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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  February 01, 2011

What Corporate America Wants Now

Buzz phrase for 2011:  “strategic alignment”.  In plain English, it means aligning people with business objectives.  And that’s the mission for HR (Human Resources) in top companies now, according to Aberdeen Group’s The 2011 HR Executive’s Agenda. (Click here to sign up and get the report.)  I like the data here.  It’s quite recent — gathered in November/December last year and the sample size (439 top organizations) makes the findings even more impressive.  Most importantly, the companies surveyed are top performers, our ideal clients.

My favorite findings:

  • 52% report that HR spends too much time on tactical stuff.  The antidote:  using technology to automate important but not strategic activities.  This is going on now in compliance and software training.  I see this spreading to other areas as well.
  • 45% report that economic uncertainty is behind the drive for efficiency, a top priority.  (Process consultants, start your engines.)
  • Growth has supplanted competitive issues as the next top priority.  And that talent management plays a key role.  Translation:  visionary companies see investing in their workforce as a bigger priority because that development is now tied to growth plans.  And…there is acknowledgment that key skills are lacking.
  • Talent acquisition (aka hiring people) is making a strong comeback, as 49% report bigger budgets (as opposed to 19% in the last report in the last report in this area.  This is good news for any expertise on hiring and selection.

The bottom line:  visionary buyers are aware they need to invest.  They are being strategic by finding efficiency and tying spending to specific gaps and goals.  Position your expertise accordingly.


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.