LeBron James is a top performer. Like his style of play or not — one basketball fan said watching him play was like watching a linebacker among ballerinas — he is very good at what he does. If he is not the best, he is certainly among the very best. So it is not a huge surprise that he can decide where he wants to play. And so he is moving from the Miami Heat back home to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs are instantly a contender to win it all.
You don’t need to be a fan of NBA basketball to get the broader point. These days, people at the very top of their professions are very mobile. Like James, they can call the shots where they will play. Forbes makes this point in a recent article. And consider this statistic from the article
According to a Gallup report on The State of the American Workplace, a full 70% of employees (mostly white collar) are “not engaged” or “seriously disengaged” from their job.
They are not engaged because they don’t like the culture of the place where they work. And guess what? They will be looking around for places that are more to their liking. So you can expect more attention to “culture issues” over the next years as well as more moving around. It will be an interesting story to track. so stay tuned!
And that trend will bring to the fore a new type of executive or consultant – the “goal consultant”. This is a person or team who help people move up to become top performers. It sounds self-defeating, right? Help them move up so they can more easily move out? Well, that is one way to look at it. But consider that people tend to develop loyalty based on what they receive from others. Give a head start and a step up, you will more likely develop leadership among people who work with you.
So what will “goal coaches” do? Part of the coaching is about knowledge and skills transfer. Another part is about building creative capacity. A third part is about linking people to the firm’s value proposition. This last idea is perhaps the most interesting. To get a better sense of it, check out this article, also from Forbes about how certain French firms have succeeded in the “creative economy”.