War for Talent: Turning your Team Leaders into Super Powers

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If your fighting the war for talent and not finding the super-leader qualities you need in the jobseekers’ marketplace, develop leadership in employees already within your company ranks.

There are a few different ways you can do this, and choosing the best method for your organization will require investigation, goal-setting and solid strategic decision making. The action plan would be to create the following:

  • Implement a corporate university
  • Dial up the training you already have in place by bringing in subject matter experts with superb knowledge transfer and motivational skills
  • Implement cross training across multiple departments in your organization

Corporate Universities

Corporate universities are typically on-site, proprietary operational units designed to tackle the challenges involved with in-depth training of a company’s human resources. Their goals don’t reflect those of real colleges and universities in that test results, grade point averages and degrees are not the ultimate objectives if they exist at all.

When considering the development of your own corporate university, resist the temptation to focus on training for specific job duties or roles. Rather, use this opportunity to develop critical thinking, problem-solving skills and leadership abilities. This process will get all your team members on the same corporate cultural page and may involve:

  • Communicating preferred leadership style
  • Encouraging innovation and creativity
  • Fostering role models and being one
  • Inspiring passion, enthusiasm and humor
  • Insisting on positivity and enabling it
  • Nurturing future leaders by encouraging junior team contribution
  • Motivating through ownership and brand ambassadorship initiatives
  • Incentivizing same
  • Encouraging introduction and testing of new ideas and approaches

Along with fostering a common culture in your employees, you can also rely on a well-developed corporate university to organize the implementation of new procedures and technologies, which is a huge benefit to those organizations struggling to achieve full adoption. Because any given organization typically has a heavy demand on their human resources, it’s imperative that each individual is committed to implementing new technologies and best practices as they are introduced and developed.

Subject Matter Expert Knowledge Transfer

In fighting the war for talent, you are likely to think you need extreme subject, tightly focused subject matter experts on your fulltime management and executive teams. In fact, it’s quite likely you already have those potential talents onboard. Indeed, all they need is to reinforce those skills (see corporate university list above) and become powerful knowledge transfer and empowerment “coaches.”

There are tremendous trainers available in every area of business process improvement — MetaOps, Inc. MetaExpertsTM for example — who can come in for the short-term and teach and support implementation of leadership methodologies in areas such as:

  • Operational Excellence
  • Business Process Improvement
  • Training and Development
  • Innovation and creation
  • Strategic planning
  • and much more

One of the tremendous values of this approach is that your existing leaders don’t have to learn your organization. Instead, they start from a point of strength and build their management, mentoring and productivity skills through specialized training and assisted implementation.


Cross-training is also a powerful option for developing leadership prowess from within your pool of current employees. For example, at a large non-profit Taft-Hartley fund providing financial services, MetaExperts™ supported establishing a “Center of Excellence” for continuous improvement. This included developing a team of six employees to be facilitators of continuous improvement and the creation of a repository of materials and resources to support their strategic initiatives.

For another client with more than 30 manufacturing plants across the U.S. and beyond, MetaExpertsTM assisted in piloting the application of Lean Six Sigma at a target plant. They later supported the development of a fully customized training and implementation program with internal “belt” certification levels to roll-out to their plants on a global scope.

Process Improvement Systems

Regardless of how you choose to implement or improve upon your employee leadership training system, consider also implementing one or more process improvement systems. It’s a waste of valuable time and effort to debate choosing one process improvement system over another, mainly because most of them in use today focus on one particular area. The healthier discussion for your enterprise involves looking at the various tools and deciding which system is the best fit for a particular situation.

Regardless of how you choose to bring new process improvements, efficiencies and product or service quality measures into your organization, your first goal will concern the attitudes of your management and employees. In order to benefit fully from these changes, substantial buy-in of your staff is required, and leadership training done right will ensure same.


Additional Reading

Staffing for Operational Excellence

Evolution In Leadership: A Discussion with Shawne Duperon


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