Friday, October 5, 2012

Talent Management

Earlier this week, I wrote about the importance of talent management particularly as we seek to grow our organizations into global companies. Recently, when working on a project related to leadership development, I reviewed my notes from the book by Bill Conaty and Ram Charan called The Talent Masters: Why Smart Leaders Put People Before Numbers, Crown Business, 2010. In this excellent resource, the authors point out that “if businesses managed their money as carelessly as they managed their people, most would be bankrupt.” They further explain that “in the fast-changing global marketplace, the half-life of core competencies grows shorter.... Only one competency lasts. It is the ability to create a steady, self-renewing stream of leaders.”

I agree whole heartedly and believe more and more this fall that talent management must move to the front burner in more and more strategic planning meetings. One way to do this is to embrace the core principles in Conaty and Charan’s book. They are the following:

1. An enlightened leadership team, starting with the CEO who really “gets it” and sees talent development as a competitive advantage.

2. A performance-driven meritocracy, a willingness to differentiate talent based on results as well as the values and behaviors behind those results.

3. Explicit definition and articulation of values, citing strong company beliefs and expected behaviors.

4. Candor and trust, leading to better insights into people’s talents and potential, focusing on development needs to accelerate personal growth.

5. Talent assessment/development systems that have as much rigor and repeatability as systems used for finance and operations.

6. Human resource leaders as business partners and trustee of the talent development system with functional expertise equal to the CFO’s.

7. Investment in continuous learning and improvement to build and continuously update the leadership brand in sync with the changing world.

If you are grooming key people in order to expand their leadership potential for 2013 and beyond, then this is an excellent book to read. 

If you are ready to commit to talent management, then now is an excellent time to sign up those key people to participate in the 2013 From Vision to Action Leadership Training. Here is a link for more information about this unique learning opportunity:

If you don’t have time to read the above book, then I encourage you to read the following article by Jay Freeman, Senior Advisor to the Gallup Organization, called “You Don’t Know Where Your Company’s Going” which can be found in their on-line Gallup Business Journal. Here is the link: 

This is a very good, short article for leaders who want to grow and change their company, i.e. improved performance and profitability.  In order to prevent a “destination disconnect,” a symptom of weak cross-organizational communication, the author maps out a series of steps to create better clarity and focus. I particularly enjoyed his comments about metrics.

Talent management, strategic planning, and organizational communication and clarity are all inter-related. Now is the time to keep learning about how to do them better.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

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