Historical research is clear on the benefits of the powerful, or “star” workers. Star developers, for example, are more productive than average a ratio of eight to one. But benefits from such talent is not so easy. Say you rent a number of stars. How can you guarantee that they will be able to replicate its success in a new environment – in short, how portable are they? In the past, the portability has been regarded as an attribute of a person, team or organization, but … Read more »

Historical research is clear on the benefits of the powerful, or “star” workers. Star developers, for example, are more productive than average a ratio of eight to one. But benefits from such talent is not so easy. Say you rent a number of stars. How can you guarantee that they will be able to replicate its success in a new environment – in short, how portable are they? In the past, portability is considered as an attribute of a person, or a team organization, but it can also be regarded as an attribute of an item. This is particularly true for certain jobs require different company-specific human capital, which some workers less portable than others. Consequently, companies should not think of talent management as a simple “build to buy” dichotomy. Rather, there are some positions for which they can buy, and others for whom they have to build. Within investment banks, for example, the retail brokers work (each client handle) primarily on their own. In contrast, institutional sellers (who sell to large institutional investors such as Putnam, Vanguard and Fidelity) more willing to carry out their jobs in teams. Thus retail brokers are more portable and can be easily adjusted from the outside. Institutional sales staff, but should be developed from the inside, and efforts should be made to keep them. Understanding these differences is crucial for companies to try and sustainable competitive advantages that derive from human capital to achieve. The authors of the research, which examines the application of the theory of human capital has talent portability should help companies realize that an entire class of factors – specific roles within an organization – strongly determines the portability of performance. With this knowledge, managers can gain a deeper understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of setting certain star employees.
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from
Boris Groysberg,
Lex Sant,
Robin Abrahams
Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
8 pages.
Release Date: 1 October 2008. Prod #: SMR292-PDF-ENG
If ‘Stars’ migrate, they do still Like Stars perform? HBR case solution

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