Talent: Making People Your Competitive Advantage / Edition 1

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In today's global business environment, it is more and moredifficult to gain a competitive edge, but it is not impossible.Talent, potentially the most powerful source of competitiveadvantage, is available. But how should organizations be designedto make talent their key source of competitive advantage?

In this follow-up to his best-selling book Built toChange, Ed Lawler shows how organizations can combine the rightorganization design, management practices, and talent to gain acritical performance edge. Talent offers a blueprint thatsuccinctly maps out the best approach to organizing and leading atalent-focused organization. The organizational features needed tocreate a talent-focused organization are identified and theiroperation explained. Special attention is paid to:

  • Leadership
  • Corporate boards
  • Talent management
  • Performance management
  • Information and decision making

Lawler shows how organizations can determine whichtalent-focused management approach best fits their business: ahigh-involvement approach that has long-term employmentrelationships and a high level of employee involvement in decisionmaking, or a global-competitor approach where there is a constantinflux of new talent and technological expertise. Drawing from hisexpertise and providing insights into today's most innovativecompanies, Lawler describes the human capital strategy andorganization design for each approach. He provides the foundationand tools for creating effective and innovative organizations.

A timely, much-needed resource, Talent defines howcompanies can be managed for competitive advantage today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Voted "Best Book of 2008" in Human Capital, Strategy +Business "Some boards do have committees on human resources,but they typically focus on CEO and executive compensation andperhaps succession planning at the executive level, not on theoverall talent strategy and effectiveness of theorganization...What is needed is a human capital committee thataddresses succession planning for senior management positions andthe evaluation of the CEO and the top management team."—asexcerpted from TALENT by Edward E. Lawler, III in Directors& Boards

"There was one chapter in Talent that I found to be really newand interesting. That was the chapter about corporate boards andtalent management. Often when we think about boards of directors wethink about a room of former CEOs and finance guys who go overnumber and compliance issues. That's pretty much what Lawler hasfound in his research as well. But if a company wants to really useits people as its competitive advantage, then these boards ofdirectors have to be informed on the talent management issueswithin the company. Not only that, but at least some of these boardmembers should have some HR expertise—which according to Lawler'sresearch, is a pretty rare occurrence."—WorkforceManagement

"In his book—for those who wish to proceed withHC-centricity—Lawler describes the steps involved in buildingtalent-based organizations. Through generous case studies ofcompanies from Whole Foods to BMW to Siebel Systems, Lawleroutlines ways of achieving HC-centric management through approacheshe labels 'high involvement' or 'global competitor."—HRMagazine

"Lawler presents visionary information and examples that anyorganization can take pieces from. As a whole, Talent is athought-provoking read. More importantly it is a practical book.Anytime the reader starts to say to him or herself "yeah right,that would never work" Lawler responds with an acknowledgment ofthe practicalities and support for optimism. If Lawler’sprediction that more companies will turn towards HC-centricorganizations then it would be wise to read this book now."—The Employment File, 6/10/2008

"A lot of people know a little about Talent. Ed Lawlerknows a lot! In fact, he may know more about this topic than anyoneI know!"

"There is no better person to provide advice on Talentthan Ed Lawler!"

"The world’s authority on HR systems – he shows youhow to change the people equation in your company!" –Marshall Goldsmith is the New York Times best selling authorof What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – theHarold Longman Award Best Business Book of 2007.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787998387
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/18/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,527,825
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward E. Lawler III is director of the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California (USC) and distinguished professor in the USC Marshall School of Business. Named one of the country's leading management experts by BusinessWeek magazine, Lawler is the recipient of the top career achievement awards given by SHRM, ASTD, WorldatWork, and the Academy of Management. He is the author or coauthor of more than forty books, including The New American Workplace, HR Business Process Outsourcing, Treat People Right!, From the Ground Up, Rewarding Excellence, and most recently, Built to Change. His writings have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Financial Times, as well as many academic journals.

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Table of Contents

Foreword (Dave Ulrich).


1 Talent Matters.

2 Making the Right Management Choice.

3 Designing Organizations.

4 Managing Talent.

5 Managing Performance.

6 Information and Decision Making.

7 Reinventing HR.

8 Governing Corporations.

9 Leading.

10 Managing Change.




The Author.


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