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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The talent powered organisation

This is quite a long post to make up for my recent lack of posting

An interesting little hand out by Accenture about the talent powered organisation which highlighted that the key to winning on talent is multiplication and not addition. I have been interested in this area of talent management hence my reading of posts that cover this subject.

Accenture like everyone else has recognised that talent in the future will become an organisations most important competitive asset.. They consider that companies who truly seek to become talent powered organisations will need to build a capability called talent multiplication.

I always love it when consulting firms consider that they have re-invented the wheel and sell an idea to companies at of course reasonable fees. If managers aren’t already doing this talent management and acting as T shaped managers i.e. driving the business forward and meeting their financial targets as well as acting as coaches of growth and learning, then I’d worry about the state of management development.

It highlights 4 specific capabilities

Defining talent

Defining your talent needs based on a clear understanding of key performance jobs and skills to meet the needs of the organisations future goals.

Leaders that articulate how talent creates value for the organisation

Then look to define these in to key competencies to help with either the development or recruitment of the talent needed.

Discovering talent

I do agree that companies need to be more innovative in the ways that they harness talent pools and may have to look outside their traditional local market to bring people in with the skills they have. Some people will look at the developing number of graduates being pumped out of especially India and China – but there has been some articles highlighting that further training is still required locally to bring them up to the required standard.

What is interesting is that HR departments (more on this later) should look at themselves as part of a value chain and look how they can improve their processes so that recruitment is a more speedy process.

Developing talent

Nothing new here – but the usual comment about the need to developing the capabilities of the employee linked in to the firms business needs. The interesting element is the speeding up of the process. I’ve been reading a paper last night by Chatti and Jarke on the future of e-learning and the failures of current learning management tools delivered via the PC or laptop – mainly because of the focus on content and technology. Though they consider that the use of Web 2.0 technologies might be the answer especially with the rise of social software which crucially as I’ve said for some time links people to people and especially through the use of wikis and blogs and the use of RSS allied to intelligent social search engines that build on user recommendations, reviews and filtering to locate quality resources.

I’d also like to see the option some time in the future to capture phone and video conferences so that these can be posted and utilised a la You Tube – basically little nuggets of information in a rich media format (something I was talking about in 1998 – but now a little closer to reality)

From having developed talent we move to

Deploying talent

No surprise here and it mentions the usual words about engaging the workforce to the organisations goals and it recognises as I have previously identified that these need to buy into peoples own personal & professional aspirations. Managers will have to become increasingly smart in the way that they develop systems that support talent markets. Line Managers and Supervisors will need to work harder in the appraisal process to ensure that agreed actions for improvement are followed through and ensuring that challenges that employees want to undertake are realised. I also consider that there will be a global internal organisational talent market where people identify projects they want to work on and will be rated on the skills experience and people management skills that they have bought to the team and receive ratings from the team leader on the spot rather than at an appraisal and even client comment.

Interestingly enough I was reading a post by Seth Godin on changing the name of Human Resources. A bit like Patrick McGoohan in ‘The Prisoner’ I am a man not a number and increasingly professional people will resent being known as a resource and some fungible commodity – I like to be seen as someone who is a professional and looks to add value to the process I’m not a natural resource like a tree.

He makes a suggestion that ties in with my earlier element of this post - i.e. Change the name of the department to Talent – some people might be cynical about this i.e. when this department went from personnel to HR.

However would the change of name to Talent change anything – possibly if you were the head of talent in your office, you understand that talent is becoming hard to find, difficult to manage and to retain. You may then look at the ways that you run your department and look at ways of reducing bureaucracy and liberating life for the talented knowledge workers that you have. As Godin concludes and I concur ‘Great companies want and need talent, but they have to work for it.’

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