Talent Management: Dealing with Systemic Supply Market Shortfalls

Today’s National Post had an article titled “Lost in translation”, page FP8 by Jameson Berkow on how organizations in Canada are dealing with accessing needed skilled IT people:

“Finding skilled IT people for emerging technologies can be challenging and companies should be prepared to look at creative approaches to filling the gap.” (quoted statement by Bob Wylie, vice-president of Datacentre, Workplace and Enterprise Services at IBM)

What these creative approaches are was left unexplained.

So, what are some of the creative approaches that we could contemplate?

There are some standard conceptual level solutions available for us to consider. These would include:

  1. Make the current supply go further. How might we achieve this?
  2. Make the need for this talent less. How might we achieve this?
  3. Make the supply for this talent immediately larger. How might we achieve this?

Framing the issue into standard conceptual level solutions makes it easier for us to think up ideas that may help us find a citable and practical solution.

The reader will note that the three conceptual solution ideas represent a system view perspective: idea 1. looks at the “blackbox” in the system; idea 2. looks at the system output aspect; and idea 3. looks at the input aspect.

Another approach is to look at what we want from an ideal final outcome perspective:

  • issue disappears completely by elimination
  • total efficiency in meeting all needs
  • needs are automatically met without effort
  • etc.

This last approach looks at resolving our need through applying one of a handful of arch-typical ideal outcomes to the issue and identifying specific ideas on how we can achieve this result.


About 123stilllearning456

As a management consultant I am passionately interested in talent management and risk/uncertainty issues. In the area of talent management I propose that we seek strategies that look beyond the staffing/employee centric frames of reference. I have been frustrated at the "closing down on possibilities" by these more conventional staffing/employee centric approaches. I have been impressed where people have found systematic solutions to their talent management issues by going beyond the conventional approaches. In the area of risk and uncertainty, I am interested in making this topic relevant to more normal decision making situations. My conceptual foundation is to use the micro-economist's fixed/variable cost theme. I also think it is important to look at these issues for people through their emotional and psychological lens. As a premise I think risk and uncertainty only exist where there is a person who cares about possible events and its consequences. Hence, risk and uncertainty are social based concepts (no sentience, no risk and uncertainty). A major influence on my thinking in this area is Nassim Taleb of "Black Swan" fame. This BLOG provides me with an opportunity to express my thoughts on topics that interest me. As this is an online diary, content is more important to me than polish. I apologize if this distracts from readers' enjoyment and learning. Still I find this a useful way to live up to my namesake, learn more from others and hopefully provoke creative thoughts and ideas in others.
This entry was posted in Decison Making, Risk & Uncertainty, Talent Manangement. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Talent Management: Dealing with Systemic Supply Market Shortfalls

  1. Consider this a Post Script:

    The 26 February, 2011 national Post article titled “Nurse shortage plagues hospitals, home care” by Iris Winston, page F10 is another (probably more scary) example of what is being discussed above.

    What I find fascinating is that a systems view is beginning to emerge, primarily on the supply (input) and use (system black box) components. I suspect that the issue won’t really be addressed until the whole issue of demand is somehow tackled.


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