Welcome to State Parkway Partners

Our Mission

At State Parkway Partners, our ideal clients are transformational CHROs, CLOs, and VPs of L&D and Talent Management, strategic thinkers and leaders who want to transform their organizations’ capabilities from transactional service delivery to value creation, from “we need a course/program” to “we need a result”. We are completely focused on providing you with a comprehensive methodology for keeping talent investments aligned to business goals, objectives, and strategies as well as for creating accountability for targeted, measurable business outcomes.

Our Aligned-to-Business (A2B) methodology has been published as a detailed how-to guide titled “The CEO’s Talent Manifesto: Align Talent Investments to Achieve Targeted Results”. Our role is to provide you with with the assessment, advice, training, and coaching you need to implement the methodology and adapt it to your culture and organization. Our services include:
* Overview and introductory on-line and in-person workshops
* Detailed implementation workshops
* Implementation planning guidance
* Implementation phase by phase review and coaching
* CLO role guidance and coaching

You can get additional information about our A2B Methodology at www.aligned-to-business.com, and you can contact us at 312-751-2865.

The CEO’s Talent Manifesto: Align Talent Investments to Achieve Targeted Results is available at Amazon.com. Click the cover to go to the book on Amazon.

The CEO's Talent Manifesto

The PwC 2014 US CEO Survey, January 2014 notes that “US CEOs are reinventing operations to remain fit today and relevant tomorrow…In remaking their organizations, CEOs are moving away from locked-in rigid structures of the past toward more nimble operations. The goal is to make their businesses adept at harnessing disruptions, and building capabilities that can quickly respond to opportunities and threats as they arise, while keeping a handle on costs and risks…But there’s more at work here. New business models that companies are contemplating require talent with different skills than the ones they currently have…CEOs are very focused on ensuring that the skills are in place – or will be in place – to capitalize on investments they are making into mobile technologies, data analytics, and other strategic capabilities.” (Bolding added)

The DDI Global Leadership Forecast 2014/2015 reports that “For at least two decades, the challenge for HR was to move from being administrators or reactors to being business partners. HR units worldwide have made that shift…It’s now time to raise the bar for HR, to take on a new role we call “anticipator.” Anticipators are always looking for what might come next. They work with the business to predict future talent gaps, and then strive to close the gap…fewer than 2 in 10 HR professionals place themselves in the anticipator category…We also examined when HR gets involved in the strategic planning process…anticipators are far more likely than their partner or reactor counterparts to be part of their organization’s strategic planning process…Yet, only one in four HR respondents reported participating early in strategic planning. The other three were not involved or were asked to develop talent plans after the strategic planning process.” (Bolding added)

Are you working to reinvent your L&D, talent, and people management processes? Are you seeking to operate at the strategic level and move at a real-time pace with the rest of the business? If you are, then we can show you how to:

  • align your talent investments with business objectives, strategies, and processes
  • proactively identify talent investment opportunities and target specific business results
  • dynamically manage your talent investments as a prioritized and optimized portfolio
  • balance strategic and operational, short term and long term investments
  • implement the roles, responsibilities, and governance that makes this all happen
  • demonstrate accountability for achieving targeted business results


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The CEO's Talent Manifesto: Align Talent Investments to Achieve Targeted Results

Chip Cleary and I have co-authored a comprehensive and practical "how to" book, The CEO's Talent Manifesto: Align Talent Investments to Achieve Targeted Results (available at Amazon), that should enable Chief Human Resource Officers, Chief Talent Officers, and Chief Learning Officers to manage their companies' talent investments strategically. We want to thank Ed Trolley, co-author of the 1999 best selling book Running Training Like a Business for writing the Forward. He did such a great job describing the book and putting its value in context that I have quoted it verbatim below.

"In 1999, we wrote in Running Training Like A Business that “many business leaders say that T&D remains ‘out of the loop’ strategically, that it too often operates like ‘something separate from the business,’ and that they don’t see enough tangible returns on their T&D investment.” We also wrote that executives see a widening gap between the skills and knowledge that businesses require and those that the workforce can offer. In 2012, the fifteenth annual Price-Waterhouse Coopers Global CEO Survey stated that:
• 25 percent of CEOs have cancelled an initiative because
they did not have the talent they required;
• 33 percent were unable to pursue a market opportunity;
• 70 percent were less than “very confident” that they had
the talent they required.

It seems like the more things change, the more they stay the same. Has there ever been a clearer mandate for Learning & Development (L&D) than now? I think not! And so, Chip Cleary and Tom Hilgart define the CEO’s Talent Manifesto as the new “marching orders” for L&D.

The authors are hot on the trail of the “holy grail” of L&D in this new and exciting book. Alignment to Business, or A2B, as it is referred to in the book, has been and continues to be the most elusive and most critical element of L&D. It is the beginning of the beginning, and without it, everything else is pretty much irrelevant. The authors say, “The most pressing issue that is faced by most L&D organizations is not whether they have the right guns to fire but rather whether they know just where to point them.” We can design and develop the best training ever created, and we can deliver it with the best instructors and/or the best technology in the best format. But…if it is not on something important to the business, business executives are not happy—and they shouldn’t be. Making investments in learning and development has to deliver the same level of business value that investments in R&D, marketing, sales, manufacturing and service deliver; otherwise, business executives place their investment bets in areas other than L&D and the problems defined in the PWC survey will continue on.

In this book, Chip and Tom have put forth the “Aligned-to-Business Methodology,” which provides a set of models and introduces some key new concepts, processes, and tools for L&D, including:
• Portfolio of Investments
• Value-Added Matrix
• Ability-to-Execute Alignment Framework including
ºº Ability-to-Execute Scan
ºº Ability-to-Execute Analysis
ºº Ability-to-Execute Map
• “Walking the beat” to keep abreast of the business
• Key Players
• Following learning investments through a full lifecycle,
including chartering, chaperoning execution, and closing
the loop.

All of these make up the “how-to” of ensuring that the work of L&D is aligned to the business and is delivering measurable value when and where the business requires it.

The authors have also defined a role they call business engagement manager (BEM) to enable the A2B process. The primary job of the BEM is to help business leaders make the right investments to create and manage learning portfolios that generate demonstrated results. I really like that they define BEMs as investment managers whose goal is to enable the business to generate results through investments in learning. And therefore, this role serves as the key interface between the business and L&D. BEMs are business people in learning, and as such, they must think business first and then define ways in which learning can enable business goals. The key measure of success for BEMs is how much business value their learning portfolios produce for the business they serve. This is a great impact-producing role for L&D!

Back in 1999, we discussed the critical importance of A2B as the first step in what we called the Value Creation Process, and we asserted that many, if not most, organizations had not figured out how to do it in a way that ensures delivery of measurable value to the business. In 2013, as an industry, we are still trying to figure it out, and that is why this book is so important to the industry and to the people of L&D.

L&D organizations will be wise to make this book required reading for all of their staff. If they do and if they establish the BEM role and execute as described in this book, we will certainly move L&D “from the backroom to the boardroom.”

Thanks, Chip and Tom. Well done!"
Edward Trolley
Co-author, Running Training Like a Business

For more information and to help you implement the A2B Methodology, we provide an A2B "toolbox" at www.aligned-to-business.com. In addition to information about A2B, this site provides templates, formats, guides, and documents for all of the A2B elements described in the book.

You can also purchase the book at Amazon.

Leave a Comment | Thursday, July 11th 2013 by Tom Hilgart

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