10/7/10: Top Talent Development Posts this Week

October 7, 2010 by Wally Bock

Every week, I review blogs that cover talent development to find the very best talent development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to pieces about “accidental managers,” finding your hidden performers, the business case for leadership development, characteristics of competent CEOs, and using HR metrics.

From DDI: Rescuing the ‘Accidental Manager’

“The Washington Post’s leadership blog “Post Leadership” published a piece about the accidental manager—individuals who were promoted into mid-level leadership positions without preparation—and even interest—in the job and the additional responsibility.”

Wally’s Comment: The weak link in too many talent development programs is the selection, training and support of people moving from individual contributor to manager. Kris Routch of DDI zeros in on midlevel managers that the Washington Post has called “accidental managers.”

From Globoforce: How to Find and Retain Your Hidden Performers

“What’s your strategy for retaining key staff during “disruptive periods” (M&A, overseas transfer of a division, recession, etc.)?”

Wally’s Comment: Derek Irvine uses a term I like, “Hidden Performers” for people who aren’t star quality but whose knowledge and networks make a huge contribution to your company’s ongoing profitability. Derek suggests that you need to pay attention to them, especially during disruptive periods.

From Great Leadership: The Business Case for Leadership Development

“If you happen to work for a great company, then chances are you won’t have to spend a lot of time and effort convincing anyone how important leadership development is. The primary reason your company is so successful and admired is because you already are. Good for you! You can spend time actually developing your next generation of leaders and making your current leaders even better. However, if you’re not so fortunate, and you’re not willing to let your company go down the tubes without a fight, then here are 7 compelling reasons to take seriously, to invest in, and to put priority on leadership development.”

Wally’s Comment: Let’s say you’re in a company that doesn’t have a leadership development program worthy of the name. Let’s say you want to start one. Here’s how to approach senior management, courtesy of Dan McCarthy.

From HR Executive Online: Characteristics of Competent CEOs

“Relevant industry experience, charisma, leadership style and cultural fit are just some of the necessary selection criteria for CEO succession planning. But, as the stock-fund prospectuses always note, past performance is not an indicator of future results.”

Wally’s Comment: This is not one of those “traits of top-performing CEOs” articles. It’s an intelligent discussion of what a board should consider when weighing candidates for the CEO job or other senior positions.

From Upstart HR: Two Ways to Make your HR Metrics Rock

“I’ve recently come across two great ways to make your HR metrics more powerful. It doesn’t require that you really do more of anything if you already collect and report on the numbers, so that’s what makes it so easy.”

From Incentive Intelligence: You Can’t 6 Sigma Humans – Learning About Behavior as a Core Management Function

“All my HR peeps (almost all) were at HRTech last week. My twitter stream was awash in #hrtechconf hashtags. I lurked and lived vicariously through their tweetage and bloggage. I heard about new technologies and updates to old stuff. I heard about swag (or lack of) and watched as Sonar6 reinvented the trade show booth. I was jealous. I was also disappointed I wasn’t there to impress upon the group that no amount of technology will solve the problems the HR community thinks they have. The tech won’t do it.”

Wally’s Comment: I’m pointing you to these two posts because I think they complement each other well. Ben Eubanks suggests two simple ways to use your data more effectively (Hat tip to HRM Today for pointing me to this post).  And Paul Hebert points out that all that is human cannot be contained in metrics.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Talent Management

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