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Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance

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Chasing Stars

The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance

By Boris Groysberg

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Format: Paperback, 504 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United States, 01 March 2012
It is taken for granted in the knowledge economy that companies must employ the most talented performers to compete and succeed. Many firms try to buy stars by luring them away from competitors. But Boris Groysberg shows what an uncertain and disastrous practice this can be. After examining the careers of more than a thousand star analysts at Wall Street investment banks, and conducting more than two hundred frank interviews, Groysberg comes to a striking conclusion: star analysts who change firms suffer an immediate and lasting decline in performance. Their earlier excellence appears to have depended heavily on their former firms' general and proprietary resources, organizational cultures, networks, and colleagues. There are a few exceptions, such as stars who move with their teams and stars who switch to better firms. Female stars also perform better after changing jobs than their male counterparts do. But most stars who switch firms turn out to be meteors, quickly losing luster in their new settings. Groysberg also explores how some Wall Street research departments are successfully growing, retaining, and deploying their own stars. Finally, the book examines how its findings apply to many other occupations, from general managers to football players. Chasing Stars offers profound insights into the fundamental nature of outstanding performance. It also offers practical guidance to individuals on how to manage their careers strategically, and to companies on how to identify, develop, and keep talent.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix Introduction 3 Part One: Talent and Portability Chapter 1: Moving On 15 Chapter 2: Analysts' Labor Market 35 Chapter 3: The Limits of Portability 51 Chapter 4: Do Firms Benefit from Hiring Stars? 77 Part Two: Facets of Portability Chapter 5: Stars and Their Galaxies: Firms of Origin and Portability 93 Chapter 6: Integrating Stars: The Hiring Firm and Portability of Performance 125 Chapter 7: Liftouts (Taking Some of It with You): Moving in Teams 141 Chapter 8: Women and Portability: Why Is Women's Performance More Portable than Men's? 163 Part Three: Implications for Talent Management: Developing, Retaining, and Rewarding Stars Chapter 9: Star Formation: Developmental Cultures at Work 197 Chapter 10: Turnover: Who Leaves and Why 239 Chapter 11: A Special Case of Turnover: Stars as Entrepreneurs 253 Chapter 12: Measuring and Rewarding Stars' Performance 273 Chapter 13: Lessons from Wall Street and Elsewhere 321 Appendix 343 Notes 353 Index 437

About the Author

Boris Groysberg is professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.

Reviews

Winner of the 2011 Gold Medal Book Award in the Operations Management/Productivity/TQM category, Axiom Business One of the winners of the 2010 Best Business Books, strategy+business magazine for 2010 "[Boris Groysberg's] new book, a meticulous study of the performance of Wall Street analysts, asks the key question: is the success of individual 'star' employees transferable to other businesses? In other words, is it the team/institution that is key to the high performance or is it mainly down to the individual concerned?"--Stefan Stern, Financial Times "[B]rilliant... [T]he best business book of the year on human capital... [Groysberg's] findings, and the force and richness of both his data and his presentation, should have an indelible effect on how we understand exceptional performance."--Sally Helgesen, Strategy + Business "What if talent is more like an orchid, thriving in certain environments and dying in others? It's an interesting question, full of nature-versus-nurture overtones; we could debate it endlessly. But Boris Groysberg, a professor at Harvard Business School, has spoiled the debate with an unsporting move. He's gathered some data. And what he discovered forces us to rethink the argument."--Fast Company "The book is fascinating reading, as Prof. Groysberg digs deeper into the implications for knowledge workers and portability of jobs... [T]here are lessons in here for executives and knowledge workers in general and, more particularly, human resources officials concerned about the talent war for knowledge workers."--Harvey Schachter, Globe & Mail "Chasing Stars is an important work challenging the myth that talented workers can succeed anywhere. It proves that the best employer-employee relationships are mutually beneficial and that both can gain much from each other if they try."--ForeWord "Early in the summer, Paul DePodesta read a book that intrigued him. Its title was Chasing Stars. Its author was Boris Groysberg, an associate professor at Harvard Business School. Its thesis had a practical application that had yet to reveal itself to Mr. DePodesta. It did in November, when the Mets hired Mr. DePodesta to be their vice president of player development and amateur scouting... [T]he most telling template for how they might return the Mets to prominence [is] Dr. Groysberg's examination of how businesses and organizations can create environments where talent can flourish... Mr. DePodesta was ... encouraged by the upshot of Dr. Groysberg's findings: The author could map out general conditions under which 'stars' would thrive in new organizations."--Mike Sielski, Wall Street Journal "Chasing Stars highlights the key factors that improve the odds of successful job transitions. Build a network that extends beyond the confines of your research group and department. Evaluate the cultural and intellectual attributes and resources of a potential employer. Value those things above the monetary compensation in any offer package."--Peter S. Fiske, Nature "Over 10 years, Groysberg--who is associated professor in the organisational behaviour unit at HBS--and his colleagues collected data on what happened to star analysts from Wall Street firms and their professional ranking when they moved to a rival firm... The exhaustive study, examined in detail in Groysberg's new book Chasing Stars, came to an unexpected conclusion: stars who switched jobs generally did poorly, often for at least several years."--Australian Financial Review "Given all the time and money that organisations spend wooing high-flyers to join their ranks, a few minutes spent absorbing the findings of Harvard Business School's Boris Groysberg would be a very wise investment."--Catherine Fox, Australian Financial Review

EAN: 9780691154510
ISBN: 0691154511
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Dimensions: 23.52 x 15.67 x 2.79 centimetres (0.73 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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