Talent Management Articles

3 Simple Guidelines for Your Organizational Talent

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 7/25/2013

1. Invest more development dollars and time where you will get the highest return. Do not spend your development dollars equally; high potentials, critical positions, and key leaders (current or future) demand differential attention. Likewise, while all employees should be receiving regular feedback regarding their performance and development, leaders need to be steadfast in providing timely, specific feedback and appreciation to their top talent.

2. Provide opportunities for accelerated development to help current and prospective leaders grow in their jobs and their careers—keep the pipeline filled. Potential opportunities may include individual coaching, mentoring relationships, involvement in key projects or initiatives, internal training, stretch assignments, networking, delegated tasks, participating in organizational meetings or industry conferences.

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Outcomes of Your Talent Management Initiatives

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 11/28/2012

The aim of talent management is to be intentional about the process of building capacity and capability. The outcomes of any talent management system should include:

  • Attracting, developing and retaining high potential employees (creating a system and documentation to support those efforts)
  • Building internal staff capabilities (bench strength) for the emerging organizational demands
  • Mapping various succession options
  • Facilitating developmental moves across the organization
  • Establishing a professionally managed organization with the systems in place to ensure that it will have effective leaders going forward
  • Ensuring that employees are developing in order to meet the future needs of the organization (thereby reducing organizational risk)
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Succession Planning in Small Companies

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 11/6/2012

In our talent management work with clients, a question we often hear following a talent review process is, “What happens if we don’t have any successors for a given position in our company?

In small to mid-size companies, it is quite common to have several key positions without successors who are ready to step into a role. There are few layers in the company so having stretch assignments to develop into the “next level” can be difficult. If you have some positions without successors, ask various questions:

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Rewarding Others: Personal Currencies

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 8/1/2012

One of the challenges many managers face is determining how to engage, motivate and reward their workforce. While financial incentives do have a part to play, they often are not enough to keep employees “happy” with their work.

Not long ago I was discussing this topic with colleagues and the phrase “personal currency” came up. The theory behind personal currency is that each of us place a high value on different things in our work lives. Those things we value most are our currency. For example, some individuals find the most value from monetary rewards or advancement opportunities. Others covet flexibility of schedule or autonomy in their work. Still others place a high value on skill development or involvement in a variety of projects. The list of personal currencies can go on and on.

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Tap into Talent

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 4/26/2012

“I would rather be surrounded by smart people than have a huge budget. Smart people will get you there faster.”
— former McKinsey associate as quoted in The McKinsey Way by Ethan Rasiel

I recently conducted some interviews and focus groups for one of our clients. They have been experiencing a lot of change over the past several months. Like so many others, they have faced budgetary cutbacks, downsizing, and trying to do more with less. Conducting this assessment was an opportunity to help them better understand current perceptions and lay the groundwork for managing ongoing change.

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Do Organizations Set Managers Up For Success?

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 1/31/2012

Countless organizations talk about how much they value their employees or their “human capital.” They espouse how important their people are to the success of their business. While there certainly is good intention in their words, actions may not always line up when it comes to setting new managers up for success.

According to a 2011 Careerbuilder study, nearly 60% of managers reported never receiving management training. This is an alarming statistic when you consider the stress associated with being a mid-level manager. Often individuals at this level within an organization are caught between the frontline (i.e., customers and client interactions) and the upper-levels of the organization (i.e., implementing strategic initiatives).

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Why Most Managers are Illogical

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 12/20/2011

You as a manager or leader are illogical. While not ill-intended, the way in which you interact with your direct reports often disregards the rules of logic and weakens your organization. Here’s a test of logic: taking inventory of the amount of time you spend with your team of direct reports, how much time do you spend with your “low performers” and how much time you spend with your “high performers?”

Those of you that tend to spend more time with low performers are illogical – here’s why:

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Steady Contributors – What Comes Next?

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 12/8/2011

Recently, I outlined several questions to consider to further develop high potential talent. The concern is that we often go through a talent review process, identify high potentials, and then fail to take additional action. We don’t do anything differently than if we had never gone through the time and effort to complete a talent review. It is important to develop specific plans for the high potentials—so they are further developed, remain challenged and engaged, and contribute in ways that add value.

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First Steps for Further Developing High Potential Talent

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 10/19/2011

One of the biggest concerns clients’ share about their talent management efforts is that “nothing happens” after the talent review. They do a good job identifying talent and are confident in the list of “high potentials” generated. The shortcoming seems to be in further developing those high potentials and ensuring that they are satisfied and engaged. We’ve put together a series of questions that are useful in determining next steps for each high potential identified during the talent review process.

For each high potential, answer the following (provide specifics, seek feedback and verify as need be):

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Identify Your Top Talent – Performers and Potentials

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 8/23/2011

One of the key aspects of an organization’s talent review process is the identification of top talent. While organizational leaders are often adept at identifying outstanding performers, there can be difficulty identifying employees with the most potential, thus resulting in an incomplete picture of top talent. By creating organization-specific definitions of high performance and high potential, leaders have a standard to assess their talent against. These definitions will help facilitate deeper dialogue between leaders during the talent review process and will provide insight about which employees are top talent.

For clarity, we often use the following definitions:

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