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Talent Management

How would you define talent management?


A recent report published by the Chartered Management Institute and Ashridge Consulting defined talent management as “the additional management processes and opportunities that are made available to people in the organisation who are considered to be talent”

Source: Talent Management - Maximising talent for business performance Sept 2007 published by the Chartered Management Institute

For me this raises a couple of questions, firstly are the processes needed really additional? Shouldn’t the existing recruitment, development and performance management processes be able to manage this talent already, without the need for additional processes?

Secondly how does an organisation decide who is to be considered as talent in the first place?

The answer to the first question, in my opinion, (I would welcome your comments) is Yes! there is a need for additional processes to manage organisational talent. There are a number of ways of categorising these but they should include

1)    Attracting the right talent to begin with and ensuring people coming in to the organisation match what is required in terms of talent. Often a comparison with existing high performers can be helpful here.

2)    Developing talent in line with both organisational needs and personal aspirations and making sure that there is measurement of the outcomes of the development.

3)    Motivating talent- ensuring talent remains interested in the work, the job and the organisation. This is best achieved by understanding what interests them and how these interests match the roles and responsibilities you have earmarked them for.

4)    Appraising talent- Making sure that not only current performance goals are being met but considering the future performance standards the individual needs to attain.

5)    Retaining talent in the longer term- ensuring the right person is placed in the right position to begin with is kept motivated and developed and that their performance is managed and monitored in line with organisational objectives.

But (I hear you ask) shouldn’t we be doing this anyway for all people?

Well again in my opinion, yes you should but and this is where the answer to the second question comes in, how does an organisation define talent in the first place? You need to be clear about what your organisation means by talent? Does it relate to an organisational objective you are trying to achieve, for example to be more customer focused? Or is the definition based on identifying current high performers and therefore the organisation should be looking to attract and recruit people with similar abilities, behaviours and interests.

Once you are clear about what you mean by talent you can adapt existing processes or develop new ones to ensure they focus on it. Something I have worked on with organisations in this area is helping them define Profiles of top performers (talent) which are then used for both recruitment and development processes. It may not be necessary to do this for everybody but if you serious about managing talent it’s a helpful step.

If you would like some help with managing talent in your organisation I would be delighted to hear from you This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We have a number of tools and techniques that can be helpful in the 5 areas highlighted above.

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