Senior Partner & Managing Director
Mastering HR Challenges in a Two-Speed World
Business leaders throughout the world continue to struggle with the complexities of a two-speed world: they face economic crisis in Europe and weak growth in the developed economies while also facing rapid growth in the developing world. Volatility and uncertainty have become the new constant. These realities create difficult people-management challenges that range from keeping up with supply-and-demand fluctuations to ensuring an adequate talent pipeline for the future. Aggravating these challenges are the growing talent shortage and rising leadership deficits, which are fueled in part by profound demographic changes and are expected to worsen significantly in the coming years. This situation creates a buyer’s market for talented individuals.
Many companies recognize that today, more than ever, their people have become their most critical competitive asset. But they need to sharpen their efforts, integrate processes for greater impact, and manage globally while allowing for regional adaptation. That’s a tall order—particularly considering the resource squeeze that has forced many HR organizations to do more with less.
This global report, the third conducted by The Boston Consulting Group and the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA), examines critical trends in people management by exploring 22 key HR topics that our Creating People Advantage research has explored every year since 2007. (The first joint BCG/WFPMA report was completed in 2008. BCG has also partnered with the European Association for People Management in three similar surveys with a European focus.)
This year, the critical topics—those considered of the greatest urgency—remained the same as in our 2010 global survey. Three topics stand out as the most critical.
Each of the report’s six chapters focuses on the people management topics of highest relevance this year. Drawing on the survey findings and interviews, we offer analysis of the current performance and challenges, along with strategies and tactics to help leaders set priorities and take action.
An additional element rounds out and enhances the content of the report.
The Focus report From Capability to Profitability: Realizing the Value of People Management compares the practices of high-performing companies against those of lower-performing ones in key areas and in dozens of activities, including talent management, leadership development, and performance management and rewards. The report finds that companies that demonstrated proficiency in 22 key HR areas experienced revenue growth that was up to 3.5 times higher and profit margins that were 2.1 times higher than those of less capable companies. Such data may provide important insights as leaders decide how best to invest their people-management resources.