Two years ago a client asked me to build a talent development program that was strongly interwoven with talent management. One of their requirements was to adhere to the 70/20/10 mindset.
In my daily working practice I began to notice a huge contrast between the preferred learning styles of high potentials and the design of talent programs.
There are quite a few talent management interventions that we’ve started to take for granted, like talent pools, talent reviews and talent boards (Bryan, Joyce, 2007).
Het is onze missie om talenten enthousiast, gecommitteerd en betrokken te houden, zodat zij niet zullen overwegen de organisatie te verlaten.
Since 2008 I’ve been actively engaged in designing, developing and delivering talent development programs and talent management infrastructure for fortune 100 companies.
In mei nam ik, met de NVO2 delegatie, deel aan de 2015 ATD, de jaarlijkse Internationale conferentie en expositie voor Alliance voor Talent Development: “ICE, ICE”, baby. De afgelopen vijf jaar heeft de CEO van de ATD, Tony Bingham, zich sterk gemaakt voor mobiel en sociaal leren. Zijn argumenten zijn fascinerend, zijn feiten kloppen, zijn uitvoering is voorbeeldig. Maar, nu het aantal conferenties dat ik bijwoon zich opstapelt, krijg ik het gevoel dat er een onverteld verhaal zit, achter de verhalen die we onszelf vertellen.
It was just over two weeks ago that I had the pleasure to meet up with an L&D manager of one our Dutch banks. We talked, as we’re both fond of doing, about the future of learning and the developments within her department and in our mutual field. I came out of our meeting, feeling both impressed by the scope of her drive and worried about the direction yet another company is taking.
Research by Alliance for Talent Development (ATD) shows that HR departments, due primarily to budgetary considerations, are less likely to perceive talent management as an integrated process, let alone to address it as such (ASTD global conference, 2009). Departments like HRD, for instance, will receive more budget when they have an attractive talent development program on offer and career development will receive more funding when they support the organizations’ outliers on carefully laid out career paths. It seems to me that every HR department fights for a piece of the puzzle, without actually completing the picture.
Here’s what happened.
It’s the second day of the 2015 ATD, the Alliance for Talent Development’s annual International Conference and Exposition: “ICE, ICE”, baby. For the past five years the ATD CEO, Tony Bingham, has made a compelling case for mobile and social learning. His argument is compelling, his facts are straight, his delivery is exemplary. But, as the number of conferences that I’ve attended stack up, I get the feeling there’s an untold story behind the story we’re telling ourselves.
Lynda Gratton is currently thé worldwide authority with respect to "The Future of Work”. She’s calling on companies and institutions to redesign the experiences they offer talents to enable frequent job and role changes: even if those talents are optimally engaged. Her conclusion is dictated by the fact that "highbrow" professionals are less likely to commit to just one employer for life.
The terminology we use in the work that we do, our daily jargon, is not something we often dwell on. But what do we actually do when we talk about 'talent' in organizations? What happens to people when they are appointed as 'talent'?
A couple of weeks ago I hosted a training for a group of managers to help them make the U-turn to managers of talent. The story of one of them, Martin, still comes to my mind with crystal clarity. In the session we reviewed several options to help talent to flourish. Martin responded enthusiastically. He recognized many of them, and already applied some. After an in-depth dialogue he presented us with a dilemma. One of his team members is a former trainee who has been appointed as ‘talent’ during his traineeship. In line with the options we discussed, Martin offered the former trainee to take the stage with some regularity. He invariably seized this moment to put his own contribution in the spotlight. On stage, he always spoke of "I" and not "we." In the corridors Martin noticed that this former trainee spoke rather critical and not appreciative of his colleagues: especially when they weren’t there.
When I had the privilege to both speak at and attend the 2009 through 2014 global A(S)TD conferences, I kept wondering what the meta-themes were. I uncovered four and I will write about them in preparation of this year’s ATD conference in Orlando, Florida, from May 17 to May 20. This second mini-blog is all about technology.
Wouldn’t that be utterly remarkable: learning to play a team sport in the club house? You wouldn’t want to inflict this punishment on any team: "Come Mark, let me coach you on your hockey skills, so you’re well equipped for next weeks’ match”. It is so absurd, so strange and at the same time it’s daily practice within our companies and institutions.
Just a few days ago I got the wonderful news that my proposal to help create a talent philosophy at a Dutch multinational has been accepted. When we were talking about the scope of my assignment the VP HR came up with this lovely description: a talent philosophy. One of my deliverables will be to describe two scenarios for an integrated talent approach to talent management: one for the near term and a future scenario. In the future I foresee a far more data-driven talent approach. A prime enabler will be the integration of Enterprise Resource Planning systems, like SAP, with Learning Management Systems, such as SuccesFactors.
When an ERP system and an LMS become integrated, I see talent surrounded by a cloud of data.
Experiences gained and jobs, assignments, projects, programs undertaken. Lessons learned and courses followed. Skills sharpened and competencies gained. Performance achieved and potential shown. All these data-items and more will form a mesmerising and living cloud of big data on both learning and performing. Its intended use is to accurately match and map talent to opportunity, both in terms of jobs and roles in projects, programs and short term assignments.
Ideal right? I agree. In a multinational this will be the only way to glimpse the talent landscape across countries, regions and divisions. It will free talent, or at least its data, from the limits of local oversight and the potential this holds for strategic talent management is simply huge.
But is does this pretty picture paint the entire landscape? Of that I’m not so sure. We at ROI on Talent are driven by the belief that more than 60% of talents in organisations remain latent, undiscovered, untapped and therefore under-utilised. However powerful an integrated HR system may be: if we don’t solve this puzzle, we’ll end up wasting talent, opportunity and, in the end, money.
What we do know however from our own experience, is that leaders, managers and colleagues are able tap into this untapped ‘talent pool’ by eveloping their capacity to spot and flourish their own talents and those of their team-mates. When we augment the digital talent landscape by strengthening this organisation-wide capacity to spot and flourish people, we’ll have pained a truly wonderful vista. This is something we aspire to: do you?
Too often sales trainers will try to sell you how much fun sales can be. Don’t! Just don’t. Please?
Let me tell you why.
This is the fourth and final mini-blog to celebrate my attendance at and contributions to the 2009 through 2014 global A(S)TD conferences. So many insights from keynotes and concurrent sessions, so many books and articles that I found myself reading after the conferences: it’s been a blast, to be honest! Let’s meet up in Orlando, Florida, from May 17 to 20!
It’s our mission to keep talents enthused, committed and engaged, so that they won’t consider leaving your company.
Let me give an example to illustrate how we’re doing in HR. Imagine your competitor initiates a traineeship. Recruiters find talent on the market, learning and development builds a great program, managers can’t wait to put the trainees to work. Sounds familiar, right?