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HRHeadStart #85: Talent Mapping; Path of Most Resistance
The Talent Agenda
The most common framework for talent mapping is probably the 9-box grid. The grid is used to plot talent based on their performance and potential.
While the framework is hailed by many as being useful, I have heard contradictory feedback from business and HR leaders over the years. For instance, many find it incredibly hard to group employees into 9 categories and meaningfully differentiate talent. Others feel the process can be overly subjective and not fact-based.
The purpose of talent mapping is to identify talent which can help to execute the business strategy and create outsized business value. And in turn, planning effectively for their growth and development. It doesn’t matter how many “boxes” the framework has as long as it can enable meaningful talent conversations and help leaders make differentiated choices on investing in talent.
Check out this article to explore talent mapping considerations in more details. There’s also a lot of interest in evolving to a skills-based talent mapping approach. If you would really like to dive into building a skills-based organization, check out this detailed piece from Deloitte.
When water flows down a mountain, it takes the path of least resistance to reach its final destination. Similarly, we often take the “path of least resistance” at work - it is the easiest path to a goal and often seems like the obvious choice. That path has familiar jobs to do, problems to solve, stakeholders to please and requires knowledge/skills that we are most comfortable with. However, personal growth and development are limited on this path. On the other hand, the “path of most resistance” provides us opportunities to have new experiences, learn from failures, navigate new stakeholder networks, have difficult conversations and do things many people are likely to shy away from.
It often feels like a sub-optimal choice, but can pay big dividends.
You can figure out anything if you really want to.