The War on Talent & Its Impact on Culture and Leadership

In a recent CFO Alliance Special Task Force Report, Building Bench Strength, research from Indeed revealed that “71% of employees are actively job hunting or open to a new job while 58% review job postings at least monthly.” Further complications emerge due to generational shifts in the workforce as boomers retire, Gen X’s are in shorter and shorter supply, and millennials are exposed to leadership positions much sooner than previous generations. “CFOs find themselves at the forefront of these talent and workforce development challenges now more than ever,” states Leadership expert Lynn DiBonaventura, Senior Director of Global Talent at Keystone Foods.

DiBonaventura continues, “The ‘war on talent’, succession planning and leadership development cannot continue as HR strategies alone anymore. Enterprise strategies need to proactively address the evolving workforce, and the impact on culture and leadership gaps that are beginning and will continue for the next 20 years. CFOs need to understand the causes of these challenges, the financial impact to the organization and the variety of solutions that companies can define and engage to succeed. These solutions all have costs, but they are not line items on the P&L.”

So, where’s a CFO to start? Everything today, including a company’s culture, can quickly become commoditized. Regardless of the business they are in and the challenges of the day, everything starts with the ability of the CFO to support a culture of relationships. Whether we use the words “employees”, “talent”, or “resources” to describe the humans who power companies, ultimately, it’s about the ability of the organization to develop relationships of trust and respect within and outside the company.

Relationships hold companies together and fuel growth. From forging high performing teams to truly connecting with customers, success depends on everyone working effectively together. A recent survey of senior executives by Candace Bennett and Associates indicated that 89% of executives believe relationships are the true catalysts to drive high performance. Successful CFOs empower ‘relational capital’ throughout their organizations by making relationship development a real competency that permeates their culture, strategies and planning.


This blog post was written by Ed Wallace, President and Chief Relational Officer of Relational Capital Group. Author of The Relationship Engine.


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