As we pursue this discussion on Talent, it is important not to just focus on what it is (see part 1) but the entire framework and environment that surrounds our strategies for talent. For this I present an ERE article. Kevin Wheeler wrote about his 4 rules of talent here.
Rule #1: Talent is scarce and getting scarcer.
I have a brother-in-law who is considering retiring from his employer (large earospace). I’m not sure what his exact position is, but he is a very senior engineer and project manager type. Hard working and passionate about getting things done right, he is exactly the type of person a company wants to keep. If he retires in the next couple of years, he won’t be 50 yet. We’ve talked a lot about workforce planning last year (here, here and here) but workforce planning also needs some strategies around retention, rewards and engagement. Simply put, it’s not worth the extra money for my brother-in-law to stay in the rat race, and other than having some pride in his work, the company has not clearly engaged him. Talent is scarce and getting scarcer, but it can’t just be the traditional retirees we worry about. We need to understand if we are creating scarcity ourselves by forcing great talent out of the workforce early.
Rule #2: Talent is wherever it is.
It didn’t come as much of a surprise that defining talent in part 1 didn’t go so well. 🙂 We can define talent through accomplishments, competencies, experience, education, or more often, a mix of all of these. With that said and with Rule #1 in mind, talent and the potential for talent is everywhere. We can’t ignore immature talent simply because we don’t have the will to develop it. It is this type of attitude that will increase the severity of talent scarcity.
Rule #3: Develop talent or lose.
Back to Talent Partners and a Chinese Proverb I found on their site, The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago…the next best time is today.
Rule #4: Technology is both talent blood and glue.
There was some good discussion on this topic a few weeks ago on this and Regina’s blogs. I think we all ended up agreeing, but it’s worth revisiting. As Wheeler notes, “Technology is blood, as it carries the life sustaining “nutrients” or information and decisions about talent to each cell of our organization.” but again, he hits the nail on the head by saying, “By using and mixing these tools in ways that deliver good talent to us and to our managers when needed, we ensure our success.” We need the technology, but the technology is nothing without communications and delivery.