Risks, Rewards and Tomorrow’s Reality

These days the term “talent” is in danger of becoming a dirty word. In the City, bosses argue that talent (aka investment bankers) needs stratospheric bonuses to prevent it heading for the nearest tax haven. Premiership talent is measured in six figure weekly wage packets and lurid “kiss and tell” stories in the tabloids . Meanwhile, the BBC appears to believe that if you are a woman TV presenter and over 50 then you are by definition no longer talented. The war for talent takes no prisoners!
But there is another side of the coin. Enlightened employers who believe that everyone has talent and that we can all make a difference have seen their businesses thrive. Indeed, talent management has been a strategic imperative for organisations for quite some time now. Changing demographics has added pressure for change. A willingness of a younger generation to move if the job they are in fails to meet their expectations, means organisations must constantly innovate if they are to retain the best people.
Competitive Advantage
Talent management is a route to achieving high levels of performance; it offers companies a hard to emulate competitive advantage and finally it enables the organisation to be highly adaptive in turbulent times.It is a two ways street By investing in its people, and helping them develop their potential, their skills and their performance, an organisation is in effect boosting its creativity, productivity and the quality of its service.
Management self-selection can end up working against talent by embedding a command and control culture and an outdated set of values. Organisations are narrowing their options by recruiting the same kinds of people from the same background. By doing so, they fail to plan for a future which will be shaped by dynamic change.
Talent management is about unlocking people’s potential and taking risk along the way. Building a diverse workforce based on fairness and opportunity opens the door to talent. Any organisation that fails to maximise its talent pool is losing its competitiveness. The sad fact is that many employers believe that it’s safer to stick with what you know.
A Road Map to Success
Put simply, a talent management strategy is a road map for how the organisation will use its people resources for achieving its longer term goals. To create a strategy you need to define talent, develop talent and put in place structures and systems for promoting talent.
Without a coherent talent management strategy, an organisation is missing a trick. Talent management is all about unlocking people’s potential and using this to help the organisation adapt and grow. An effective talent strategy encourages a disciplined approach to charting how using its people the organisation will reach its longer term goals.
Growing Talent
Nurturing talent throughout your organisation is not so much a luxury as a sound approach to drawing on a wide spectrum of talent. Astute leaders realise that new ideas do not just come from the elite few but is more about being receptive to innovation from all levels of the enterprise. This is why Google’s famous 20% allowance for its engineers to spend time on whatever they choose is so effective. It ensures a constant stream of creative ideas of how to grow the business.
In the kind of environment in which your organisation may have to operate and seek to grow, the new competitive advantage is smart, committed experienced people who are technologically literate, globally astute and operationally agile.
Put it another way, if you want to grow the organisation, be sure to grow your people.