Agile Talent HBR

Agile Talent

How to gain competitive advantage through agile talent

Learn about the macroeconomic trends in the labor market and how they will impact your organization going forward

Agile Talent is a forward-thinking, page-turning primer, containing compelling reasons (you haven’t thought of) for adopting an agile talent strategy and an easy-to-digest framework for doing so.

Based on extensive research and supported by survey data, the authors explain how “cloud resourcing” is dramatically increasing the speed and efficiency at which companies operate, giving firms a competitive advantage over competitors.

“In our view, agile talent provides organizations with flexibility to establish capability, reduce fixed costs and overcome strategic inertia created by a misalignment of capability and competitive challenge.”

“Agile Talent answers the question, ‘How do we get the full benefit of having the best people where and when we need them—even though they’re not on our payroll?’ This book provides a roadmap for navigating to new and powerful workforce relationships.”


— Kirk Aubry, President and CEO, Savage

Buy this book before your competitors find it

  • Agile Talent provides a valuable collection of insights, tools, and cases on which assets an organization needs to own, which ones it can rent, and which ones it merely needs to access. It represents a whole new way for organizations to work across their value chain and optimize the performance of the people who work for (and with) them to reach new levels of productivity.

    Todd M. Warner
    Todd M. Warner Former VP, Learning, BHP Billiton; Founder, Like Minds Advisory
  • Younger and Smallwood demonstrate a nuanced mastery of how to manage a modern business and make it more competitive by managing agile talent and cloud resources. This book presents a clear and effective description of how all businesses need to function in the future—or be left behind.

    Omar Kader
    Omar Kader Chairman and CEO, Paltech
  • This book is relevant, practical, and immediately applicable to anyone reading it, whether you are a CEO, a chief HR officer, a leader at any level in a company, or a shareholder looking for innovative ways companies are gaining competitive advantage in the marketplace.

    Susan J. Schmitt
    Susan J. Schmitt Senior VP, Human Resources, Rockwell Automation
  • Younger and Smallwood’s idea of agile talent and its deployment, in its various forms, is very powerful. At Driscoll’s, it has allowed us to implement an approach that I refer to as ‘virtual vertical integration,’ in which organizations can benefit from vertical integration but not suffer from the curse of multiple focus areas leading to mediocrity. It allows for specialization and entrepreneurial spirit to flourish but to be coordinated in a way that provides the benefits of vertical integration. This book helps advance that type of thinking.

    Kevin Murphy
    Kevin Murphy CEO, Driscoll’s
  • In Agile Talent, Younger and Smallwood take a practice that happens routinely in every size and type of organization—contracting outside expertise. They challenge every reader to break free from our typical narrow and situational tactics and instead think strategically and holistically about how to approach external staffing.

    Shelley Seifert
    Shelley Seifert Chief Operating Officer, First Bank
  • As HR professionals, our challenge often is to deliver a roadmap the business will want to follow and whose return on investment will be acceptable. But spending the budget to achieve the deliverables in human capital planning can sometimes be an obstacle. Agile Talent provides a rarely found treasure trove of experiences and practical solutions to outline the advantages of building capability with cost-effective methodology. It shows how to create an agile workforce that meets an organization’s particular needs.

    Kathleen Wilson-Thompson
    Kathleen Wilson-Thompson Executive Vice President and Global Chief Human Resources Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance
  • Agile Talent answers the question, ‘How do we get the full benefit of having the best people where and when we need them—even though they’re not on our payroll?’ This book provides a roadmap for navigating to new and powerful workforce relationships.

    Kirk Aubry
    Kirk Aubry President and CEO, Savage
  • Talent is the number one global business challenge, yet talent strategies are uninspired and largely conform to past practice. With this book, Jon Younger and Norm Smallwood outline a new approach—agile talent. They give us a solid strategic and practical roadmap on how this new approach to resourcing can provide real competitive advantage. A true example of workplace innovation. Recommended!

    Even Bolstad
    Even Bolstad Executive Director, HR Norge
  • The thinking provided by Younger and Smallwood in Agile Talent is highly relevant for every executive who wants to grow and increase their chances of success by providing strategic alignment and motivation among key stakeholders, including the ability to attract and nurture talents and skills—whether they are external or internal. Agile Talent provides a framework to reinvent strategic thinking and leadership to respond to the rapid market changes and new customer demands we’re all likely to continue to experience.

    Daniel Hummel
    Daniel Hummel CEO & Managing Director, Falck Global Assistance
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