Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

The Three Big Trends

I was having lunch with a client not too long ago and in the middle of his salad he looked up and asked: John, what are the three biggest trends you see in business right now? Wow, good question, and here is my answer…

  1. It is a War for Talent
    I hear this everywhere I go, at company after company I see them jump up and down on the subject of people are our most important asset. However, I see VERY few companies actually putting forth the effort, focus, funds and systems toward truly taking the recruitment, acquisition, growth and retention of top talent a top priority. They give it plenty of lip-service but not any real attention. To be successful your company must be a Talent Machine!
  2. If you are not talent… you will not have a job!
    The flip side of that coin is: as an employee if you are not consistently proving your value to the company and clearly demonstrating that you are wildly talented you will soon be replaced by someone else who is. Be talent or be unemployed!
  3. Lack of Execution
    I see lots of firms with wonderfully talented people who devise brilliant and focused plans that never get fully implemented. They KNOW what to do they just lack the discipline to get it DONE. I was teaching a class at Wharton and asked the group of CEOs I was speaking to: What percentage of the time do companies that have superb plans, actually execute those plans effectively?The answer: 20% at best. Having talented people, good ideas and well-thought-out plans is completely useless, if you do not have the will to make those business plans… a business reality.

So there you have it, the three biggest trends I am seeing at this moment in time. What it will be a year from now?Not sure yet…


  1. John, as usual, you couldn’t be more right (in my experience).

    The “War for Talent”, the need for improvement, and very importantlythe Organizational Execution Crisis as you called it in your other detailed article , are where I think we’ll see the biggest business opportunities for some time to come.