When I refer to “CTO,” does Chief Technology Officer come to mind? Or maybe Chief Training Officer? How about Chief Tax Officer? You might be surprised to learn that I am referring to another CTO—the most important CTO. In my opinion, the MVPs among CTOs are Chief Talent Officers. Often referred to as CHROs (Chief Human Resource Officers) or EVPs or SVPs of Human Resources, Chief Talent Officers lead teams that can make a sustainable difference in the performance of any group.
Having just returned from a national summit of Fortune 1000 CHROs/CTOs hosted by EVANTA where I was asked to speak, I was reminded again of lessons my Dad taught me over 50 years ago: Results come when relationships come first.
Spending time at the summit with top talent/human resource professionals was enlightening. In the company of the very best in their field, I was struck both by the quality of their respective best practices but also by their willingness to openly share over the course of two days.
Chief Cynthia Trudell kicked off the session by describing how PepsiCo faces its “talent conundrum” by building a world-wide talent pool that can operate across a complex and evolving global marketplace.
Mark Reid shared some of the great work being done at USAA to earn amazing employee engagement results, unleashing the creativity of its talented workforce.
Susana Suarez and Glenn Gilkey shared Fluor Corporation’s strategy for their Human Resources organization to be its very best, including a strong focus on professional development.
Michael D’Ambrose from Archer Daniels Midland made a powerful case for companies to step up to their social responsibility to support future talent and help the million high school students who do not graduate each year.
Marissa Andrada offered insights from Starbucks where they have established a new relationship with their talent by shifting to a successful partnership that has positively impacted their bottom line.
Jeri Buchholz provided an inside view on supporting innovation at NASA.
Alejandro Quiroz led a great discussion on what it’s like to partner with a great CTO/CHRO organization at Whirlpool where innovative approaches help them with global workforce challenges.
Breakout sessions were led by an equally impressive set of Chiefs including Dean Carter at Sears, John McMahon at Cumberland Gulf, Peggy Pego at PSEG, Regis Mulot at Staples, Shibu Varghese at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, among others.
My talk focused on choices each Chief can make to be their very best, even in tough times. I offered my All-In Roadmap to the attendees as a tool for unlocking their potential and the potential in their teams. From their feedback it was clear my message struck a chord, and I was grateful to have served such a distinguished audience.
It is clear that the market success enjoyed by each of these industry leading companies can be tied, in large measure, to their respective focus on talent and their obsession to deliver for and through their employees. I applaud their tenacity and dedication.
CTOs (Chief Talent Officers, including leaders with other titles who focus on talent) rule!