Premier C-Suite consultant and coach, Dr. Kimberly Janson of Janson Associates, has a Ph.D., years of experience in executive positions, authored two books, including Demystifying Talent Management, and over 200,000 IG followers rely on her groundbreaking blog posts.
While business leaders are charged with operations, production, profits, budgets, planning, and expansion goals, it might not be on their radar to add one more very important responsibility to the list – People Development! By the end of the article, you’ll recognize it as “Top Priority!”
It is useful to start by examining some alarming statistics from various studies: 75% of CEOs identify developing talent potential as a top priority. It takes 77% longer to fill roles than it did 3 years ago. Ten thousand baby boomers reach age 65 every day. As much as 23% of turnover is due to poor leadership. It is estimated that the cost of a failed leader can amount to between $500 thousand and $2.7 million.
I reached out to a premier business coach and consultant worthy of her keep in a variety of areas of business expertise, including talent development – Dr. Kimberly Janson, CEO, and President of Janson Associates. She has 25 years of experience working in over 40 countries and offers premier executive coaching, leadership consulting, assistance with merger and acquisition, cultural transformation, strategic planning, team optimization, and organizational development. Dr. Janson researched talent management from every direction in her book, Demystifying Talent Management: Unleash People’s Potential to Deliver Superior Results.
“There is much confusion on how to do this work well. On the one hand, not enough leaders are attempting to develop talent within their organizations,” says Dr. Janson, “but on the other hand, roughly $45 billion is spent annually on leadership development that is going to waste because it is being spent on the wrong people or focused on the wrong things because managers don’t have strong diagnosing skills to do the needed thing.”
People often cite a lack of time to be able to do this work, but that’s an excuse. According to Dr. Janson, the bottom-line reason is: “Because the leader doesn’t have the skills or knowledge to develop others, so it is easy not to do with all else they have on their plate.” She is a strong advocate for developing managers’ skills to prepare them for training employees who will be dependent on them for professional development.
Dr. Janson has a body of evidence from various thought leaders, including her own research, supporting reasons why developing talent is crucial to the health of an organization: “If a company invests in employees’ careers, 94% said they would stay at the company longer. Leadership training increased participants’ capacity for learning by 25% and their performance by 20%. Companies that spend $1,500 or more on employee development per year report 24% higher annual profits than organizations that spend less. To the tune of 74%, workers say that a lack of employee development opportunities is preventing them from reaching their full potential.”
It seems like a no-brainer to invest in your employees, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, Dr. Janson reports that 63% of companies fail to have regular discussions with their employees about their career growth and aspirations or to provide appropriate support. Frequently, she is asked to assist with these organizational gaps within organizations. “It is strongly recommended to implement professional development practices sooner rather than later to get the biggest return on investment,” says Dr. Janson. “It is also a good idea to start with the folks at the top of the house to help those efforts cascade into the organization. The best professional development is manager-led.”
Whenever possible, hire and promote with future leadership development needs in mind. “Invest in leaders who have the big engines to be able to grow, develop, and deliver in leading others,” advises Dr. Janson. “It’s like throwing a pebble in a pond. Companies can leverage that ripple effect in many ways.”
Three of the most common reasons why employees leave organizations are that they: 1) have substandard relationships with their managers, 2) don’t know how they are contributing to the bigger picture of the organization, and 3) are not being developed. This is all controllable but starts and ends with strong leadership. At a time when organizations across the globe are suffering from a talent shortage, organizations can’t afford to take a head-in-the-sand approach to this global talent management crisis.
In addition to earning two Master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in Business, Dr. Janson’s work history includes executive-level positions with H. J. Heinz, Bank of America, Hasbro, and Bank of Boston before establishing Janson Associates. Her motivation stems from her passion for working with executives, teams, and companies that want to become better at leading and managing. Her life’s work has involved motivating and training others to achieve their best. “Being part of a person or company’s growth story is pretty heady stuff,” says Dr. Janson. “I constantly try to push myself and up my game to remain a tremendously strong partner and asset for my clients. I’m so blessed and honored to have the opportunity to work with companies and individuals to help them reach their potential.”
After conducting numerous research studies, she has a new book releasing this summer, Determining Leadership Potential, Powerful Insights to Winning at the Talent Game. As businesses are experiencing the ongoing effects of the pandemic, finding enough top talent continues to be a tremendous challenge when executives need candidates to fill critical positions. Dr. Janson’s team created a website to assist people in this area. That website, DeterminingLeadershipPotential.com, is a rich resource, including interview questions, case studies, and tips that can be used in conjunction with the book.
Dr. Janson is a sought-after resource to help executives, teams, and organizations unleash their potential. Demystifying Talent Management should be on every leader’s bookshelf.
To be among the first to receive a copy of Determining Leadership Potential, it is available for presale, and to inquire about Dr. Janson’s premier consulting and coaching services, she can be reached at Janson Associates.
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.