10/13/11: Top Talent Development Posts this Week

October 13, 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 the Mercer study on employee commitment, talent management software, investing in your people, creating a good leadership training program, and choosing leaders at random.

From TLNT: Survey: Employees Are Unhappy, But Young Workers Are Most Ready to Go

“Add this to your list of paradoxes when it comes to trying to figure out young workers: According to the latest What’s Working survey from Mercer, younger workers say that although they are much more satisfied with the organizations they work for than the overall workforce, they are also much more likely to be considering leaving for a new job.”

Wally’s Comment: There’s a lot here interpreting findings from the Mercer survey. The part about younger workers seems to me to have been the case since young people joined the workforce, but there’s plenty more here to get you thinking.

From Josh Bersin: Elephants of HR Software Enter the Talent Management Market

“Over the last ten years or so the talent management software providers have had a party building up a $3 billion, fast-growing marketplace.  Now, starting in 2011 and 2012, the elephants from the markets of core HR have arrived – and they plan to come in and start making the party a lot messier.”

Wally’s Comment: The “elephants” in this particular case are SAP, ADP, and Oracle.

From Sharlyn Lauby: Poll Results: What HR Wants to Do

“Over the past couple of months, you guys have graciously answered a couple of surveys about what HR currently does and what HR wants to do.  I thought you might find it interesting to see the two sets of survey results side by side.  The results are very interesting.”

Wally’s Comment: Are you investing in the training and development of your people? Sharlyn Lauby makes an excellent case for why that’s a good and profit-building idea. I’ll add another reason. In a knowledge economy, people (with their knowledge and relationships) are the only sustainable source of competitive advantage, so investing in them is a high leverage activity.

From Dan McCarthy: How to Involve Participants in a Leadership Training Program

“Even the most brilliant, credible, and talented instructors with the most dazzling PowerPoint slides won’t guarantee participants in a leadership training program are actually going to learn anything. “

Wally’s Comment: OK, you’ve listened to Sharlyn and you’re ramping up your leadership training. Now it’s a good idea to read Dan McCarthy’s post so you don’t create a great-on-paper-but-but-horrid-in-practice leadership training program. I’ve been doing this kind of training for more than a quarter century and I can tell you that what Dan suggests here works in the classroom. There’s even a technique he describes that I haven’t tried, and I’m going to do so in my next training program.

From Bob Sutton: Is It Sometimes Rational to Select Leaders Randomly? A Cool Old Study

“This term at Stanford, I am teaching a doctoral seminar on leadership.  Of course, this one of the broadest and most confusing topics on earth.  I am not qualified to teach a seminar on love or religion; so, for me, this is the most vexing topic I can teach.  The topic for the first meeting was “cynicism.”  I started out by assigning academic papers that brought evidence and perspectives that undermined conventional assumptions about leadership and that even questioned why scholars bothered to study the topic at all (my friend and co-author Jeff Pfeffer raised this question in a 1977 paper called “The Ambiguity of Leadership”). The most entertaining paper we read was by S. Alexander Haslam and a long list of coauthors, called  “Inspecting the emperor’s clothes: evidence that random selection of leaders can enhance group performance” (Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, Vol. 2, No. 3, 1998, pp. 168-184).”

Wally’s Comment: I love Bob Sutton’s posts. He’s especially good at sharing insights from and into academic studies that I would never find, let alone read. Here’s a good one about choosing leaders.

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

Posted in Talent Management

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