How to Support Talent Mobility with Leadership Coaching

The following is an executive summary of our latest white paper, Unlocking Talent Mobility with Leadership Coaching

According to a study by Josh Bersin, 40 percent of U.S. workers either changed jobs, managers, or roles in 2020 (Bersin, 2021). The COVID-19 pandemic played a large role in these employment changes, with companies having to rebalance and redeploy talent to survive the early stages of the pandemic. Agile companies like Walmart and Amazon—those that were able to make those changes quickly—not only survived, but they also thrived. 

Today, though, employers are experiencing a new threat: the Great Resignation. A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 40 percent of U.S. workers are currently looking for a new job or plan to do so soon (a PwC survey put that number at 65 percent), twice the rate seen in 2019. The SHRM survey also found that 49 percent of U.S. executives said that in the past six months, the turnover rate in their organization was higher or much higher than usual. 

There are a variety of reasons why employees are leaving, but one reason frequently cited by workers is the lack of internal career mobility. A study by Lighthouse Research & Advisory found that two-thirds of workers who have left their job said it was because of a lack of growth opportunities, but 90 percent said they would have stayed if those opportunities were offered. To create those internal opportunities and increase employee engagement and retention, agile organizations are shifting gears and focusing on developing robust talent mobility programs.

Talent mobility was traditionally defined as moving in-house talent through various roles and functions to allow them to acquire new skills and hone existing ones. Today, though, talent mobility has become more than that, with agile organizations viewing talent mobility to identify, develop, and quickly deploy talent to meet business needs. Pre-pandemic, talent mobility was seen as a “perk” offered mostly to high-potential employees. Employers would move high-potential employees through various roles and functions to learn new skills and prepare them for upward mobility in the organization. In other words, traditional talent mobility prepared high-potential employees to climb the corporate ladder.

Today, agile organizations view talent mobility less like a ladder and more like a lattice, where in-house talent at all levels—not just high-potentials—can move up, down or sideways. These organizations are moving away from traditional career paths, competency frameworks, and succession plans because they are often too slow to respond to rapidly changing business needs. Roles and business demands are changing too quickly, and skills are becoming obsolete faster than ever. These more traditional approaches to career development simply can’t keep up with the pace. 

Organizations with robust talent mobility programs experience higher retention, lower turnover, and lower hiring costs, among other benefits. Moving talent within an organization also speeds leadership development at all levels. Great leaders “know the business of the business,” and possess knowledge and experience beyond their functional areas, so moving these leaders throughout the organization, whether it is vertically or laterally, speeds up the learning curve and develops dynamic leaders with a broader understanding of their organization as a whole. 

Leadership coaching is the key to unlock talent mobility. Leadership coaching helps prepare leaders before they transition into a new role, so they can better anticipate the challenges they will face, either in a new functional role, a managerial role, or both. Leadership coaching also provides valuable support for employees after they transition into new roles, helping them adjust and adapt to their new role and responsibilities. Career transitions fail for a variety of reasons, often with significant consequences for the individual and the organization. Coaching helps ensure successful transitions, creating a foundation for effective talent mobility.

Our latest white paper, Unlocking Talent Mobility with Leadership Coaching, explores:

  • Why talent mobility is critical for organizational success 
  • How organizations benefit from talent mobility
  • Common obstacles to talent mobility
  • The rise of talent marketplaces
  • The place for leadership coaching in a talent mobility program

To read the complete white paper,
download here.

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Tommy is at his best helping clients think through complex challenges in order to create a positive impact on their organizations. He thrives when interacting with others whether helping his team succeed or working with clients to build long-term partnerships. He has extensive experience consulting with organizations on driving their employee experience, guiding organizations through change, and working to ensure organizations are moving the needle when it comes to their results.

Most recently, Tommy was a Client Services Leader overseeing some of GP’s most prized accounts on a global level. His responsibilities included overall client growth strategy, retention, and satisfaction. He represented all of GP Strategies’ major business lines including leadership, coaching, and engagement, digital transformation, outsourced services, and technology implementation solutions.

Before GP Strategies, Tommy spent several years with TTEC Digital (formerly rogenSI) where he led the sales team,  eventually becoming the regional Learning & Performance practice leader for North America. While managing the P&L and sales team he also led the largest global relationship for the firm (Deloitte Globally). During his time at TTEC, he focused on delivering blended learning solutions that incorporate technology and hands-on training. Before TTEC Digital, he spent several years dedicated to strength-based leadership disrupting the business landscape regarding performance management and employee engagement with thought leader Marcus Buckingham at The Marcus Buckingham Company / TMBC (now ADP).

Tommy has had the privilege of working with some of the most well-known global brands in professional services, retail, technology, and healthcare including Deloitte, Facebook, Microsoft, Bank of America, Novartis, Gap Inc., lululemon, and Intel. Several projects he led for Deloitte were Global GNPS, New Partner Pivot, NextGen Partner Program Deloitte China, Present to Win, the RPM project on performance management, and Unconscious Bias.

Tommy holds a BS in Health Sciences from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from Universidad del CEMA.

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Lori Mazan

Co-Founder & CCO Sounding Board, Inc.
Lori Mazan is the Co-Founder and Chief Coaching Officer of Sounding Board, the preeminent global leadership development enterprise platform changing the face of leadership development through innovative technology for leaders at all levels of an organization. Lori is a seasoned executive coach who has guided hundreds of corporate executives through 1:1 coaching focused on business outcomes and developing critical leadership skills. Client companies advanced by Lori’s expertise include Fortune titans such as Chevron and Sprint as well as high growth and public companies like Intellikine, and Tapjoy, plus 10XGenomics, which became a public company in 2019 while top executives worked with Lori and the Sounding Board team.
Lori has spent the last 25 years coaching C-Suite executives to leadership excellence. Many of those public and private company CEO’s expressed that they would have liked this caliber of coaching earlier in their careers. Inspired by these experiences, Lori joined with Christine to launch Sounding Board as a feedback-driven, cloud-based leadership coaching platform that could maintain best-in-class leadership coaching while lowering costs to make it affordable and scalable for leaders at every level of their careers.
Before founding Sounding Board, Lori received her Masters’ in Adult Educational Psychology/Counseling from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelors’ in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Lori is an educator and has spent over 10 years as a professor of social psychology and group dynamics while acting as the interim Dean of Students at Holy Names University, She is certified by the industry’s gold standard, the Coaches Training Institute, and is a founding member of the Genentech Preferred Network of Coaches. Sounding Board is one of <3% of sole female founded startups receiving venture funding. In 2019 Sounding Board was selected as 1 of 7 startups (out of 100+ applicants) as part of SAP’s HR tech cohort, a group that represents the rising stars of the next-gen HR ecosystem.

Christine Tao

Co-Founder & CEO Sounding Board, Inc.
Christine Tao is the co-founder & CEO at Sounding Board, a Silicon Valley startup redefining how organizations are developing their leaders. Her extraordinarily rapid career growth to executive management in the media, mobile and tech sectors of Silicon Valley became her inspiration for founding Sounding Board. As she began to manage larger teams and be responsible for growing revenues, it became clear that she needed a “sounding board” to coach her on the development of her leadership skills. That’s where her Sounding Board co-founder, Lori Mazan came on the scene. A seasoned executive coach focused on leadership development, Lori coached Christine on real-world leadership skills that had a direct impact on business outcomes. Based on her positive and impactful experience with leadership development, Christine was driven to make leadership development coaching accessible to people at all levels of the organization.
Christine advises several startups, is a budding angel investor and is also a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow, a foundation dedicated to investing in the success and sustainability of women entrepreneurs.
Prior to co-founding Sounding Board, Christine was a Senior Vice President of Developer Relations at Tapjoy, a venture-backed, leading mobile advertising & publishing network. She led the growth of Tapjoy’s publisher advertising business from 0 to over $100 million in revenues in less than 3 years. Prior to that she led e-commerce partnerships and strategy at YouTube. Christine holds an MBA in Marketing & Operations from Wharton and a BA in Business Administration from UC Berkeley.