Forrester seems to have a problem retaining its top talent. Among some of the high profile associates which have left include Charlene Li and now Jeremiah Owyang. All are the most recent high profile analyst to leave Forrester after just two years.
Given the draw of these high profile names it would seem evident that their value to Forrester goes beyond their day to day duties and in reality folks like these are the celebrities of Forrester, or they used to be.
Are Celebrities Wanted?
Every business has stars who are recognized by the marketplace as the profile players of the business. A “star” can be a challenge for a business since stars usually get most of the attention.
Attention fuels power and power fuels bigger influence and influence has its price. Influence creates a brand and now high profile figures within an organizational brand can become a brand within themselves.
Which Brand Is It?
Charlene Li and Jeremiah Owyang were able to gain profile and influence as a result of their signature work at Forrester and the propagation of their perspectives.
Forrester is a brand with significant talent and reach. They hire smart people who are enabled to tap into the entire pool of talent and create perspectives, insights and all backed up by extensive research. Each of these individuals, and others, also created their own brand and drew influence and an audience using social media. Whether Forrester or any other major institutional brand the new challenge is managing conflicting brands, the people vs. the organization.
A Conflict of Wants And Needs?
High profile individuals within organizational brands can and do create significant value for their employer, the brand. However when the high profile people start to become brands themselves the challenge for the organization is managing potential conflicts between the individuals wants and needs and that of the organization. This issue has always been a challenge for organizations with public stars but today the challenge is even greater given the power of social media which enables individuals to become a brand within a brand.
The more influence an individual gains the greater influence they have over a market. As the influence grows so does the individuals profile and subsequent opportunities. Opportunities can fill wants and needs that existing employers cannot. Most organizations want to help employees fulfill their wants and needs and the successful ones do so consistently. The challenge of doing so just went up several notches.
Social media enables individuals to create a brand that attracts opportunity and this attraction may present the fulfillment of wants and needs that existing employers cannot or will not fulfill for whatever reason.
There is a new organizational risk arising as a result of social media. The risk of not fulfilling or being able to fulfill wants and needs of high profile talent which have become a brand within themselves.
Maybe Forrester should consider doing a study that provides recommended solutions that other organizations could use to mitigate the increased risk which is being fueled by high profile talent creating their own brand using social media. Then Forrester could use their own study to retain their own top talent that have and will continue to become a brand. Just a thought.
What say you?