At German electronics and electrical engineering giant Siemens AG, only 30 percent of the more than 400,000 employees are located in Germany; the others are spread across 190 countries. This dispersed workforce means that securing and retaining the global talent pool is a major challenge. “With countries like Germany, we had a pretty good view,” notes a Siemens IT governance executive, “but when we talk about emerging markets and fast-growing economies, we weren’t always able to attract the best talent.” In response, Siemens embarked a few years ago on a successful transformation of its global people strategy, adopting processes for consistent individual performance management, robust succession planning, and high-potential talent identification and development; a global database that made job postings and experience profiles on individuals available to all; and a CEO-driven global diversity and inclusion program.
In high-growth emerging economies, first-mover advantage is crucial, and having a coherent and flexible global enterprise management model that can adapt to (and get ahead of) rapid evolutions in the market can make all the difference. A pragmatic first step is to determine where your company stands on all three enablers: organization structure and footprint, decision rights and controls, and leadership and talent. You will be able to see where change is most urgently needed, and, ultimately, can begin to move toward a new model that better equips your company to navigate the dynamics of today’s multipolar world.
Reprint No. 00112
- Paolo Pigorini is a partner with Booz & Company based in Rio de Janeiro, and leads the firm’s organization, change, and leadership practice in the Southern Cone.
- Ashok Divakaran is a partner with Booz & Company’s organization, change, and leadership practice, and is based in Chicago.
- Ariel Fleichman is a partner with Booz & Company’s organization, change, and leadership practice, and is based in Buenos Aires.
- Also contributing to this article was Booz & Company partner David Suarez.