One of the biggest reasons why your top talent considers leaving your organization is that they perceive they will have better challenges elsewhere. They’re often frustrated with the type of work they have been assigned. In a word, they’re bored.
Good leaders are gardeners, paying attention to what each person needs to thrive and produce the best for the organization. Some people are wired for creating new things, new processes, new business models, new interactions. Others are great at maximizing a process or business, scaling, refining process efficiency.
You need both types of people in a global economy of evolving expectations and technology options.
Consider the S-curve way of portraying business operations – new things begin, there is a growth phase, and then it plateaus to a point where you need to transition to a new S-curve to sustain growth:
Match the top talent you have (or need to find) to the phase which is best suited for them. If they’re the creative inventor type, they’ll be bored out of their skulls in the scale/compete phases where the execution depends on detail and incremental process design. If they’re the process-oriented type, then you aren’t likely to get the breakthrough game-changer input you need in the startup or transition phases.
You might be saying, “I know people who are good at both.” How fortunate for you! Many people are reasonably good at contributing in all these phases – but your top talent is exceptionally good in one or the other.
Don’t let your top talent get to “I’m leaving because I’m bored.” Think carefully about the assignments you give them.