Weisberg, A. & Benko, C.
Ivey Business Journal, May/June 2008
Area of focus: 
Career Break
Flexible Working

Talent personnel at professional services firm Deloitte here describe the new Mass Career Customisation (MCC) model the company has developed for talent management. The authors identify six trends which are changing the workforce, and which will have increasing impact in the future; these include a shrinking labour pool, a higher number of female workers, the expectations of Gen X and Gen Y employees, and the impact of technology. While flexible working arrangements have helped such issues in the past, these are argued to be one-off solutions typically negotiated at "points of crisis", which are not integrated with talent management and career progression.

The MCC model builds on the concept of Mass Product Customisation, offering employees options based on the dimensions of pace, workload, location or schedule, and role. Employees choose their preferred position on the continua with the understanding that these may be re-evaluated at a later point. This model replaces the metaphor of a "corporate ladder" with that of a "corporate lattice", acknowledging that workers may voluntarily choose to move sideways or even downwards at various points in their careers.

Examples are provided of sample profiles and the benefits of the model are discussed, including increased productivity and loyalty. The authors provide a thorough discussion of their experiences rolling out the system, and list several key lessons learnt for successful implementation.