The Irish Times
This article originally appeared in The Irish Times.
Talent is what separates the best from the rest. The best-performing companies simply have better people. Right?
That’s certainly what we thought before Bain & Company launched its in-depth investigation of workforce productivity.
Bain performed detailed organisational audits on 25 global companies. We benchmarked the practices of these organisations relative to companies widely regarded as best in class. To complement this research, we collaborated with the Economist Intelligence Unit to survey more than 300 senior executives from large companies worldwide. What we found surprised us.
On average, 15 percent of a company’s workforce are “A” players, or “stars”. The amount of star talent does not differ dramatically between the best-performing companies in our sample (the top quartile) and the rest (the average of the remaining three quartiles).
What does differ between the best and the rest is how each group deploys its star talent.
Michael Mankins is a partner in Bain & Company’s San Francisco office and a leader in the firm’s organisation practice.