Just heard Kevin Oakes speak about his new book, "The Executive Guide to Integrated Talent Management". Kevin is an amazing guy, a longtime leader in his field, and an excellent speaker. The good news from both his book and the presentation: there are a lot of executives out there who have made developing the abilities and careers of their employees a core value of their organizations. The bad news - they represent a small minority. Most employers, whether public or private sector, still see the people who build their organizations as a resource to be exploited at best, an expense and a source of friction and trouble at worst. In all cases they are probably right, but the reason, as Kevin and his collaborators point out in the book, has more to do with the organization itself than the people they are hiring. That one company can develop a culture that is dynamic, exciting, and supportive while another in the same industry is punitive, closed to new ideas and drives their best people away is both a source of hope and frustration. It's a leadership challenge that the best out there will continue to take up.