What’s Your Story?

I’ve spent the last two days talking about talent. Wednesday, leading a 1/2 day seminar with the Rock Star Team at Kaplan University and this morning delivering a keynote on Brand Strategy & Communication design as part of the Workopolis Talent Symposium in Toronto.  What is becoming abundantly clear as I travel and talk with business leaders is that a developed, strategic, integrated talent strategy practice remains elusive.  Even in today’s marketplace attracting high quality, right fit talent is heavy lifting.

Yesterday, the collective offered up some very real, shared challenges as it pertains to talent acquisition. Today, every hand in the room was raised when our opening speaker posed the question:  “Who is experiencing challenges acquiring high quality, right fit candidates for certain open jobs TODAY?”   The challenges are real, accelerating and already inhibiting performance.

Really?  In this Economy?!  Absolutely…and knowing that top performers contribute 2x – 3x more (and often much more) to the organization than average performers a clear imperative exists to address the challenges head on and proactively attack the opportunity to put the best team you can to work everyday.  Through the presentations and panel discussion that included a collection of influential thought leaders like Allan Schwyer, Gabriel Bouhard, Daniel Imbeault and Darren Barefoot (and yes…they did let me sneak on to the agenda) we addressed the trends, technology and transformation top of mind including the state of the economy, segmentation, talent drivers and social media.  The day was full of powerful content, case studies and data to support the talent first business case.  And through it all we kept coming back to one central theme:

What is your story?

What is it about your work style design and experience that is authentic, differentiated and compelling that passionately resonates with your community (tip:  “nothing much” didn’t appear to be an answer that was going to solve the problem).

Start there.  Then figure out how you are going to tell the world – or better yet the community you covet.  Your tribe.

Seth Godin, author of Tribes said it quite well in a recent post, “The market is not seduced by logic.  People are moved by stories and hints and clues and discovery.  Logic is a battering ram, one that might work if your case is overwhelming.  Wal-Mart won by logic (cheap!) but you probably won’t.”

So, what is your story?

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