Every Management and HR (online) magazine I have received during the last 12 months contains at least one article related to Talent Management: the importance of identifying people´s real talents, developing it, finding ways to maximising usage, and of course to retain it. It´s extremely encouraging that this has become a “hot topic” because understanding how to do this, and then making it happen, is an essential key to success for all organisations irrespective of their size or industry.
However, I find 2 things rather disconcerting about all that I read:
1. There´s a lot of talk about the need to do it but very few ideas as to how to implement successful approaches
2. The focus seems to be to drive initiatives in this area from an HR perspective.
Let me tackle the second point first:
Unleashing more potential of individuals, and thus in organisations, is not something that should be driven and championed by HR departments. Of course, they should play a major role in supporting everything related to Talent Management & Development (TMD), and constantly be investigating new ways to do this, and to measure success.
However, the ownership of TMD needs to rest fairly and squarely on the shoulders of all Business Leaders & Managers…..for it to be successful it is imperative that, from the top down, every Manager is focused on TMD in the same way that they place importance on achieving revenue, profit and productivity targets. It should be one of the major Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that all managers have in their objectives, and are assessed upon.
If organisations desire to achieve significant progress with TMD, then it should be a constant agenda item in every Board and Management Team meeting. It is essential to include it in the Business Performance dashboards that are used to steer and adjust the business strategies and tactical programs.
And now to dealing with my first point above, how to implement a successful approach:
TMD is not something that just happens because management and HR design processes and provide training programs to stimulate it. The first thing to address is to create stronger leaders at all management levels…..to develop the awareness and competencies to enable managers to truly inspire and empower their team members to identify, develop and deploy their core talents. And to create an environment that allows this to happen.
It is indeed of vital importance that all employees become more pro-active in this process…..to take the appropriate responsibility for driving “their own bus” i.e. to enhance their self-management and personal leadership, to maximise their contribution to the business through a constant focus on developing and using their talents in line with the needs of the business. But they will only do this when the leaders are setting a good example (being a great Role Model), and when they are continually encouraged and motivated to spend time and energy on their personal TMD…..and are given the time to do so.
One of the key roles for HR in this process is to provide training, frameworks, common language and (software) tools to support the individual and collective efforts…..and to be able to assess what´s working and what needs to be improved. And then to supply the necessary input to the KPI´s and business dashboards.
So my key message is this: Talent Management & Development has become recognised as an essential ingredient for success in all organisations. To achieve the desired results, it needs to be treated as a core business process and it requires investment both in time and money. But when executed as outlined above, it will deliver benefits far in excess of any investment made. A great example of the success of this approach is detailed in the Euroclear Case Study in this newsletter. It is a perfect testimony to TMD being driven from the top, by the CEO…..and to the huge business benefits that can be achieved when it is consistently “front-of-mind” for the entire organisation and all teams & individuals.
Five Words that Can Change Your Life
“I think therefore I am” said René Descartes in the 17th century…..and ever since that time philosophers and scientists have debated the validity of his words, although they have never been able to reach agreement.
So I was thinking I could start a new line of debate on this subject…..but for me, and I suspect for you too, this would most probably be a waste of energy. And anyway, these are not the 5 words I want to share with you.
The 5 magic words are: “I become what I think (about)”
For centuries leaders, teachers and all sorts of wise people have disagreed with each other on so many things. However, on the statement above, they are in complete and unanimous agreement. Even as far back as the 2nd century this was already recognised, when the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius said: “A man´s life is what his thoughts make of it”. So the bottom line is that all human beings can change their lives by changing their attitude of mind, you have complete control…..if you want it! Which, for example, means that if you want positive results you need to think in positive terms; because if you think in negative terms you´ll get negative results. Remember: “We become what we think about”.
Now I´d like to explain how this works, and to do this I´m going to use an analogy to compare the human mind with a garden. Imagine a gardener has an area of fertile land to make a new garden, and he can plant anything he chooses in this land. Suppose he plants two types of seed, one of beautiful flowers and one of ugly weeds. What will happen?
Well of course both will grow equally well, the land doesn´t care which is beautiful and which is ugly. Actually the weeds often grow faster and, given the chance, they´ll choke the beautiful flowers.
Your mind works in exactly the same way as the garden. It doesn´t care what you plant in it…..a vision of success or failure; positive or negative thoughts; a specific goal or confusion/fear/anxiety…..it´s all the same to your mind, all of the thoughts will grow equally well. What you plant as seeds, your mind will return to you as fully-grown specimens!
So my challenge to you is this:
• Decide NOW, what is it you want out of life?
• Decide your specific goals
• And then plant these seeds in your mind
Remember to give them plenty of water i.e. think about them a lot in positive ways, care for them, love them, and work steadily towards achieving them. And before you know it, they will have become reality.
To give you some additional inspiration and motivation, here are a few quotes on the same theme:
“People are as happy as they choose to be.” Henry Ford
Your action: make a conscious choice to be happy throughout the day
“Ability is what you’re capable of, motivation determines what you do and attitude determines how well you do it.” College Football Coach, Lou Holtz
Your action: bring the best attitude to your activities today regardless of how you feel
“You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” Mahatma Gandhi
Your action: look at your “to do” list, and take action on something you’ve been putting off
“Remember that the biggest gap in the world is between ‘I should’ and ‘I did.'” Writer, H. Jackson Brown
Your action: take one of the things you keep saying you “should do” and start doing it