The Talent Pool Review

I have read a number of articles in People Management and on the internet about “The Talent Masters”, a book by Ram Charan and Bill Conaty released on 9 November 2010. All of them have been music to my ears as basically the ethos of the articles and the book is that successful organisations put people before numbers. However, as much as we know that this makes good old fashioned common sense, for many organisations it simply isn’t common practise. Sadly, in the current economic circumstances we are seeing less and less focus on people and more and more focus on process and the control of them. Leaving many employees feeling undervalued and less engaged than they have the ability and right to be.

The authors of the book, Ram Charan and Bill Conaty, are both masters in their field. Ram Charan is a highly sought after business advisor and speaker, famous among senior executives for his uncanny ability to solve their toughest business problems. Bill Conaty is long recognised as a world leader in his field. Bill recently retired as senior vice president of human resources at General Electric, where the company consistently ranked for developing world-class leaders.

I have to profess that I like these guys and in some respect feel envious that they have grasped the phrase “Talent Masters”. At the Talent Pool we talk about “Talent Scouts”, ensuring that your organisation teaches and supports managers in finding and developing its best talent. However, with the launch of Talent Masters I have to say that I am left feeling a little Enid Blyton against their J.K. Rowling. Bring on the Talent Masters, that’s what I say!

The articles speak of 8 key principles that organisations who are Talent Masters follow in their talent management and talent development strategies:

1. A leadership team that “gets it” — beginning with the CEO

2. Explicitly defined and articulated values

3. A culture of trust and candour

4. A goals and results orientation

5. An understanding that differentiation breeds meritocracy and sameness breeds mediocrity

6. A rigorous approach to talent management

7. A business partnership with HR 8. Continuous learning and improvement

I look forward to reading the book, picking up my lightsabar and developing The Talent Masters of the future. So many organisations desperately need to influence their key stakeholders that this is the way forward if they are to remain agile and responsive to the daily challenges that are thrown their way.

This article is featured in The Talent Pool news.

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