Tapping All the Talent in Your Organization

by Beth O'Neill

Warren Buffett made some news recently with an essay in Fortune magazine about women in leadership, writing that America is using only half its talent, and that women are key to our realizing country's future achievement. It caught my eye because of the work Interaction Associates is doing around women leaders – more on that in a minute.

First, from Buffett's essay, this excerpt is particularly telling:

"No manager operates his or her plants at 80 percent efficiency when steps could be taken that would increase output. And no CEO wants male employees to be underutilized when improved training or working conditions would boost productivity. So take it one step further: If obvious benefits flow from helping the male component of the workforce achieve its potential, why in the world wouldn't you want to include its counterpart?

Fellow males, get on board. The closer that America comes to fully employing the talents of all its citizens, the greater its output of goods and services will be. We've seen what can be accomplished when we use 50 percent of our human capacity. If you visualize what 100 percent can do, you'll join me as an unbridled optimist about America's future."

Beyond the Buffett essay, it's no secret: companies that make use of women’s talents are more successful than those that don't. A study by Covenant Investment Management rated the performance of the Standard and Poor's 500 on a series of factors relating to diversity. Stated simply, the study found that the stock market performance of firms that were high performers on glass ceiling-related goals was 2.5 times higher than that of the firms that invested little in gender diversity issues.

As I mentioned earlier, Interaction Associates is very active in helping clients develop women leaders -– especially via our premiere leadership program, Women in Leadership.

Tags : leadership women leaders