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April - 2016 - issue > CXO INSIGHT
Talent Technology The Glue of a Connected-More Competitive and Compelling-Culture
Phil Saunders
President-Saba Software [OTCMKTS:SABA]
Friday, April 1, 2016
"The best businesses are really ones that can combine passion, profits, and purpose." Tony Hseih, CEO of Zappos.

Company culture. Long considered a measureless theme comprised of free lunch, flexible vacation and other employee perks is something far more foundational. It is the company's 'being' and business lever that unites and engages the people behind the best, most differentiated companies on the planet. Indeed, companies like Zappos that are agile enough to morph with the ever-changing competitive, global marketplace, do so with a shared and well-understood vision and purpose.

Ultimately companies of varying size and scope are living organizations-a body of people with a particular passion and purpose. Our company cultures, how we interact with one another, and how we engage as individuals and teams are fundamental tenants to our business, our course forward, and will stand us apart from others. These attributes are essentially timeless, and evermore critical in today's business environment. To be sure, connecting a meaningful and impactful culture is hard work. Done well, it is always on-24/7/365-and it is dynamic, leveraging collaboration to drive a shared sense of purpose and insight on the "why's" and "how's" behind business and individual success.

With the 33 percent of today's global workforce planning to change jobs within the next six months, and 38 percent of Millennials (who make up half the workforce) looking beyond their paycheck for a role with purpose, there is no time to waste in better connecting around the "special sauce" in your business culture.

This strategic imperative is nearly impossible to pull of successfully without talent technology.

Why? Once you get beyond a single office, a set of employees that are already familiar with each other and a static product or service, you have time, scale, learning, consistency, and change complexities that get more daunting with each market shift, personnel change, product update and new office location.

Stirring CEO speeches, employee activities and pulse surveys to underscore adoption of shared values are as tart, but not nearly enough. Emerging Talent Technology can power an immersive cultural connection that helps to effortlessly enable collaboration, track and measure shared goals, and even recommends continual, personalized development ideas like new contacts, content and courses to help advance skill sets.

Here are three examples of how the right Talent Technology can be a difference maker in ensuring meaningful cultural connectedness:

1. Culture of Collaboration

Let's say you're Twitter and your culture goal is to be open, creative and collaborative. How do you create that type of culture without technology? You can't. If you say you're all about openness and collaboration, then you need to make sure that you have the right technology to bring employees closer together and engage and develop them with each other and with the company's goals in real life, every day.

Unified Talent Technology helps create a connected culture by combining virtual meeting tools, chat tools, social engagement tools, live feeds, message boards, coaching tools, and powering learning on the fly from your own internal experts.

2. Culture of Customer Service Excellence

Let's say you're Virgin, and one of your core values is service excellence-every one of your employees needs to deliver the highest levels of service to your customers at every touch point.

Talent technology can power a culture of excellence. It can help your recruiting team consistently find like minded employees in the hiring process; learning and engagement tools can help you continuously develop a consistent service excellence mindset throughout your organization; data analytics can identify and groom your future leaders, who can pass their excellence on to your next generation of workers.

3. Culture of Development

Let's say you're Adobe, and your vision is to challenge your employees, and give them the trust and support they need to meet those challenges successfully.

Talent Technology is critical in building a culture of learning and development, one that enables your employees to challenge themselves, and then helps them develop, grow and succeed. It gives your employees a "to be" list, not just a "to do" list. And, it can deliver a performance driven learning experience that makes it easy for users to engage, connect to experts, identify and close skill gaps and most importantly, grow experts and leaders at all levels.

I have the unique opportunity to be part of a talent technology company that offers solutions to help connect, develop, and leverage powerful cultures. The hidden gem is that I get to leverage our own technology to positively impact our business direction-to not only communicate our business values, goals and updates to our talented and passionate team of more that 650 people around the world-but also to learn from each other ideas that are shaping what's next for our business, our customers and our dynamic high-growth marketplace.

Moving business at the speed of light and adapting to the ever-changing tides requires employees to be plugged into the company's related shifts in direction, strategy and approach. How do company executives and employees alike come together in force to execute in harmony when business is moving so fast? Talent technology allows us to create and leverage a 'connected culture', whereby individuals regularly and seamlessly exchange, collaborate, learn and develop with one another. Where Talent Technology and culture go hand in hand, better employee engagement and business success are likely to follow.
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