Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to Keep Talented People

On the comments of my previous post my regular commentator Daddy asked: "have you ever thought of becoming a professional consultant by yourself?" That is a tough question to answer publicly, as Daddy is commenting anonymously, and the only thing I know for sure is that he is from Finland (and could even be my boss or his colleague).

Here is my honest answer.

Yes I have thought of becoming a consultant. Several times a year, every time I work with good consultants. But I have too many reasons for not to take the risk. The company I work for meets several criteria that are important for me, and for any business.

Opportunities for professional development

Some weeks ago The Wall Street Journal published an article called How to Keep Your Best Executives. I am not an executive, and if I am talented or not, is for other people to judge.

Reading the article made me realize that I do not have a satisfaction gap on the opportunities for my professional development. The most important opportunities are summarized on the picture in the right, for details see the article.

I am given increased responsibilities and challenging tasks to develop diverse competencies. I am allowed and encouraged to accumulate marketable skills, to expand my professional network, and to build my professional reputation. Partly through my blog, which is no secret.

Matching values

My values match the company values. We are among the companies having received recognition from UN for outstanding Communications on Progress regarding Corporate Social Responsibility reporting.

We are included in the Cleantech Index which is comprised of 78 publicly listed companies that are global leaders in cleantech across a broad range of industry sectors.

Business fundamentals

We have a solid foundation for Achieving Business Excellence with (1) high-quality products and services, (2) solid financials, and (3) reacting to change.

Management fundamentals

We pay attention to important management fundamentals of (1) vivid vision, (2) best people, (3) robust communication, (4) sense of urgency, (5) disciplined execution, and (6) extreme customer focus. For more on these, see my earlier post about the book Awesomely Simple where these criteria come from. Or check how I rephrased the list as advice I gave my management team when I gave them the book.

Continuous improvement

Nobody's perfect, and we are working on to improve some of the above. I am able to influence many of them. From inside.

Yes I have thought of becoming a consultant, but why would I?

Instead, would you be interested to join us?


Anonymous said...

Dear Samuli,

I can perfectly understand that your current employer wants to keep people like you - and you want to stay there - no doubt about it. Sincerely, I didn't
have any back thoughts.

Yes, I am a Finn and happen to know your company quite well. You should be proud of the V.

D.Pink is one of my favourite writers at the moment and thinking of motivation as one of the key "elements" of keeping people efficient, enthusiastic, inspirative, innovative and human, it's very much linked to a level of autonomy and trust you can leverage to your workplace, among your workers etc.

It is also why I am sorry for being an anonymous writer, but I had my sort of "making sense" reasons.

Anyway, thank you for the last year. Your blog has generated a good amount of fresh ideas and positive engergy and by following the principle of what I call a Genuine social networking, i.e. "getting and also giving", I hope my thoughts had their place in your blog.

I appreciate the V-link as well.

Happy Holidays.


Samuli said...

Thanks Daddy,

I did not mean you commenting anonymously would be difficult for me. It is just me posting publicly - anybody could read my answer, regardless of who asked the question. But speaking the truth and having nothing to hide makes it easy.

Did you see Dan Pink's TED talk About Intrinsic Motivation in September?

I really appreciate your comments. KIITOS! Having some dialogue makes it more rewarding for me.

Seasons greetings coming tomorrow, stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I saw Dan Pink speaking in the TED. Like quite many others he seems to be connected with Sir KR as well (

- interested in creativity and new fresh ways of thinking and doing successful businesses. For example, how many commodities you can name with an excessive "cover" without any actual benefit/purpose for a final consumer? KR's example of Michelangelo's comment about creating the David - how he just revealed the David. It's a great metaphor and link to today's businesses (ref. to Ray Anderson about "resource productivity" in TED).