Monday, April 02, 2007

How To Get Your Talent Back On Track

Since yesterday was such a rainy day in Chicago, I headed over to Borders to check out the latest in periodicals. I scanned Strategy & Business, Harvard Business Review (read Bossidy's What Your Leader Expects of You), GQ (bought a copy for my husband), PINK, Inc., Going Bonkers (brand new self-help magazine with a sense of humor -- let's just say it's different) and BusinessWeek SmallBiz (to re-read the Why High-Powered Women Are Leaving Corporate America to Become Entrepreneurs ... bummed that they did not mention our work here) to get my latest fix on business.

Big takeaway? Two things. One, I stumbled upon a book that has a title that I can re-work and apply to my own business (global small business or better known as GlobeTrade) and write a fresh, new cutting-edge article about using globalization as a strategic mover for rapid growth. And two, I found out about this book. It blows BusinessWeek's piece right out of the water. Why do you suppose they left us and Hewlett's Off-Ramps and On-Ramps out? Check out the review:
Most professional women step off the career fast track at some point. With children to raise, elderly parents to care for, and other pulls on their time, these women are confronted with one off-ramp after another. When they feel pushed at the same time by long hours and unsatisfying work, the decision to leave becomes even easier. But woe to the woman who intends for that exit to be temporary. The on-ramps for professional women to get back on track are few and far between, the authors confirm. Their new survey research reveals for the first time the extent of the problem--what percentage of highly qualified women leave work and for how long, what obstacles they face coming back, and what price they pay for their time-outs. And what are the implications for corporate America? One thing at least seems clear: As market and economic factors align in ways guaranteed to make talent constraints and skill shortages huge issues again, employers must learn to reverse this brain drain. Like it or not, large numbers of highly qualified, committed women need to take time out of the workplace. The trick is to help them maintain connections that will allow them to reenter the workforce without being marginalized for the rest of their lives. Strategies for building such connections include creating reduced-hour jobs, providing flexibility in the workday and in the arc of a career, removing the stigma of taking time off, refusing to burn bridges, offering outlets for altruism, and nurturing women's ambition. An HBR Special Report, available online at, presents detailed findings of the survey.
Download their original report, The Hidden Brain Drain: Off-Ramps and On-Ramps in Women's Careers, here. Book is available through Harvard Business School Press May 2007.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 47
Oprah Winfrey

The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work. ~ Oprah Winfrey

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