Human Capital and Innovation

Carlos Castelan
September 18, 2015
Firms are trying to find new ways to innovate and grow their top lines after record profit windfalls in the period following the Great Recession where companies sought to get “lean.” Businesses, though, are now struggling to act decisively on new opportunities and trends to generate growth after years of focus on the bottom-line. Politicians have noted the challenges and are going so far to propose legislation that would provide tax incentives for new innovation/patents to ensure that US firms innovate domestically. It’s increasingly clear that innovation is now top of mind as US companies seek to grow amidst a mature economy. So, how can companies jump-start innovation and launch products and services more rapidly? Develop a new talent acquisition model to leverage highly-skilled contractors and consultants to inject new ideas and catalyze innovation. [ctt title="In 2014, companies increased their talent acquisition spend 7% while taking an average of 52 days to fill a position." tweet="In 2014, companies increased their talent acquisition spend 7% while taking an average of 52 days to fill a position:" coverup="Gydhd"] A recent Harvard Business Review article cited research by McKinsey & Co. that CEOs worldwide see Human Capital as a top challenge--and it’s not getting any easier. There is an ongoing talent crunch in the marketplace as a result of increased competition and a shortage of critical skills. In 2014 alone, companies increased their talent acquisition spending by 7% while taking an average of 52 days to fill a position. A highly successful entrepreneurial manager, and now prominent venture capital partner, recently highlighted to me the importance of winning in the talent market and shared that he only invests in founders that are committed to building top teams. He sketched out for me the formula to his prior successes: Talented and experienced team members are what drives innovation and help facilitate more customers. So, why aren’t more firms finding ways to innovate their operating business model to attract talented individuals? Independent consultants (ICs) can help bridge the talent gap for organizations and create a competitive advantage for firms that innovate their business model. There are four key advantages to working with independent consultants to spur innovation and launch special projects:
  1. Access to highly talented individuals that normally would not commit as full-time employees
  2. Flexible talent model
  3. Speed to market and launch
  4. Higher quality product or service offering
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About the Author

Carlos Castelan

Substantial working experience in retail and consumer-focused businesses through Target Corporation and leading large consulting engagements with Fortune 100 clients.

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