CHAPTER 1

Put Strategy, Not People, First

SENIOR MANAGERS and readers of the popular business press are probably familiar with the mantra that people are the new source of competitive advantage. Many of these same managers can also offer a compelling rationale for the importance of winning the “war for talent”—as long as the elevator ride is a short one. But despite all the talk about a new strategic emphasis on the workforce, most companies haven’t yet capitalized on the opportunity for strategic success that effective workforce management can provide.

Significant investments in attempting to win the war for talent in many organizations and new leadership development programs or an emphasis on becoming an employer of choice often have the look ...

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