Robert J. Thomas, Yaarit Silverstone

When leaders are aware of the conversations that are taking place in their organizations and can identify those that are generating the most energy or emotion, they can allocate their attention (and their interventions) with greater impact.

Leading in Your Sleep

Can leaders be connected, present and effective 24/7? Yes, and they should be—but only after they become sophisticated users of social media, which creates the need for instant accessibility.

Douglas A. Ready, Linda A. Hill, Robert J. Thomas

A strategic orientation must be balanced by ruthless operational efficiency; a sense of collectiveness must be balanced by the need for individuals to build their careers; a global perspective must be balanced by local relevance; enduring commitments must leave room for regeneration and renewal. Mastering all four of these tensions together will help your organization achieve and maintain high performance.

Four Blueprints for Ensemble Decision-Making

When making a decision, two heads can be better than one, but two – or even more – perspectives are definitely better than one, especially in today’s dynamic and widely different global markets. These authors call it ensemble decision making and they describe four patterns and three steps for making it work.

Leadership Ensembles: Orchestrating the Global Company

Companies can no longer rely on single individuals at the top to handle the complexity and uncertainty of the global environment. Instead, they need “leadership ensembles”—teams that can capitalize on diversity, stay current with developments in different parts of the world while anticipating future trends and their implications, and make smart decisions without sacrificing speed.

Leadership ensembles are groups of executives, each with distinctive expertise and … [ Read more ]

Robert J. Thomas, Joshua Bellin

Research into career paths at major corporations has shown that early promotions greatly enhance an individual’s chances of reaching a senior level, while those who are “knocked out” of the competition at early stages can be locked out of any further advancement. The implication: Senior managers are drawn from a pool of individuals who succeeded early in areas of individual contribution such as efficiency, while … [ Read more ]

Global Leadership Teams: What’s Missing at the Top

Most organizations and most boards of directors recognize the need for integration at the top but they also know that integration is elusive and often temporary. Research—still in its early stages—by the Accenture Institute for High Performance, has begun to identify the behaviors, the composition and the cognitive styles associated with global top management teams that achieve high performance.

The questions are tough: should top management … [ Read more ]

Fostering High-Value Collaboration

Companies know that collaboration among people, departments and organizations is important. But collaboration behaviors, structures and outcomes are tough to quantify and, as the saying goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Accenture offers insights on how to identify and obtain the most productive levels and kinds of collaboration.

Are Emerging-Market Multinationals Creating the Global Operating Models of the Future?

For multinational enterprises, the rise of the multi-polar world— a phenomenon in which traditional centers of economic power are being dispersed more widely across the globe—makes global operating model configurations and organizational capabilities more important than ever. However, a recent Accenture survey shows that 95 percent of senior executives say that they doubt that their companies have the right operating model to support their international … [ Read more ]

Chapter 7: The Talent Powered Organization: Next Steps and the New Imperatives

The seventh and final chapter of The Talent Powered Organization maps out a talent agenda that is based on the five imperatives set out in the preceding chapters, and which will advance progress toward achieving high performance. The agenda is strategic and long-term, presenting a “call to action” to an organization’s leadership as a primary audience, but also to other stakeholders, reiterating that talent management … [ Read more ]

Is This Any Way to Make a Decision?

Informal networks can play a pivotal role in how organizational decisions are framed and executed. But they can also result in too much collaboration—the kind of lengthy and expensive decision making that can cost companies dearly in missed opportunities.

Chapter 6: The Talent Powered Organization: Embedding and Sustaining Talent Power

In this sixth chapter of The Talent Powered Organization, the authors explain the importance of understanding and measuring how talent contributes to an organization’s performance. Once that is understood, it is clear that everyone in an organization must be involved in multiplying talent—from top leaders to HR, to line managers, to employees. Therefore, the second part of this chapter focuses on the need to:

* Maintain … [ Read more ]

Performance Management and Technology in Corporate Governance

This note addresses how performance management—the integration and application of the right information within decision-making processes and enabled by technology—may improve governance and reduce information asymmetry. Typical hazards of information asymmetry include missing financial projections by a wide margin, letting knowable risks knock a company off kilter or being unaware when management action might damage corporate reputation.

Integrating performance management into the board agenda should minimize … [ Read more ]

Chapter 5: The Talent Powered Organization: Engagement

In this fifth chapter of The Talent Powered Organization, the authors address the question of engagement which, they argue, is the engine of the modern organization and a prerequisite for high performance.

Engagement – that is, the extent to which employees take responsibility for the organization’s goals – is the “magic” ingredient that lifts performance above that of a peer organization. This quality is highly measurable … [ Read more ]

Chapter 4: The Talent Powered Organization: From Talent Development to Deployment

Chapter 4 of The Talent Powered Organization turns the reader’s attention to talent development and talent deployment as key organizational capabilities of talent-powered organizations that support talent multiplication and competitiveness.

Accenture High Performance Business research shows that few companies are achieving high performance in learning and skills development of their workforces. Indeed, the nature of skills required by modern business is changing, and with it the … [ Read more ]

Robert J. Thomas

There is no point in trying to assess people’s abilities without first finding out what they care about. The same goes for trying to assess things such as “leadership potential” or “creativity” out of context. One has always to ask, in relation to what?

Together We Innovate

Geniuses are great. But bright, motivated teams are better. Unfortunately, many companies are pouring more money into generating ideas, but falling short on team-building, networking and collaboration. In a Wall Street Journal Online article, Accenture’s Robert Thomas and three noted academics dissect the problem and posit a solution.

Talent: Leveraging Your Most Important Competitive Asset

In the global competition for talent, some companies may view the endgame as a matter of adding the right individuals. But the key to winning on talent is multiplication, not addition. Companies that build this critical capability will generate superior effort, creativity and results from their workforces.