December 2018 Features

The Future of Your Company

Written By: John Spence

Depends Upon the Quality of the People You Can Get, Grow and Keep

If you have been reading my articles here, you will know that I have written this 100 times, but here’s 101.

The future of your company is directly tied to the quality of the people that you can get, grow and keep on your team, which means that talent acquisition, talent development and talent retention should be a major strategic objective of your business.

In this article, I’d like to talk about talent development. There are two tracks for talent development. The first is your official training program, which should be robust and focused on the skill sets your team needs to succeed. Typically, these include specific skills training, cross-functional training, legally required training (such as safety training), communication skills, teamwork and leadership training.

Having a strong development program and a clear career path are two of the most important things that highly talented employees want. They want their company to invest in them, send them to training, coach them, give them a mentor and expose them to greater responsibilities so they feel they are continually improving and growing. They also need to know there is a place for them in the company in five to seven years; that there are opportunities for upward mobility. If you hire talent that do not believe they are increasing their skills, and they do not see a place for themselves in the company in the future, they will leave and go to another company that does offer those opportunities.

The second track is the employee’s commitment to their personal growth and career development. When I do training or give speeches, I make it clear to the audience that the company is responsible for about 70 percent of employee training and the other 30 percent must be done by the individual. If they are not willing to invest time, energy and money in their development, then their career will most certainly stall.

When I mention these two tracks, what I most often hear from both groups – employers and employees – is that they don’t have enough money to do a lot of training. This is completely wrong. Never in the history of humankind has so much valuable information been available for free. Right now, it is possible to go on the internet and get the best ideas, tools and techniques for being highly successful in business at absolutely no cost to you or your company. Here is a list of resources I use for my personal business development.

*All of these are free or at a very nominal price for the quality of the information they deliver.


This program allows you to pick multiple information sources that are focused specifically in the areas of your interest. I use it to catch up on all the latest business information from magazines like Fortune, Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur and the Harvard Business Review. There are also special curated sections on leadership development, strategy, marketing, advertising, organizational culture and many more.


There are thousands of business training videos on YouTube for free. You can watch the presentations of some of the top business experts in the world such as Seth Godin, Simon Sinek, Tom Peters, Jim Collins, Gary Vaynerchuk and many, many more.

iTunes U

Here you can download audio recordings on multiple business topics from nearly every major university in the world taught by their top professors and guest lecturers, such as highly accomplished CEOs and global thought leaders.

Talks at Google

According to their website: The world’s most influential thinkers, creators, makers, and doers all in one place. Talks at Google. Where great minds meet.

Inc. Magazine

Inc. magazine has a wonderful website, with lots of great articles and a special section called with a vast collection of business videos from top entrepreneurs and business leaders.


There is a fantastic section on LinkedIn called LinkedIn Learning, which has great videos from top business experts. The production quality is very high, and the information is solid.


There are dozens and dozens of great business podcasts and some of my favorites include:

Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman (the founder of LinkedIn)

Positive University Podcast

Six Pixels of Separation – Marketing and Communications Insights by Mitch Joel

I suggest you Google “Top Business Podcasts” and choose the ones that look good to you.

I’ve listed only a small fraction of the many places you can go to acquire valuable business information. As a business owner you can use these resources to train your employees; as an employee you can use these resources to build skills that will bolster your career, all at very little to no cost.

Now you have no excuses.

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