Something Strategic in Talent Management

December 27, 2011 by Wally Bock

Dr. John Sullivan has a great post on The title is “Why Not Start the New Year by Doing Something Strategic in Talent Management?” Here’s the lead.

“The New Year is an opportune time to “raise the bar” by doing something strategic in talent management. In many corporations, new plans and budgets take effect at the first of the year, so the holiday period preceding the New Year is an ideal time to review the potential strategic actions to put in front of your team.”

My memory jumped to the most strategic senior executive I’ve ever witnessed: Chief George Hart of the Oakland, CA Police Department. I met Chief Hart when I was selected to provide basic supervisory skills training to newly promoted Oakland sergeants.

When I was ushered in to the Chief’s office I thought it would be like most of those events in my career. The CEO meets you to show that he or she thinks training or leadership is important. After a bit of chit-chat and buzzword sharing, you’re on your way. This was different.

After we sat down, Chief Hart leaned forward and fixed his gaze on me. “I understand that you’ll be teaching leadership to our sergeants,” he said, “In a sentence to two, tell me what you mean by ‘leadership’.” He sat back. My heart rate shot up into the red zone. I must have choked out a satisfactory answer, because I got the engagement, but it was my first experience of George Hart’s strategic thinking.

Chief Hart identified five things that he, uniquely as chief could do to make Oakland a great department. One was representing the department to the public when things went bad. Another was keeping the politicians at bay. The other three were people things. Here they are.

Goal: recruit the best people possible to police the city. Actions: make recruiting a career-enhancing assignment, provide adequate resources, instruct recruiters that diversity targets would be met and standards would not be lowered, read every police officer hiring package.

Goal: Assure that training equipped people to do their jobs. Actions: make training a career-enhancing assignment, provide adequate resources, and interview every potential trainer.

Goal: Assure that the best qualified people were promoted. Action: become actively involved in the promotional process.

Setting goals is fine, but if you’re going to do something strategic, something that changes the organization and increases long-term success, you need to link your goals to specific actions and processes. Think about that as you read John Sullivan’s excellent article.

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

Posted in Selection

If You Enjoyed This Post...

You'll love getting updates when we post new articles on leadership development, 360 degree feedback and behavior change. Enter your email below to get a free copy of our book and get notified of new posts:

Follow Envisia Learning:

RSS Twitter linkedin Facebook

Are You Implementing a Leadership Development Program?

Call us to discuss how we can help you get more out of your leadership development program:

(800) 335-0779, x1