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identified 34 talent themes that explain the differences between how people
relate to one another and why different people will excel or fall short based on
various settings. These key themes grouped under talent types as presented
by Gallup are shown in Exhibit 13.1.3
According to Gallup, it is the presence of some of these themes, that auto-
matically guides and triggers both learning and emotional response as well as
the absence of other themes that result in the differences in how people re-
late, impact, strive, and think. When we observe someone who seems to be
able to perform exceptionally well and continues to learn and grow in a par-
ticular field or endeavor at a pace beyond the ordinary, we are witnessing
these talent themes at work.
Capability is the potential for the future development of a person™s talents
into skills and competencies. Whereas talent focuses on an inherent gift or ap-
titude, capability focuses on the overall size or potential for development of
gifts into skills and competencies that produce results. Skill, on the other hand,
refers to the ability to perform work that results from acquired knowledge that

1. Communication 8. Command 14. Achiever 23. Analytical
2. Empathy 9. Competition 15. Activator 24. Arranger
3. Harmony 10. Developer 16. Adaptability 25. Connectedness
4. Includer 11. Maximizer 17. Belief 26. Consistency
5. Individualization 12. Positivity 18. Discipline 27. Context
6. Relator 13. Woo 19. Focus 28. Deliberative
7. Responsibility 20. Restorative 29. Futuristic
21. Self-Assurance 30. Ideation
22. Significance 31. Input
32. Intellection
33. Learner
34. Strategic

Exhibit 13.1 Talent Themes
Resource Management

enables the person to do something competently. Finally, the passion dimen-
sion refers to the intense set of emotions that compels a person to action. It usu-
ally appears as a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity.
A professional could have a talent that through knowledge has resulted in
skills that he or she uses indifferently because of a lack a passion for the ac-
tual work. This person may also be performing at the top of his or her capa-
bility for using that talent and, therefore, may promise little in terms of
future development. Another person could have a great reserve of untapped
talent, some of which has been converted to skills through education and a
huge passion for the work that drives him or her to reach for greater heights
of performance. This person may also have huge capabilities and offer a great
deal of future potential. Either of these people could be the right person for
a role in your company. Either can be a superstar, depending on the role and
your company. The important thing is that you first give the term top per-
former a more concrete definition relative to these four dimensions of talent,
capability, skill, and passion, and then use the resulting criteria template as
your basis for understanding the needs of your company.
The best question for business owners and executives who are seeking top
performers to ask is, “ Who can be a superstar in my business environment in
the particular jobs I have in mind?” What are the key requirements for suc-
cess in your company? The answer is . . . all of the talents, skills, capabilities,
and passions that are needed to reach your company™s business objectives.

Zeroing in on Your Requirements
One tool extremely useful in identifying the key success requirements for a
company or specific team function is the alignment chart. An alignment
chart enables you to clearly link company goals to the specific talents, skills,
capabilities, and passions that are needed to reach them. To put together an
alignment chart, simply:

• Create a form with your word processor.
• Across the top row, label the first three columns from left to right:.
”Company objectives
”Team goals
”TSCP needed (talents, skills, capabilities, and passions)
• In the first column under “Company Objectives,” list your main three
to five key company objectives.
• Next, make one copy of the one-page document for each team in your
organization, for example, copies for accounting, marketing, sales, and
so on.
• On each of the copies for one of the teams, fill in under “Team Goals”
the answer to the question: How will this team contribute to the com-
pany objectives?
288 Services Delivery: Taking Care of Business

• Finally, to fill in the TSCP column, ask yourself: What talents, skills,
capabilities, and passions will the team need to have to be able to ac-
complish these goals?

The resulting chart should look like Exhibit 13.2. One way to test the
strength of the logic of your charts is to check for the linkage in the oppo-
site direction. In building the chart, you began with company goals and
worked your way to the right by asking questions designed to help you oper-
ationalize your high-level strategy. Your questions were basically focused on,
“How am I going to do this, or what do I need to do to accomplish that?” To
test for solid linkage in the opposite direction, start from the TSCP column
and ask yourself, “ Why do I need these talents, skills, capabilities, and pas-
sions in my team?” If the responses logically f low well into a sentence that
starts with, “In order to be able to . . .” followed by the list in the column to
the immediate left, you have a strong linkage between your “TCSP” and
“Team Goals” sections. Next, you can test the linkage between the “Team
goals” section and the “Company Objectives” by similarly asking, “ Why
must these team goals be accomplished?” Make sure that there is a natural
f low and connection in the response “In order to be able to . . .” followed by
the list in the “Company Objectives” column. Columns to the right tell us
how we will contribute to or support the success of an item to the left. Con-
versely, the answer to why we are doing something in any column should be
to accomplish something listed in the column to the left of the column we
are testing.
The two charts for our fictitious XYZ Company in Exhibits 13.2 and 13.3
show that the one thing the two charts share is the Company Objectives.

5 percent increase in Increase new business 5 Prospecting
market share percent Accounting/financial
30 percent gross margin Close only high margin acumen
(up 3 percent) business Relationship building
10 percent increase in Go deeper into clients Articulate
overall revenue (combined with new
clients results in 10 per-
Establish niche brand
cent revenue increase)
A high level of knowl-
Gain trusted advisor
edge about our services
and best practices

Exhibit 13.2 Alignment Chart for a Sales Professional
Resource Management

5 percent increase in Complete work on time, Project management
market share on scope and on budget Subject matter content
30 percent gross margin Identify other opportuni- expertise
(up 3 percent) ties to add value Business savvy
10 percent increase in Improve value driving Self-motivated learner
overall revenue skills
Customer focused
Establish niche brand

Exhibit 13.3 Alignment Chart for a Project Manager

How the two teams contribute to the attainment of these objectives is clearly
different. As a result, the skills they need to succeed are also different. If we
were to continue this process with other teams in XYZ Company, we would
find that the marketing team would own, for example, the responsibility for
establishing the niche branding value. On the other hand, the accounting
team™s contribution to the Company Objectives might be faster billing and
timely management reports to sales and delivery. Other teams would provide
other contributions that would require other talents, skills, capabilities, and
In the end, by summing up all of the TSCP listings on each of the charts,
you would have a general picture of the talents, skills, capabilities, and pas-
sions specifically needed for superstardom in your company.

Assess the Talents, Skills, Capabilities, and
Passions in Your Resource Pool
If knowing what you require is the first step, knowing what you have is with-
out a doubt the next immediate step. Many small, as well as large, companies,
unfortunately, do not have a clear idea of the vital talents that exist within
their own organizations. As many knowledge management experts will point
out, the biggest challenge in knowledge management is knowing what you
have and then using it. Jason Averbook, a director in Global Product Market-
ing for PeopleSoft Human Capital Management (HCM), who is currently re-
sponsible for the delivery and development of PeopleSoft™s entire HCM
division, states, “Most organizations hire a bunch of people before looking
for the needed talent in-house. They do this primarily because they don™t re-
ally know what they have in-house nor do they possess the tools to effectively
keep track.”4
290 Services Delivery: Taking Care of Business

Problems That Result from Not Knowing
Your Talent Pool
I vividly recall an incident many years ago when my team and I had a great
opportunity for landing a new piece of business with a financial service
client. The only catch was that we had to come up with three people who
could work at the code level with three major applications and prepare them
for integration into a new trading environment recently launched by the
client. For the next few weeks, we struggled to find the right candidates. By
the third week, after much effort, we had only one candidate and the client
was breathing down our necks. Two more weeks later, we had a candidate for
the second slot. Within the next few days after securing the second candi-
date, we found the third, not a minute too soon, because the client was
threatening to go to a competitor if we did not get the project started by the
beginning of the following week.
A few days later, I attended a meeting in another part of the organization
within reasonable traveling distance of my client™s office. While I was shar-
ing my harrowing experience with my colleagues, one of the people in the
meeting said, “Too bad I did not know about this assignment. I™ve got one
guy on the bench and another severely underutilized that meet all of your
client™s requirements.” Sure enough, when I explored his claim a bit more, I
found that the company indeed did have two qualified resources. Had I been
aware of the talent pool we had, I could have filled my client™s request in
three weeks (the time it took me to find the first external candidate) and
saved the time, trouble, expense, and potential business loss risk. (I still won-
der whether there was a third qualified and underutilized resource in an-
other part of the company that would have enabled me to respond to the
client™s need in less than a week.)
The bottom line is that not knowing the talents and skills you have in your
company can, among other things:

• Cost you business
• Needlessly increase your cost of doing business (e.g., time and expense
of hiring for skills you already have)
• Demoralize your people who feel underutilized and valued
• Demoralize your people who feel overworked because they carry an un-
even amount of the workload (since you recognize their talents, but fail
to see those of others who could carry part of the workload)

In the final analysis, not knowing your talent pool is simply not a viable
option for a professional services organization.
Resource Management

Assessing Your Resources
To secure an immediate snapshot of your in-house resources and gaps, I
recommend you expand on the alignment chart model by adding two addi-
tional columns and proceeding as follows:

• Label the column to the immediate right of the “TCSP Needed” col-
umn: “Have.”
• Label the column to the immediate right of the “Have” column: “Gap.”
• In the “Have” column, list all the talents, capabilities, skills, and pas-
sions possessed by the members of that team, whether they are relevant
to the team™s goals or not.
• In the “Gap” column, list all of the talents, capabilities, skills, and pas-
sions the team needs but lacks.

Exhibit 13.4 shows you an example of what the outcome might look like
for the sales organization first introduced in Exhibit 13.2. According to
this, their weaknesses are in the areas of accounting and financial acumen.
It also reveals that some of the sales people have niche branding skills. Per-
haps the company can train the sales team in accounting and financial skills

5 percent in- Increase new Prospecting Prospecting Accounting/
crease in market business 5 financial acumen
Accounting/ Relationship
share percent financial acumen building
30 percent gross Close only high Relationship Articulate
margin (up 3 margin business building Outgoing
percent) Go deeper into Articulate Energetic
10 percent clients (com-
Outgoing A high level of
increase in over- bined with new
Energetic knowledge about
all revenue clients results in
our services and
10 percent rev- A high level of
Establish niche
best practices
enue increase) knowledge
brand value
about our ser- Niche branding
Gain trusted


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