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The Benefits of Talent Mobility

The Benefits of Talent Mobility
Photograph by Altrendo Images/Getty Images

On Sept. 3, Ned Brody, former chief executive of AOL Networks, officially joined Yahoo! as the company’s new chief of advertising in North and South America. Brody had resigned from AOL in April, but his recruitment was delayed because of a noncompete agreement preventing him from working for a competitor for 18 months. AOL decided not to try to keep Brody, but it wasn’t willing to release him from his noncompete.

While AOL and Yahoo ultimately came to an agreement, AOL’s initial response is far from uncommon. When businesses raid competitors, the reaction is often to prevent them from joining the new ranks. Too often, competitors become locked in counterproductive battles over their best talent. What if, against every imaginable business instinct, letting a trusted employee leave is good for your business? Here are five ways you can benefit from setting your talent free.