It is 2150. Science and technology rule the world. Artificial intelligence provides the life blood for the universe. Basic robotic beings conduct all manual labor. Therefore, humanity enjoys endless pleasures and high level thinking. Surprisingly, a rodent dashes through the power grid, bypassing a sophisticated security system and blacks out Earth. Living at the core of the planet, Earth inhabitants stand in darkness. There are no engineers, technicians, and scientists. Humanity has abandoned scientific pursuits in the quest for a better life.
Why are American businesses excited about global outsourcing while their employees sound the alarm on the impending danger ahead? As I watch numerous companies outsource their corporate souls abroad, I wonder, what is the future of our workforce? When global competition should bring out the best in humanity, perhaps it is bringing out the worst in us.
As American company after company relishes its stronghold on innovation and creativity to the rest of the world, global competition escalates. When managers should be developing their employees so that they can get the best performance out of them, managers develop systems that do not inspire or empower workers but maintain the status quo. Sadly, this is a tragic mistake as countries seek out the best talent in the future.
In a rapidly changing environment, organizations need to understand the rule that talented individuals will play in the future. Some organizations play with strategic planning for the predicted problems of the future, yet they neglect the unintended consequences of what is happening in the near term.
Watts Wacker, Jim Taylor, and Howard Means, authors of The Visionary’s Handbook, explain, “Fail to build your own future, and someone is going to build one for you.”
Dr. James Canton, nationally recognized futurist, analyzes 10 critical emerging trends in his book, Extreme Future. Dr. Canton notes, “Everyone needs to think differently about the future, a future that is riddled with change, challenge, and risk.” He further provides the five factors that will shape the extreme future which are speed, complexity, risk, change, and surprise. Yet, what emerges from Dr. Canton’s prediction is an increasing need for more worldwide talent.
There is a growing battle developing as companies fight for positioning on the global market. In fact, this war is waging across the globe. Countries are searching for the brightest and smartest talent. The Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey involved a study of 1,176 companies across the world, including 314 from the United States. The survey found that the vast majority of the companies were having difficulty attracting the critical-skill and talented employees to help them compete during this economic crisis.
According to the study, 65% of the companies reported having problems obtaining the needed talent (52% of American businesses). In fact, many businesses aren’t even able to retain their own employees. American businesses were reporting losing 11% of their workforce while globally it’s over 20%.
Gaining the right kind of attributes will make workers more valuable. Ryan Johnson, WorldatWork Vice President, notes “This study is a good reminder that employers need to reassess their employee value proposition to key in on those factors, both tangible and intangible, that would make them attractive to recruits.”
According to the survey, the top talent management priorities were (a) Ensuring the readiness of talent in critical roles, (b) Increasing the investment in building an internal pipeline of talent, and (c) Creating more development opportunities within (rotations, etc.). Therefore, the quest for worldwide talent will dominate most countries economic agenda as they seek to position themselves in the future.
What is the workforce aftermath if America cannot compete for future talent? What effect will global outsourcing have in the overall strategy of tomorrow’s organizations?
© 2010 by Daryl D. Green