Some things never change. Although the technology sector of the economy is the place where you’d expect amazing digital devices to hold a place of prominence in growth strategies, the heads of high tech organizations say the key to growth is good people.
A recent study by Deloitte Consulting LLP asked CEOs in the high tech sector to list the most important factors in achieving growth. First by a huge margin was “high-quality employees” (67%), followed by “strong leadership” (44%). Having a sound strategy finished third (37%), and having an “exceptional or unique product(s) lagged back in fourth place (33%).
If people are so much more important than strategy or products in the high tech sector, could it be any less the case for the rest of us in other sectors — including ministry?
But demographic realities tell us that getting and keeping good people is not going to be any easier in the years ahead. And first-rate leadership almost never shows up without careful cultivation.
A recent Deloitte Consulting LLP study reported that “finding, hiring and retaining qualified employees” is the top operating concern for CEO’s in the high tech sector, as it should be for every employer. But finding and keeping good people is becoming a bigger challenge.
America is on the front end of a major talent shortage brought on by a “perfect storm” of forces:
- Baby Boomers have just begun to retire — and a retirement tsunami is on the way for the next two decades.
- In key sectors, our colleges and universities are not graduating enough people to fill the gaps that have begun to grow as a result of retirements.
A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the U.S. needs 135,000 new computer professionals a year. But in 2006 the nation’s universities produced just 49,000 computer science graduates. The Bureau adds that the need for science and engineering graduates will increase 26% by 2012. Yet, the number of graduates in those areas hasn’t changed much in 20 years.
One solution that’s effective in many cases is growing one’s own talent — finding bright, highly motivated people and then giving them the supportive direction, training and rewards that help them grow on the job and, perhaps, stay on the job.
Of course, that requires having people with better than average leadership aptitudes throughout the organization to take a personal, individual interest in each and every member of the team.
As we said at the start, some things never change.
Copyright © 2008 Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute, 208 E. North St., Durand, IL 61024. Any part of this newsletter may be reproduced so long as there is full attribution, our web site is listed, and any electronic reproduction includes a link to our site: http://www.yeshualeader.com.