Lee Litchlyter, CEO of GISi, talks about a new pipeline concept that focuses on the development and growth of people and their value to the company.
00:01 What an amazing day.
00:03 You know, listening to the power of GIS and how its changing the world, it's completely renewed my passion for the business we're in.
00:07 But what business are we in?
00:10 I think most of us here in the room would say we're in the spatial business...
00:13 ...or perhaps the solution business, but really we're in the people business...
00:19 ...because without people, that vision that Jack talked about this morning, well, we couldn't achieve it.
00:27 So who has said this line, people are our most important asset.
00:32 I know I have. I'm guilty of that. But what's it really mean?
00:36 Sure, it feels good when we say it.
00:39 But there's a problem with that statement. A pretty big one, in fact.
00:43 See, true tangible assets, things like raw materials and factories, they don't think on their own, and obviously people do.
00:51 So even if you're the most perfect company in the world, your most important asset may just get up and walk out the door.
00:59 So what's the solution? What's the insightful idea?
01:03 Well, I recently read the book Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, who is the CEO of Zappos...
01:09 ...and he got me thinking about a new type of asset, a pipeline of people.
01:15 And adopting this pipeline concept has completely changed how we think about our business.
01:19 Now we're all familiar with a sales pipeline and some of the attributes.
01:25 We fill the funnel by our marketing activities.
01:28 We want to create depth and diversity throughout the whole sales process.
01:32 We invest appropriately to maximize our business benefit...
01:36 ...and we adapt our sales approach based on where things are at in the sales funnel.
01:40 A people pipeline is very similar.
01:44 You fill your pipeline by trying to attract and retain people.
01:47 You create bench strength and build depth and diversity throughout your organization.
01:52 You develop appropriately to get the best out of your individuals.
01:56 And you adapt your training strategies based on the type of people you have.
02:01 So we've been starting to implement this at GIS, Inc., I'd would like to tell you an example of how that is working for us.
02:07 We implemented an innovative new benefits program that we call Personal Choice.
02:13 This benefits program has allowed us to add 40 percent new benefits while holding our costs steady.
02:20 Now our CFO loves it, as you can imagine, but our employees do, too, because they get tremendous flexibility in their benefits,...
02:27 ...and this is allowing us to attract and retain new talent.
02:32 For the reasons that Nick just outlined, we're strongly endorsing certifications like Esri's new program.
02:37 We give people the time and the money to go out and get their certifications, and this is building depth and diversity for us.
02:45 This next one is one that our employees really love.
02:48 We created an R&D program.
02:50 Every month, we pick an employee and we give them a couple of weeks to go out and play with whatever technology they want to...
02:56 ...and while this is primarily an investment in individuals, it's also returning significant benefit to our business.
03:04 And we change how we train, depending on your role.
03:06 For example, our leadership team as been doing book reviews.
03:10 Now, every quarter, we pick out a business book, we read it, and we discuss the ideas in it.
03:14 And we've been doing this for five years.
03:16 And it's really helped all of us to become better leaders.
03:20 So I think you get the idea. That's just a couple examples of how we're adopting this pipeline concept at GIS, Inc.
03:26 And if you adopt it, you'll find that you'll manage differently and you'll invest differently...
03:31 ...and you'll develop a far more valuable asset for your company.
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