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This post by Eric Jackson in 2011 remains relevant and useful today: Top Ten Keys to Building a Talent Firewall in Your Organization.

Building a “talent firewall”, or what I call a “sustainable talent strategy”, takes time, effort, and a commitment to being the best at what you do. There is no panacea for building a great company. You must look at every piece of your organization beginning with the Board of Directors, which the CEO sits on, and determine what you’re committed to accomplishing. Are you looking to eventually have an IPO? Are you looking for an exit at all? It doesn’t matter which of these you want. What makes the difference are the processes and talent strategies you’ve put in place to make your company more valuable than it would have been otherwise.

You may be thinking that this is too much work given how busy you are building your company. But have you considered the consequences, financial and sustainable, that neglecting these items will cause? Have you considered the strategic advantages you’ll gain from implementing these types of processes? I’ve been speaking to a number of VCs recently and so many have begun to see the difference in their portfolio companies when they take this type of holistic, proactive approach to building healthy, sustainable companies. Keep up the good work!

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Carol Schultz

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