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Visualizing Your Talent

This is my first blog entry so I thought I would begin by talking a bit about who I am and what Nakisa does. My name is Babak Varjavandi and I am the CEO of Nakisa Inc. As the CEO, I get involved in many aspects of Nakisa, but what I really enjoy is product strategy. So you can say I am also the chief product officer. We specialize in providing talent management and organization management solutions that are completely interoperable with SAP.


I think this is a good time for me to start blogging because things are very exciting at Nakisa right now. We recently came back from SAP HR 2008 in Orlando where talent management, particularly succession planning, was a hot topic at the show. What is surprising is just how many people we spoke to at the show are still using manual and paper-based processes to plan the succession of their key employees and critical positions. Some companies have no formalized succession planning process in place at all!


So what is succession planning and why is it so critical?  Succession planning is the process of identifying key positions and preparing suitable employees for these positions. We know that in the next decade, more than 50% of baby boomers will be retiring and a lot of these individuals hold key positions in their organizations. Let me share another statistic with you: It is estimated that more than 15% of CEOs who retired since 2004 were 55 years old or younger… That is very young!   So you can see why it is so important to identify your high potentials (or HIPOs) early so you can prepare them for future roles. It is easier to retain key talent when your HIPOs have a clear vision of what their roles are, and will potentially be, within the organization.


With the global competition for talent, the aging workforce and economic pressures, companies need to take a proactive approach to managing their talent and be prepared with a well thought out talent management strategy.  Succession planning is a fundamental element of the talent management process and is critical in aligning talent with corporate objectives. In order to remain competitive, companies must place the right people in the right roles at the right time. Having a vacant key position or losing a high potential employee can have disastrous effects on the organization. Just think of what would happen in a pharmaceutical company if they lost their key scientists.  For critical talent decision making, organizations must have transparency into their human capital data to ensure they identify high-impact, key roles and top talent to make the right talent decisions.



I will check this blog often and I look forward to your questions and comments on Talent Management. I am sure we can learn a lot from each other.

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  • Most of the time at most of the orgnization, the boss will have a retire plan and direct subordinate will most likely be promoted to his boss’s position. And if the boss doesn’t think his direct subordinate has the talent to be on his position, he should plan it very early before his retirement.