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People are Everything

People are Everything
First of all you always have to start with a business strategy, right? And so if you understand what your goal is, then you can think about what talent to put against that goal. For us, we don’t sell widgets, we sell intellectual capital, and so our people are everything, and so we have a very specific strategy. We bring in thousands of young people right off campus and MBAs each year, and that happens on a continual basis, and so that obviously feeds our pipeline. But we think about rewards and talent very broadly. So we think about, how to keep people motivated to stay, and in financial services today, while the pay is still good, it’s not what’s driving people.
So ten years ago the answer would be just pay them well, the answer today is very different. It’s about really engaging people in their own careers. Letting them think about what it is they wanna do. Giving people mobility opportunities to work in different businesses and develop different skills, to work in different locations around the world or around the country. We have a talent management organization and beneath that, and I talk about structure only because I think it frames how we think about talent. We have got what I would call a staffing group that looks at campus, lateral, offshore and contingent labor. So, what’s the right mix of labor to bring to a problem or a business setting.
Then we think about actual talent management. So we do a lot of work around succession and as people rotate out of roles who’s ready to move in. We do a lot of work around development. So once you develop a succession plan, What are the things we’re helping individuals do so that they can be ready for the next roll? And by the way that’s not always a training class, so often with senior people we’ll them to join an external board, for example. There’s a lot of ways people can develop skills, but we stay particularly focused on skill development. And then lastly we think about diversity which is really important to us.
As we think about succession, succession and diversity are very linked together because it’s easy to think about succession with the majority. It’s much harder to think about succession when you wanna change the complexion. I would say one of the things we’ve seen which is very different in the last call it two to three years, is our board’s interests and talent. So, we don’t have a quarterly board meeting. And we’ve got a really sophisticated, intellectual board where one, at leat one to two segments of our quarterly board meetings are around talent. And it’s everything from how we recruit, how we retain, how we attract, to how we evaluate.
We’re in an environment today in financial services where our regulators are driving a lot of this as well. And so there’s enormous amount of emphasis placed on culture and how people accept our culture, behave in our culture, the right risk tolerance in our culture. And so we are really in the process of building out a whole new performance evaluation and talent development process, with the idea being that a manager has. I like to think of it as a placemat, when I’m eating pancakes at the pancake restaurant. But you’ve got this placemat with all of these different boxes, and what it includes would be, how your subordinates think you behave. So upward feedback, how your colleagues think they interact with you.
Any compliance or employment law issues that you’ve dealt with, your risk taking, so we’re a risk taking business. Do you stay within risk limits or not? How do you respond in our culture? And, most importantly, we now do a culture and engagement survey. How do the people that work for you feel about your organization and our firm? And that is gonna be a really valuable tool for us as we’re such a discretionary pay business. That people will realize that evaluation is very multi-dimensional.
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Managing Talent

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