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Agile Talent

How to Source and Manage Outside Experts

by Norm Smallwood, Jon YoungerHarvard Business Review Press / 240 pages / February 2016

Campbell Soup Company and PepsiCo seek advice from anthropologists to understand customer tastes and preferences. Google and Intel engage experts in social science and biomechanics to assess how people think about and use technology.

Companies are gaining advantage through a new capability—strategic use of external experts—made possible by technology and the globalization of talent. Leaders everywhere recognize that “lean,” “agile,” and “fast” strategies require new ways to access and leverage—without owning—key talent to fill critical gaps. As managers seek nontraditional sources of strategic talent and experiment with fast, flexible ways of engaging these experts, they need a new roadmap.

This book delivers that roadmap. It tells you how to assess, choose, attract, develop, support, and retain your external talent. Authored by thought leaders and bestselling authors in leadership and talent management who teach and consult globally, Agile Talent reveals how companies such as Apple, Uber, Airbnb, Google, IBM, and Bain Capital organize and manage new forms of talent in innovative ways. Supported by survey data and packed with tools and templates for applying these ideas, this book is the ultimate guide for winning the next war for talent.

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