sources of talent, skill and diversity, which are critical for success. Yet, 70 per cent of CEOs surveyed in annual CEO Survey indicated they lacked the right talent in their business to be able to execute their plans.
  • People can create value, but they can also destroy value. People behaviour has been the major contributing factor in most of the organisational collapses we have seen over the last decade. It is people who deliver strategy and change, not systems or processes.
  • Today people – at up to 70 per cent of overall costs – are often the biggest expense for the organisation. Yet by and large organisations do a much better job at measuring and ensuring the effectiveness of their physical assets than they do measuring the impact of people on business results.
The people agenda identifies three major dimensions of managing people that are likely to determine how successful a CEO can be in realising their strategic objectives:
  • Attracting and retaining the right talent
  • Increasing the effectiveness of people in the business
  • Managing people through change
It offers some brief perspectives on each of these issues to help build a picture of the people management challenges facing organisations and how they might begin to address them.