Speaking at the meeting Mr Kearney said on talent management that “the only differential left is the calibre and talent of the people within an organisation. If you want to be the number one, you have to do something different. That’s why talent is so important. Recruitment doesn’t work, because the best talent is not available. The recruitment pool is at best a normal distribution of talent and at worst one minus the best talent. The most talented individuals are rarely available and are cherished by their current employer. If you have them, you hold onto them. The top sales person won’t leave. You only get a chance to recruit them if their company accidentally cheeses them off. Our strategy for sales talent is to grow it.”
In terms of promotion within Oracle Mr Kearney said that “As soon as you promote somebody they go back to being an idiot. Their performance is not going to be great for the first year unless they’re a genius. You’re just trying to find out if their potential will be reached.”
And on performance reviews he said that those who did poorly were ‘obstructions to talent’ and that “It’s not just about that individual but also the people who work for them. Bad leaders do so much damage in an organisation and good leaders so much good. And senior managers are always the last to know who’s under-performing. Pay is off the agenda during reviews but we ask what we could do that is not reward based to encourage them to keep going. Those who reached the top of the talent list were given stock in the company with a four-year vest which is a good retention tool. Talent management is about development not salary increases.”
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