Cultures of Talent Development

October 16, 2012 by Wally Bock

Marvin Bower, the legendary Managing Director of McKinsey and Company, gets the credit for coming up with the most famous definition of culture. In his book The Will to Manage, he called culture, “the way we do things around here.”

Culture affects just about everything in your company. It’s a powerful force for good or ill. As Ron Thomas of Buck Consultants points out in his article “To Attract the Right Talent, You Need a Fertile Environment for Growth,” culture is a key to attracting top talent.

“We have all heard the phrase that ‘people are our greatest asset,’ but there must be some urgency to build the right culture that is fertile and makes it the place that everyone wants to get to.”

The right culture in this case is a talent development culture. Here’s my idea of what that means.

Talent development cultures concentrate on performance. That’s the basis for rewards and promotions. That also means weeding out those who don’t perform or who don’t fit the culture.

Talent development cultures use systems to help people perform. In a Knowledge Economy, that means systems that help people self-evaluate, learn on the job, and keep moving forward.

Talent development cultures understand the multiple roles of training. Training is important for skills transfer. But it’s also a way to develop relationships and a carrier of the culture.

Talent development cultures provide opportunities for development. Stretch assignments and work on task forces provide ways for people to increase mastery and make progress.

Talent development cultures are the way that you develop your greatest asset, your people. They’re a key to long term competitive advantage and profitability.

Additional Resources

From Borrow a Page from Talent Mindset Companies: Integrate Talent Acquisition and Development

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

From Forbes: 5 Keys for Developing Talent in Your Organization

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

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