HRHeadStart #4: Talent Management; Framework Thinking; Technology's Impact on HR
The Talent Agenda
The term Talent Management is so common in HR circles, yet I have found people struggling to succintly describe what it truly means. I have seen people equating it with talent acquisition, leadership development, succession planning, training for high performers etc. Talent Management is an extremely strategic area for HR, as it is all about placing bets on people. In essence, it consists of 1) identifying organisational capabilities that will help the organisation to execute its strategy, 2) identifying all the "A" positions related to those capabilities, 3) identifying all your "A" players to staff those positions, 4) placing your "A" players in "A" positions through assessment, selection, development and rewards and 5) figuring out a game plan for "B" players to become "A" players. I highly recommend The Differentiated Workforce - a classic to help you master the concept and sharpen your thinking.
While there is inherent value in Talent Management, there are times when HR professionals need to influence the business to invest time and resources into it. The process is intense and requires rapid reallocation of talent to the most pressing business needs. Creating business buy-in can be tricky, as business leaders may only see, at best, indirect ROI from these investments. This is where the ability to run experiments and analytics comes in to demonstrate clear value from the Talent Management process. Check out this brief post about how a team led by me used data to show how redeployment of talent across divisions/departments at a bank created better business performance.
Success at work comes not from having all the answers, but being able to use great processes and thinking to arrive at them. You might find yourself in chaotic meetings discussing thorny problems in a haphazard fashion. Ideas are thrown about with no clear way of connecting everything. This is where Framework Thinking comes in. By researching and selecting frameworks for any problem in HR (or any other field), you will start understanding the topic more clearly. You will be able to focus everyone's thinking and enable them to ask better questions. Not only will you come across as someone with an understanding of the subject matter, you will actually help the team make progress faster. Framework Thinking will also help you to ace case interviews and work towards your dream job! Bonus: a useful collection of tools for better thinking.
A Productive Workout
A workout is a great way to create mindspace for processing and learning new ideas. And it primes you for creative thinking. For your next walk, run or workout session, why don't you center your mind on a focal issue in our lives and think deeply about it without the distraction of music, podcasts etc. Issac Asimov (American writer/professor) remarked, "The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom." Now reflect on that statement and think about:
What aspects of the recent progress in science and technology fascinates you?
What new opportunities are these creating for you and the HR function?
What new risks are these creating for you and the HR function?
"When making plans, think big. When making progress, think small."
~ James Clear