Sunday, 7 October 2012

Challenging the Talent Management Myth

I was recently asked to review an organisation's Talent Management process and come up with some recommendations from "best practise".  I sat down and read the policy then spoke to several of the "star" performers in an attempt to find out how effective the process was. 

After much discussion and research it became pretty clear that the organisation's approach certainly provided the HR department with a sense of control over the process.  However, from an employees point of view it was seen as a route to development opportunities and, in their view, very little else.  Indeed even people on the "star" programme had low expectations of what it would do for their career at this particular employer.  It also doesn't take a genius to imagine the effect it was having on "non-stars"!

When working with individuals and firms in this context I always ask 2 critical questions:

"Who do you work for?" and


"How much do you spend on your personal development every year?"


In my experience how people answer these questions is critical in understanding weather or not they are likely to succeed in an organisation.  By this I mean, if someone appreciates that they are working for themselves and sees the necessity of investing in their own development then they are set to progress.

So what do I advise?  To be honest, I'm still thinking about that. However, a recent article published by the Fast Company by David Clutterbuck suggests 4 things that represent are a pretty good start:
  • Start thinking of talent and succession as complex, adaptive systems. Stop trying to control them and focus instead on enabling talent to make itself visible. Think of talent as a wave: energy that needs to be pointed in the right direction.
  • Instead of filling vacancies with people like the previous incumbent, encourage people to propose how they would transform those roles. Take more risks and don't panic when a few fail spectacularly--that's still better than a lot of mediocre performances!
  • Open up a wider, more honest dialogue with employees about talent and put more effort into supporting them in managing their own career development.
  • Look for talent in less obvious places. For example, in many organisations there is informal, often unrecognised leadership emerging every day in the intranet-based social networks. This leadership is distributed, has no respect for hierarchy, and can be the main source for innovation.

9 comments:

Robert Thorne said...

You know something's wrong when the supposed star employees feel that HR and talent management could use a little work. The trick is getting the talent or hr department to realize this and make changes before something like a loss of business investment kicks in.

Denise Guillermo said...

It's like choosing which BPO company to get for your business, questions like "Do you have this automatic call distribution software for possible flood of calls from my clients? What about efficient agents to talk with?" Truly, in everything we do, we always aim to get and/or be a star and outshine others, especially in our chosen career paths.

Abbie Duncan said...

Yeah, I usually also ask those questions to interviewees. Basing from my work experience in itil configuration management, in every question that is being thrown in the applicant, the company is looking for an honest, career oriented person and a reliable source for creating new business tips.configuration management

Ronald Stinson said...

Choosing the right person at the right position is one. One thing to consider in picking people is to observe how those people act while working and what is their perspective toward a certain issue and testing their character while under pressure. With this surely, you'll the right people and put them in the right place.

Lola Townsend said...

It will also boils down to the way the OIC handled the company not only by choosing the right person for the right position. But also, the talent to maneuver and control the overall organization.

Geneva Moore said...

Best practices are proven to be the most effective strategy when it comes to this. Setting up goals and a reward system is better that talent management.

Isaac Cox said...

In the actual business field, myths are not considered. Actual data and information are only important. You can't gamble with myths and legends.

Leo Herrera said...

Thank you for this one! Hey, can you provide details on the proper ways on how to make a company registration.

helenajmoore said...

Particularly like "Instead of filling vacancies with people like the previous incumbent, encourage people to propose how they would transform those roles. Take more risks and don't panic when a few fail spectacularly--that's still better than a lot of mediocre performances!" sound advice