Managing Talent at Bertelsmann AG (A) Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Question 01

a) After justifying the importance of alignment between talent management and strategic context of a business, what is your opinion (critical analysis) on the quality of this alignment Bertelsmann? In other words, we are facing a good example of talent management related to the strategic context?

In my opinion, the alignment between the talent management at Bertelsmann and the strategic context at the company were somewhat interrelated and directly proportional to one another. The reason is simple, although the company was performing quite sufficiently until 2008 where the dip in the overall brand image came because of technical expertise that the other industry players actually acquired. Along with this, the CEO or the leadership of the company was changing where the next CEO Hartmut Ostrowski was looking to take charge of the business. He had three main priorities to look upon which included the aspect of taking the lead, go for the growth and the element of creating value. These three main attributes were the main purpose of the new leadership at Bertelsmann AG.

However, the main problem identified by the company was of leadership where the company was looking at its leaders to the competitors in the media industry. These were the main issues at the company; however, the issue was not addressed in the appropriate manner until the company actually faced the threat of looking leadership. However, since the company had started a talent management program under the supervision of Mr. Hermreck it was quite a good and effective way of actually looking to ensure that the company does not feel the scarcity of losing the potential leaders in the future of the company. The company is on the right direction with its leadership alignment and the strategic move where the long term goal is to retain the high potential managers to the company. This can be termed as a strong alignment between strategic and organizational goals at Bertelsmann AG.

b) According to you, based on your analysis to the previous question, are the challenges of talent management identified by Hermreck most relevant for the company at the end of 2008? If yes, provide justification. If not, identify other challenges as you feel is relevant in a diverse and global company Bertelsmann.

With respect to the previous question and the problem identified in the section, the most obvious challenges for the company at the end of year 2008 are of talent management system at the company Bertelsmann AG. The reason is simple, in spite of all the initial success for the company and the overall achievement of high profile employees at the company, in the recent past Bertelsmann has faced the lack of strong individuals in the company. The hold of the management has been loosening and the different companies, departments working under Bertelsmann are making decisions based on their preferences rather than looking at the global objective of the company.

This has been generally due to the fact that the company is strongly following the business model of staying as a decentralized organizational structure. Although it has been the unique selling preposition for the company, but in the recent past the plan has not worked in favor of the management. To overcome this issue and to become a company that has all its resources intact, it needs to find better solution to the problem it has faced where the management has lacked control over decision making at the company. Along with this, another major difference has been the organizational structure at the company. The decentralized structure has been the major strength but since the talent management program or the system has been introduced it has been facing quite a few concerns with it in the company.

Question 02

Indicate whether Mr. Hermreck went the right approach and made the right choices in terms of determining the succession (identification and evaluation of high potential employees). Explain your position and, if appropriate, offer his recommendations for improvement.

The decision made by Mr. Hermreck regarding the succession planning of hi-po (high potential) employees was quite an effective one in the initial phase. Initially, hi-po were identified and developed by the company Bertelsmann. More talented individuals from top universities were recruited by the company for the various positions.............................

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Bertelsmann in EVP HR Immanuel Hermreck and his team focused on four key issues HR. Three of them were somewhat discreet: improving employer brand's Bertelsmann, Bertelsmann talent management through a decentralized business firms, as well as providing early detection and appropriate development of the top 100 high-potential leaders Bertelsmann (hi-way) to better the seed of future top management. The fourth issue of recruitment and retention has played an important role in all three goals, and should be strengthened and made consistent across the company, not just the prospect of Bertelsmann's decentralized structure. Hermreck knew navigate these issues will create serious problems, but getting them right is crucial to the competitive advantage of Bertelsmann and survival as a credible media company. He had some good results in his early work, but he hopes that if his plan of action set out to do? "Hide
by Boris Groysberg, Nitin Nohria, Mark C. Maletz, Kerry Herman Source: Harvard Business School 59 pages. Publication Date: 02 December 2009. Prod. #: 410010-PDF-ENG

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