Mikal YoungSaturdayNov 26 at 6:51pmManage Discussion EntryAT&T's Talent OverhaulSince it began in 1885, American Telegraph and...

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Mikal Young

AT&T's Talent Overhaul

Since it began in 1885, American Telegraph and Telephone Company (AT&T) has been constantly reinventing itself. Its ability to adapt has made the company the most successful telecommunication companies in the country. AT&T has an annual revenue of $171 billion dollars and a staff of 243,350.

The problem with many technological companies is that technology moves fast. Many long time employees who have become experts in their field are now finding their skills to be obsolete. Since 2006 the company has embarked on a massive overhaul to move from cables and hardware to cloud storage and advanced internet capabilities.

Rather than engage in mass hiring to fill these positions, AT&T began to retrain its existing employees. The new landscape requires skills in cloud-based computing, coding, data science, and other technical capabilities... methods of training and development cannot keep up (Donovan, Benko 2016). From 2013 to 2016 AT&T has invested $230 million in employee training and another $30 million in tuition assistance annually. This is a huge gamble for the company. If it is a success, they will have this highly skilled, highly educated loyal workforce. If it fails they will have trained a workforce for someone else. Many companies are looking to AT&T to decide what to do with their soon to be outdated workforce.

AT&T has developed online training for it's employees that helps them advance their career. They have also partnered up with Udacity and Georgia Tech to provide training and education in high demand fields at a highly discounted rate.

So far the program seems to be working with AT&T steadily growing.


DONOVAN, J. and BENKO, C. (2016) ‘AT&T’s Talent Overhaul’,Harvard Business Review, 94(10), pp. 68–73. Available at: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=bsh&AN=118307858&site=eds-live&scope=site (Accessed: 7 November 2022).

The organization that I chose is Microsoft. In 2014, the position of Microsoft was grim. PC sales were falling, and the software products were in decline. Competitors were doing better, and the path of the company seemed dim. Microsoft seemed like a relic of an industrial era company that, like so many other big firms, had failed to grasp the meaning of the emerging digital economy (Denning, 2021). Nadella, one of the CEO’s adopted a successful six step playbook. The first step was to kill losing business models (Denning, 2021). The second one is to establish a customer focused purpose (Denning, 2021). An example is how the firm will create customers instead of chasing competitor products or replacing them (Denning, 2021). Instead, the goal is to help empower people wherever they are, whatever device they are using (Denning, 2021). The third step is to define areas of opportunity (Denning, 2021). An example that Nadella adopted is the mobility of human experiences, experiences that have been made possible by Microsoft’s cloud technologies (Denning, 2021). The fourth step is to address culture up front, where Nadella announced that it would be one of collaboration and finding mutually profitable solutions, Us with them instead of Us vs them (Denning, 2021). The fifth step is to make empathy central and finally the sixth step is to inspire and unleash the hidden agile army which basically meant to establishing a team that had speed, nimbleness, and athleticism to get the consumer experience right, daily.


Denning, S. (2022, November 9).How Microsoft's digital transformation created a trillion dollar gain. Forbes. Retrieved December 1, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2021/06/20/how-microsofts-digital-transformation-created-a-trillion-dollar-gain/?sh=76283aee625b

Answered Same DayDec 02, 2022

Answer To: Mikal YoungSaturdayNov 26 at 6:51pmManage Discussion...

Rachit answered on Dec 02 2022
7 Votes
American Telegraph & Telephone Company(AT&T) is a technology driven company and will need to upgrade its infrastructure on a periodic basis to keep up with the growing efficiencies of the system. The work force that it employs had a certain set of skill set that was hired keeping in mind the technology set-up as installed then. The employees would face the first hurdle post one or two upgrades but with time it may be difficult for the people to keep up with the changing technology. The company need to have a reality check with the employee to check their intent on their willingness to learn and enrol in a new training program while others who have come of the age should be given the opportunity to move to support department. This will give...

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