12/22/11: Top Talent Development Posts this Week

December 22, 2011 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 on why large companies fail to keep top talent and what’s most important when it comes to talent retention. There are also pointers to an article on supply chain management principles in talent management and workplace learning.

From Forbes: Top Ten Reasons Why Large Companies Fail To Keep Their Best Talent

“I’ve seen the good and the bad things that large companies do in relation to talent management. Here’s my Top Ten list of what large companies do to lose their top talent.”

Wally’s Comment: This is a great article from Eric Jackson. It should stimulate your thinking and you can use it as a reality check for your company. How many of these dreadful behaviors are you guilty of?

From Globoforce: #1 Thing Most Critical to Talent Retention: Company Culture

“Globoforce clients have time and again reported dramatic success in creating and proactively managing a culture of recognition and appreciation by taking their core values and driving them deep into the daily work of every employee. How do they do that? Simply by using those core values as the reasons for recognition and praise then encouraging employees to recognize each other any time they see a colleague demonstrating one of those behaviors in their daily work. That’s the only way to make the core values – the building blocks of your culture – real and meaningful for every employee.”

Wally’s Comment: Here’s another look at retention and another reason that talent stays or goes. It’s the culture, silly!

From Human Resources IQ: Talent on Demand: Supply Chain Management Principles Are the Future of Talent Management

“Forecasting talent demand, according to Peter Cappelli, is not dissimilar from forecasting product demand. Think about it: in supply chain management, a manufacturer will evaluate the cheapest and most expedient ways to construct the product; certain parts of the process are outsourced; and fast delivery is top of mind. Liken these principles, respectively, to cost-effective talent development; hiring talent from outside of the organization; and succession planning.”

Wally’s Comment: I realize that there are many who find these ideas exciting. I find them repellant. When you treat people as interchangeable you dehumanize them and that’s a bad thing.

From Charles Jennings: Learning in Wonderland: the untapped potential of workplace learning

“I’ve taken Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as a theme for the series. The illustrations here are Sir John Tenniel’s marvellous originals. Why ‘Alice’ you may ask? Well, the Alice story is all about growing up and developing and learning but at the same time seeing the world in very a different way. In Alice Carroll (Charles Dodgson in real life) also stretches imagination and gets the reader to think ‘out of the box’. The Alice story is also about seeing some standard practices as rather silly and arbitrary and understanding that there are always alternatives in whatever you do. “

Wally’s Comment: On the other side of the treat people like people issue is the brave new world of workplace learning. Charles Jennings shares insights with delightful reference to Alice in Wonderland.

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

Posted in Talent Management

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  • I couldn’t agree more that treating people as interchangeable is dehumanizing. I think people who talk about supply chain and talent from that angle are missing the point. But companies can benefit from adopting some ‘supply chain’ ideas, such as knowing their talent at least as well as their inventory – i.e., not just looking at people in terms of their current role but as human beings who have skills and aspirations beyond that role. Once you start to do that, you can start to make better use of talent, find ‘hidden’ talent, promote internal mobility and hopefully avoid knee jerk reactions to economic fluctuations. To the extent companies track so much information about stuff and so little information about people, I think supply chain has something to teach us about talent management.

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