The Hunger Games for Talent

The wife and I went to see the movie The Hunger Games 2 – Catching Fire, like most of the free world at this point.  Here’s my review:

– As good as the first, if you thought the first one was good.

– It ended like they want to make a third movie…

– The Revolution has started! #HoldUpThreeFingersTogether

The thing I remember most about the movie is how all the people in the ‘capitol’ dressed very flamboyantly, and I think I would like my elected officials and Washington D.C., in general, if everyone was forced to dress like the Hunger Games capitol residents.   If I could figure out how to end each sales presentation with a new client by spinning around and my clothes caught on fire and turned into something else, I, also, think I would close more deals.

After I got home, it struck me that when we talk about a “War on Talent” we are actually using the wrong terminology.  War is when two sides are fighting for something, land, beliefs, etc. A revolution is a forcible overthrow of social order in favor of a new system.  I don’t really see what we are going through as a war.  I really don’t see companies fighting over talent, not in most parts of our country and in most industries.  I do, though, see employees beginning to start a revolution!

At one point in our country we needed unions to protect employees against the big bad companies.  I think we are getting to a point where companies will need unions to protect them against employees!  Employees leaving, employees living up to the employment contract, etc.

I believe employees, in many, many segments have taken back the power in the employee-company relationship.  Employees don’t have to leave a company to provoke change in the work place any longer, they just have to band together and figure out how to get to those who have the most influence to inflict the change they want to see.  This doesn’t even have to be formalized by union membership.  Most organizations are so hyper-sensitive to employee engagement, any deviation from normal sends executives and HR into ‘ice cream mode’.  Ice Cream Mode is when HR or executives feel engagement is lowering, so they run out and get ice cream to have an ice cream social and bring up morale!  You can replace ice cream with donuts, beer, pizza, etc. It’s all really ice cream.

Employees are learning they can start revolutions internally, and have drastic impact to how ‘their’ companies are run, and their ability to shape future decision making.  Those organizations that stomp out revolutions are learning the talent just gets up and leaves, goes to your competitor or another industry where their skills will transfer.  I think we all saw what might have been a war, change into a revolution.  I don’t see this changing.  The timing is right. The demographics of the workforce are shifting into the right mix for revolution.  Organizations have a decision to make.  You can continue to run your business like the Capitol of the Hunger Games, or you can become part of the revolution.  I haven’t read the third book, but I can guess how it plays out.  Can you?

One thought on “The Hunger Games for Talent

  1. Tim –
    Good call on the nuance from war to revolution. This is exactly why The Candidate Experience really does matter. It’s no longer about making sure the Executive’s nephew didn’t get his feelings hurt, it’s about making sure when the people flee from the Capitol, your brand is a beacon of hope.

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