Commentary by Timothy Horrigan; July 27, 2010
I don't know how much traffic this page will get, but there are two recent videos by David Smith, coauthor (with Susan M. Cantrell ) of the book Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization. They are both executives with the ubiquitous yet mysterious global consulting firm Accenture.
This better-than-average management book may be of special interest to readers of my Unicru Personality Test page: simply put, many of them want to work for Best Buy. Well, it just so happens that Best Buy is one of Accenture's clients and the ubiquitous electronics chain gets mentioned a lot in the book. Smith & Cantrell are of course mostly worried about corporate management and not so much about the retail floor, but some of what they preach to headquarters apparently does get repeated (and maybe even practiced) at the actual stores. The book has some especially interesting comments about Best Buy's excellent "Geek Squad" units. The Unicru application process goes against what Smith & Cantrell are preaching. They are preaching individual empowerment (up to a point, at any rate) while Unicru is all about enforcing standardization. Smith & Cantrell also talk a lot about working with each individual's strengths and weaknesses while the individuals on Best Buy's store floors wouldn't be there in the first place if they hadn't successfully lied about their strengths and weaknesses on the Unicru test.
The Harvard Business Publishing video was made sometime in the spring of 2010 while Smith was plugging the book. The second one was made (probably) on Monday, July 20, 2010 when Smith appeared on Fox Business News to rather optimistically predict that hiring would begin returning to pre-recession levels Real Soon Now, like within a year from now.