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What’s the Toughest Issue with Talent Management?

mind-767586_1280Do you know what’s the toughest issue with Talent Management?  A large majority of leaders confront significant impediments trying to bring their talent and business priorities in line.  Are you one of them?

The typical approach employed to accomplish this often contains several gaps—starting with recognizing critical roles in the company where leaders tend to fail to notice few key positions that are essential for revenue growth but are not that visible in the hierarchy.  The senior executives remain unaware of any discontent boiling in any of the employee groups until it becomes a full-blown crises, and there aren’t any succession plans in place either to fill any void in key roles. These gaps are critical yet common.

The senior executives should have a clear picture of their top talent and the most critical roles.  To manage talent, executives have traditionally been using their hunch, recommendations from other people, or looking at the organization chart—assuming (incorrectly) that the mission-critical roles can only be found within the top layer.

Traditional vs Talent-to-Value Mgmt

Contrary to the traditional talent management practices, the Talent-to-Value Management approach argues that the key roles and people are scattered across the whole enterprise, and not just present at the top management level.  The Talent-to-Value approach necessitates the organizations to carefully link their talent and opportunities to create value by using quantifiable metrics to find the most critical roles.  The approach also entails defining the jobs more clearly—so that top talent possessing relevant capabilities assume the key roles—and creating succession plans.  The Talent-to-Value Management approach helps companies meet their targets and achieve the return on initial investment. Organizations aspiring to implement the Talent-to-Value management approach can accomplish this by pursuing the following sequential steps:

  1. Define the Value Agenda
  2. Clarify Critical Roles
  3. Identify Talent for Roles
  4. Operationalize and Mobilize

Talent-to-Value Approach-4 steps

Define the Value Agenda

The first step in linking organizational talent to value pertains to evaluating the strategic objectives carefully.  The step involves working out the overall numbers and goals—clearly allocated to specific business units, territories, and product areas.  The senior leadership needs to take a thorough look at the divisions liable to grow, the impact that the design and manufacturing innovation will have on all business units, international opportunities to be exploited, and digital capabilities.  The executives also need to clearly delineate the attributes for success for future leaders—e.g., growth avenues, leading culturally diverse teams, cutting-edge design and manufacturing processes, impact of digital technologies on businesses, and adaptability to unforeseen disruptions.

The clearly defined value agenda enables a strategic discussion on the key roles and the capabilities required by the talented individuals able to fill those roles.

Clarify Critical Roles

The second step demands defining and calculating the numerical value of the key roles in the organization.  The key roles are of two types:  Value Creators—those who directly generate revenue—and Value Enablers—e.g., people from support functions.  This approach is about matching talent and value rather than focusing on individual skills.   Outlining the critical roles warrants necessitates answering the following questions, in coordination with the HR team:

  • Where does the value come from?
  • Which roles are most critical?
  • Is there a need to add new roles in line with the new strategy?
  • Any major disruptions that might shift role responsibilities?

Interested in gaining more understanding on how to link your Talent to Value?  You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about the Talent-to-Value Management approach here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?  You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

About Mark Bridges

Mark Bridges is a Director of Marketing at Flevy, where he leads various Social Media Marketing initiatives for Flevy, including Inbound Marketing, Lead Generation, and Community Management. Flevy is a marketplace for business documents--specifically, documents used by folks who work in a business function (e.g. Marketing, Corporate Finance, IT, etc.). These documents can range from Excel Financial Models to customizable PowerPoint Templates to "How-To"​ Business Frameworks. Prior to Flevy, Mark worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.

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