Continuing on the theme preparing for the upturn, are you ready to meet the talent shortage that will come in the upturn? Many would dismiss this concern out of hand, believing the high unemployment rates today will fill the void tomorrow.

But many of those unemployed are not trained or skilled in the areas most desperate for employees today or those likely to recover the fastest in the upturn. Moreover, those of the boomer generation will retire, and the younger generation is not prepared to keep up. I was shocked by this statistic: “As the economy rebounds, the shortages will become more pronounced. A very high percentage of the new jobs created today (some estimates run as high as 75% of all new jobs in the U.S.) require some level of post-high school education or experience. Yet our education patterns have not shifted to keep pace (in the U.S., less than 30% of Gen Y's graduate from college and over 20% do not even graduate from high school!).”

Need more proof? The Economist Intelligence Unit issued this report on the struggle for tomorrow’s workforce mirroring many of the same findings.

To George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research, understanding this talent gap and how to find, keep and inspire the best marks “post-Gateway” CEOs – those who will survive and thrive on the other side of this “Gateway Recession”: "The war for people will be intense. It’s a counterintuitive thought at this moment of high worldwide unemployment, but the post-Gateway era will be distinguished by a pitched battle for good people. CEOs will fight for people on three fronts: 1) Attracting and winning the best and the brightest takes world-class offices and factories, the best internal technology, and truly compelling corporate purpose and values; 2) retaining the best workers takes a great corporate strategy, excellent leadership, and inspiring management; and finally 3) getting productivity from the limited workforce you have — again, this loops back to nailing the technology imperative.

George cuts straight to the heart of the matter. Let me ask you: • Are your corporate purpose and company values truly compelling? How do you know? • Are your employees engaged in your strategy and delivering against it in their daily jobs? Do they even know how? • Can your leaders inspire the productivity achievements you need? Based on what?