Friday, 16 May 2008

Are you training your talent?

Racing people call it “training on” and it’s precisely what doesn’t happen to many individuals who are identified as “talented” or “having potential”.

Training on” is the process of turning promise into achievement, turning immaturity into maturity.

In horses and in people, the process is similar, it is as much about internal mood, nature and temperament as it is about skills and knowledge. A horse that trains on changes its view of the world, settles down, becomes more confident and assured and more effective at the business of producing its best on the racetrack.

So how should you help your talent to turn promise into achievement?

· Provide them with a mentor who can give feedback and guidance on how they can improve their performance and effectiveness.

· Find both on and off the job opportunities for them to gain specific experiences. For example, can they lead a business improvement project, or alternatively a local community or charity activity? Generally people learn most from being taken outside of their comfort zone.

· Offer opportunities for secondments to different parts of the organisation and/or different countries to broaden their horizons and experience.

· Encourage them to network with people from other businesses and organisations to gain different prospectives.

By providing your talent with the right opportunities, guidance and support, will enable them to “train on” and turn promise into real achievement.

However, it is important to continually monitor their progress, as some may choose not to use their experiences to help them change and mature.

A wise man once said “If a man is no different at 50 than he was at 20 then he has wasted 30 years”.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Who is Responsible for Talent Management?

Over the past thirty years businesses have had to continuously improve what they do and reduce how much it costs them to do it. The result of this is that many large businesses have much flatter organisation structures, with managers who have much broader roles and many more demands on their time, than previously.

Because of this, managers sometimes want to hand over Talent Management to ‘specialists’ in HR. If this is combined with a Chief Executive who believes that Talent Management is an HR agenda, responsibility can soon slip away from line managers and managing talent becomes a ‘tick box’ activity.

While HR have an important role to play, active Talent Management needs an engaged Chief Executive with line managers who are prepared to take the long term view about the skills the business needs in the future and those who are best placed to meet them.

HR needs to provide the appropriate processes and frameworks to enable Talent Management to work effectively, but it is line management, who are ultimately responsible for identifying, nurturing and developing talent. After all, as a line manager, do you not want a say in who your successor will be?