Optimizing Talent Locally and Globally Is Not A One-Size-Fits-All Scenario


Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – TalentTalk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives.  TalentTalk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues and having the cultural mindset to embrace the needed diversity of the workplace.

Today’s guests are Alexa Fletcher and Mark Frederick. To hear the entire show, find it on the TalentTalk Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes and Player FM.


talentAlexa Fletcher

Alexa Fletcher is the Founder and Managing Partner at Alexa Fletcher & Associates. She had been in consulting and was ready to go out on her own doing talent management with other CHRO’s to help them build talent management capabilities. She works with small to midsize companies as well as professionals who are navigating career paths.

Large or small organizations have the same levers to optimize talent. The ability to create a work environment to help your employees grow professionally. The resources available to employees may differ from large to small companies to allow employees to grow but we need to identify what is available to them. What can they do to be what the company needs them to be? We can help them progress versus replace them. Small organizations invest in keeping talent to help the organization grown. They often wear so many hats and so they use team leadership to utilize and grow that talent. Large organizations may put less strong players on teams because they don’t want to lose the overall strength of the team and what’s best for the organization.

Companies need to identify if they are going to look to joint ventures or a hybrid model. CEO’s that are focused on growth are seriously considering their talent and implement a growth strategy. They are also very intentional about the design of their culture. Some have experience of cultures that “happen by accident”. They are also focused on the characters of the candidates that they employee in their company.

Alexa emphasizes that organizations be proactive early on and to “dig deep”. Alexa says that “people are the life blood of organizations”. Doing your due diligence gives you the opportunity to proactively assess things like cultural compatibility a component of which is leadership style. During a change or merger, being proactive early on is important to set the tone. The need to anticipate, to understand, and plan for the impact of any change at a “people” level, it is paramount to keep communication open. Make time to have personal communication during mergers and times of change.

Companies need to do 3 things to achieve balance:

  1. Talent requirements-What you can do around your talent strategy varies between work environments.

  2. List the expertise of those on the team. What is the talent that you want your workforce to have?

  3. Need the ability to operationalize their talent.

Example- Consulting Firm- Previous talent requirements: You would need to sign up for 100% travel and work weekends.   Turnover is very high with such environment. Craft a value proposition that caters to the talent you actually have in the talent market. Meet their business needs and the needs of their employees.

What are you reading? The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Andrew Scott and Lynda Gratton


talentMark Frederick

Mark is the Director of Global Talent Management for IOR Global Services helping companies find and develop talent that is working in different cultural context. This could be a manager leading a team from different countries and finding ways to coordinate that team effectively.

Mark finds that integration is challenging and we can see that as we look at our own country. We need to bring different points of view together effectively, so doing that globally requires deliberate efforts and conversations with employees on how everyone is going to work together. Mark suggests that “this should be built into the onboarding system so people know culturally how working together and how managing conflict will be done”. How people celebrate can be different from company to company as well as between countries.

Companies such as Google have culture statements that are clear on their values and their approach on work. They are a failure friendly work environment which can be difficult to accept at first. Companies with strong brands and strong headquarters in the U.S., that are also global, can have difficulty making sure that the regions do not feel isolated. Companies need to make sure that they are integrating with their regions around the world to succeed and get local buy in. There is also a matter of trust with the departments and management, such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, to make sure that people feel secure in their position and new tasks or development.

Assessment tools such as Global Competencies Inventory looks at 16 different dimensions can help companies assess nonverbal and verbal cues that can affect cultural interactions. This tool measures unique dimensions that can be helpful for those cross-cultural adjustments. Mark suggests another learning system, Country Navigator, gives in-depth country information, tips, advice, norms and behaviors. It also has a tool that evaluates workstyle behavior and then compares it to show how one might adjust their style to work best in the other environment. It becomes a different mindset. You must have the global experience to really understand and perform in that culture. Whoever is making the decisions needs to have the exposure and experience to have an impact on the development and leadership in that country.

What are you reading? An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey