Talent development and management
By Alistair Russell | 2011-01-03
In many ways, talent has always been – and will always be – a critical area. Take McKinsey’s seminal ‘War for Talent’ article, which 10 years ago was one of the first calls to arms for leaders in the talent area (see further reading, below).
But now, more than ever, it is important to take an all-encompassing approach to talent. And that approach needs to be moved forward a stage in order to transform our ways of acting.
By drawing attention to talent development and management, I aim to highlight how I believe the term ‘management’ is incomplete and ill-fitting for its purpose. The term embodies ideas of control, limits and compliance, rather than the outcomes of growth and development that we really need to focus on as leaders.
The future really is unknowable and CIOs must recognize that purporting to manage talent may be unhelpful, while focusing on development is far more energizing and liable to deliver the right outcomes for leaders.
Just imagine how strong a position you would be in right now:
• If you had a robust, evidence-based view on everyone in your organization, such that you knew who all the key players were and where the minimum impact would be felt when you had to cut headcount costs by 10, 20 or 30%
• If your key players all knew they were crucial and remained focused on delivering for you and your organization, rather than losing output to diversionary activity, such as contacting head-hunters or worrying about job losses
• If you knew the priorities for development investment, so you could take the tough resource allocation decisions that you are having to make right now – and still sustain the positive flow from investing in your people
• If there was a natural, routine dynamism in your IT organization. The result would be the creation of an active leadership process, where people are expectant of a move, not necessarily upwards, on a reasonable two-to-three-year cycle. Such a cycle keeps workers and the organization fresh.
The bullet points provide a concise summary of CIO Connect’s model of Talent Development and Management. The cornerstone is the creation of an IT Organization and People Strategy, and the supporting internal and external process that will deliver benefits.
Internal talent management processes are about making sure that you do all you can to get the very best from your existing people. There are three core elements – deployment, performance management and development – and if deployed correctly, the processes will create a virtuous circle of growth, learning and a positive developmental culture that will help employees learn faster. Faster learning will enable greater agility and responsiveness, enabling you to both outperform your competitors and to prepare for the future.