Big Talent Questions No3

There has been lot of heat generated in the area of talent management but not a great deal of light has been shed on a complex subject.  The result is that we have all sorts of perspectives ranging from a “war for talent”, which in truth is as difficult to grasp as the “war on terror”, to the intriguing idea of a “leadership pipeline”! 

Metaphors aside, how about thinking about talent management by looking at it in just five ways?  Here’s the third way – “what’s your attitude to risk?

This one generates four, big questions:

Question 1

Are these risks understood?

  • Vacancy risk: the analysis of critical positions that are unfilled or are likely to be difficult to fill
  • Readiness risk: knowledge of where designated successors are not yet ready to assume senior positions
  • Assimilation risk: understanding of how good your organisation is at onboarding outside talent and encouraging it to stay
  • Deployment risk: intelligence gained through performance management of how well matched your talent is to the role that they are doing

Question 2

Are mitigating actions in place?

  • Vacancies: which people and positions are most critical to you meeting your strategy? Is effort being focused in these areas?
  • Readiness: are your talented people being matched with developmental experiences?
  • Assimilation: actions that are taken to allow fresh blood to fit in
  • Deployment: accurate matching of people with project assignments/opportunities

Question 3

How good are you at assessing individual risks? Do you need to do more work to understand your talent in greater depth: experience, qualifications, skills, values motivators, abilities, personality,emotional intelligence, resilience etc

Question 4

Do you have processes in place that protect against individual risks and allow people to play to their strengths or do you continue to hope for superman/woman (better direct reports; individualising a role so that some elements are delegated to others; coaching)

The next perspective we will take will involve questions about one of my favourite subjects – assessment!

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