If you haven't already noticed, driving business results in old fashioned ways just isn't working anymore-nor should it. Key talent is leaving organizations, a phenomenon expected to accelerate over the next few years. There are 77 million people approaching retirement and only around 40 million people behind them, creating a significant talent gap. The talent that is there to fill the gap just isn't ready to meet the challenges of today's globally competitive marketplace. In addition, Camden Associates says the average tenure of a newly employed executive brought into an organization today is less than sixteen months. Global competition requires a speed to market that just can't be met with the traditional employee model. The average product life cycle-historically five years in duration-is now under eighteen months, requiring deep and specific knowledge and expertise on a just-in-time basis. These marketplace dynamics are converging, but to help meet the needs are the new ranks of the independently employed-an unprecedented number of accomplished professionals looking to leverage their skills and talents in nontraditional ways.

What does all this mean? Progressive banks and financial institutions today are taking a critical look at their organizational structure and challenging the traditional models. They are realizing that with traditional employment practices, they are no longer organized in a way that allows them to be nimble, efficient, cost effective and responsive to today's global marketplace. The high fixed costs of running a business in a traditional way is at odds with the pressure to deliver results and to simultaneously operate at ever increasing efficiencies.

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