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Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization Hardcover – May 4, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422147584
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422147580
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #959,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susan Cantrell is a Fellow at the Accenture Institute for High Performance and President/CEO of The Cantrell Group, a research and consulting organization. David Smith is a Managing Director of the Accenture Talent & Organization Performance practice.

More About the Author

Susan M. Cantrell is a research fellow at the Accenture Institute for High Performance and also leads her own research and consulting practice. She is an award-winning author who has written or co-written more than 30 articles or book chapters for such publications as The Wall Street Journal, MIT Sloan Management Review, Strategy & Leadership, Across the Board, Strategic HR Review, and Talent Management. She is also a frequent speaker on improving human performance at work.

Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover
During exit interviews of highly-valued employees who have accepted a position elsewhere, the most common reasons they cite for leaving include not feeling appreciated and not receiving the support they need to perform well. According to Susan M. Cantrell and David Smith, the single most important factor contributing to superior business results is how supported employees feel and that is determined by their organization's people practices. "Our guiding question then became, what [begin italics] would [end italics] help employees feel more supported by their organization's people practices and enable a consequent improvement in business results?" After extensive research, "we surmised that the single biggest improvement organizations could make would be to become directly relevant to employees' unique needs and circumstances...hence the `workforce of one' was born."

The exemplary companies that Cantrell and Smith discuss include Best Buy, Microsoft, Accenture, Procter & Gamble, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, The Container Store, Harrah's, Sprint Nextel, Google, W.L. Gore, Taleo, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Men's Wearhouse. All of these companies have recognized and then responded effectively to several trends "that are driving the workforce of one" initiatives: technology as an enabler of customization, employees viewed as customers, knowledge management's impact of HR, C-suite focus on workforce performance, increasingly stronger competition for talent, and a highly diverse and independent ("free agent") workforce that becomes moreso each day.

In different ways and to a varying degree, each of these companies took one or more of four basic approaches to customize its people practices while maintaining control and alignment with business strategy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on June 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If your company follows cookie-cutter HR policies, then you're not getting the most from your employees. Talent management experts Susan M. Cantrell and David Smith make a convincing case for customizing your company's people policies. Because your employees have different jobs, work styles, needs and aspirations, rigid, top-down management makes little sense - even if, yes, you lose some control. Cantrell and Smith offer four "workforce of one approaches," explain how to implement each one and provide case studies of companies that have pioneered these strategies. Although at times repetitive, the book's analyses, quizzes and checklists serve as helpful tools in determining which approach - or combination of approaches - is right for your company. getAbstract recommends the book's main message to corporate leaders and human resources professionals: Companies that use customized personnel practices will have a more engaged, productive, satisfied workforce, because one size no longer fits all.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outstanding research. Practical advice. I highly recommend this book to HR professionals, corporate leaders, and even sole proprietors and small business owners struggling with staffing models, incentives, and creative solutions to daily workforce problems.
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