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Mass Career Customization: Aligning the Workplace With Today's Nontraditional Workforce Hardcover – August 30, 2007

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  • Mass Career Customization: Aligning the Workplace With Today's Nontraditional Workforce
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Editorial Reviews

Review

…the most important life/work book this year. --The New York Times, December 27, 2007

There is much to commend this book. --The Financial Times, September 27, 2007

Mass Career Customization personalizes employees' careers to fit their lifestyles. --U.S. News and World Report, August 26, 2007

About the Author

Cathleen Benko is Deloitte's Managing Principal of Talent and Lead Client Service Principal for a major technology client. She previously authored Connecting the Dots: Aligning Projects and Objectives in Unpredictable Times.

Anne Weisberg is a senior adviser to Deloitte's Women's Initiative.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (August 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422110338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422110331
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,246,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Richard Berger on January 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
An excellent book that squarely confronts a major challenge that businesses face today - how to address the core issue of retaining top talent. The book starts by outlining the six main demographic and cultural trends that are impacting the workforce. In a nutshell, the retirement of the baby boomer "bulge" cannot be replaced by the much smaller generations that follow (Gen X, Gen Y). In addition, the growing number of women in the workforce and the changing views of men in the workforce has made "work/life balance" possibly the single most critical factor in choosing whether or not to remain at a job - and even whether or not to take a job.

So, faced with a shrinking talent pool and the overwhelming economic advantage in keeping excellent people, rather than hiring and training replacements, what is an organization to do? According to Mass Career Customization, is to allow employees to customize their careers the same way they customize computers that are purchased from Dell. Giving employees the option to "dial up" for more intensity, increased learning experiences, more extensive travel when they are younger, or when their kids are older, or when their spouse is on a break and allowing them to "dial down" for a slower career advancement, reduced salary, and restricted opportunities when raising small children or caring for aging parents. By providing this option, in a way that is fair and companywide (which is the problem with well meaning flexible work arrangements - which are usually "one-offs") organizations allow people to customize their career and remain with the company as their life circumstances change.
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Format: Hardcover
The sign of a great innovative breakthrough is that the moment you learn of it, it's easy to embrace. Everyone who reads this book will agree that it's time to think differently about the workplace; mass career customization is the future. The authors describe a new model and vision for career progression that will likely transform organizations. Mass career customization is a concept that can benefit individuals who need a new lens for thinking about their careers. This concept can also help organizations in their ability to attract, retain and develop talent. The authors present a new method of managing the myriad of preferences and career paths that employees desire; application spans from Gen X and Gen Y to working parents and everyone who wants to create a career path to fit their life.
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Format: Hardcover
I strongly recommend this timely and instructive book to all those involved in developing talent in professional service firms or any business seeking to hire, retain and prepare their younger employees for leadership. Although much of the book discusses methods for retaining and promoting women, who now make up half of the graduates of our finest universities and grad schools, it also has great applicability to Gen X and Y men, many of whom would prefer to have part-time schedules and are as likely as women to work some hours from home. In place of the more widely accepted, rigid up and down, "all or nothing" ladder, the authors advocate a more flexible, option-providing lattice as a model for the workplace. Berko and Weisberg convincingly show that the lattice, or MCC, much better accommodates what they call the "sine curve" of a modern career - the different periods where employees can dedicate varying amounts of time to advancing within their firms.
The authors demonstrate that flexible work arrangements, such as permitting young mothers to "ramp up" after a maternity leave, are an incomplete substitute for a more comprehensive process that meets the interests of employees to modify and adjust workloads, where that work is performed and the opportunity to customize their careers to closely match their long-term objectives. Only a career-long methodology will address the overriding interests of the organization to hire and keep their best talent while providing enough flexibility, not just in dealing with maternity leave, but over a several decade career path.
The book is particularly helpful because it provides the reader with a framework for implementing MCC and case studies showing how well-respected firms have successfully customized MCC to recruit and retain their highly regarded employees while broadening their leadership pool.
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Format: Hardcover
The American workforce has changed dramatically since the 1960s. Today, only 17% of households consist of a father who works and a mother who stays home, challenging the underlying assumptions behind workplace success. How can companies attract and retain an ever-shrinking pool of skilled talent just as employees are redefining what it means to fit work into life and life into work? Deloitte executive Cathleen Benko and former executive Anne Weisberg say companies must abandon the traditional notion of a corporate ladder - on which you can only go up or step off - in favor of a new metaphor, the "corporate lattice," which views career paths across a grid - instead of a ladder - allowing for growth along varied paths. getAbstract recommends this book's solutions to senior managers and strategists charged with attracting, retaining and advancing a highly productive workforce, to those stuck on or off the corporate ladder, and to those who guide employees through career transitions and growth.
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