Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

My Predictions for 2007

I was contacted today by a friend who publishes an annual book of insights and predictions from some of the top business and economic thinkers in the world. Although I don’t think I fit in that category, he asked me if I would contribute my top three predictions for 2007.

Here are my three predictions about business and the economy:

  1. It will continue to be a “War for Talent.” Companies are realizing more and more that the only sustainable competitive advantages left are truly talented people and consistently superior customer service (which of course is delivered by truly talented people!). Location, technology, access to capital, scale, proprietary processes? are all diminishing as ways to differentiate your business and dominate a market. In today’s global marketplace products are becoming commodities – only the experience of purchasing them is what sets one apart from another. So what is the killer app of today?? Bright people who dazzle and surprise customers with consistently superior service.
  2. From and employee standpoint: If YOU are not talent, you will not have a job? AND it is your responsibility to take ownership of your own learning and development. Yes, the company will send you to a few classes and possibly underwrite some additional schooling, but if you want to succeed in the future you must make a serious commitment to your own personal and business development. I also believe that this is an area where the American worker has a huge potential advantage and we may see a lot of jobs that were off-shored coming back if our people realize that they have the ability to learn, grow and deliver substantially superior service than folks in the far reaches.
  3. Since I do work with a handful of the nation’s top financial institutions the one other thing that strikes me is that there is a massive amount of money on the move. As baby-boomers retire, down-size, cash-in their 401Ks / IRAs and begin to collect pensions and such, there is going to be the largest transfer of wealth in the history of our country.

I am not sure where it will all end up, but there will be literally trillions of dollars re-distributed within the next few years. Well, I guess we’ll check back next year and see how I did!


  1. Interesting predictions, John!

    Where does the need to execute fit into your conceptualization of “talent?” That is, if someone cannot manifest their talent (someone who is talented, but cannot be relied upon to benefit the organization by consistently executing critical goals) aren’t they about as worthless to an organization as someone with no talent? Also, if someone with moderate talent can be depended on to complete goals aligned with the organization’s most important objectives on a regular basis, aren’t THEY more valuable than a super-talented and non-dependable person? I say this because I find myself (in my own business ventures) to be at war for “dependability” as much as (if not more than) for talent. Perhaps I’ll predict (much like Covey in his “8th Habit”) that smart organizations will begin warring for dependability (and for mechanisms of measuring this dependability).

    Just some thoughts as I browsed this article – good stuff!