Thursday, January 22, 2015

Digital Master Tuning XVIIII: How to Achieve Talent Management Agility

What organizations should be managing is "capabilities" not just experiences or skills.

Talent management refers to the anticipation of required human capital for an organization and the planning to meet those needs.The whole of HR is talent management! When you adopt the most liberal term to describe employees, talent comes to mind. Talent is the key to shape business as Digital Master. HR is already involved in the management functions of employees - from hiring, training, evaluation, promotions, and other talent-related functions. But in more detail, what’s the digital talent management all about, and how can HR and business leaders work more collaboratively to not only manage talent but build corporate capability and agility?

Talent management = the right person in the right seats at the right time. HR was described as a 'facilitator.' There are perhaps few others in an organization that understands (or should) the entirety of a company. But, all too often they mask their roles by placing walls up and instead of tearing them down so that all functions can be understood and stretched to the limits of their collective capabilities. HR’s primary function is to drive continuous improvement within the human management system while ensuring that this system is producing the outcomes and behaviors needed to successfully execute the company’s strategic plan. There are multitudes of systems users and to a great extent, the business leaders drive the requirements.

Business leaders and HR have to work in partnership with an ideal Talent Management. Each has a key role to play in acquiring, retaining, and managing the talent (meaning employees in general). They are not mutually exclusive but rather need to be totally integrated. Talent Management can not be successfully done by Business Leaders or HR alone. You need to stop thinking of HR as an extraneous appendage and rather approach it as an equal and fully validated business partner. Only then will talent management and employee management, in general, be more comprehensive and advantageous for the company and employee - it should not be the "us vs them" situation, but rather an inclusive "we."

Talent management's 'customer' is the manager, not the employee. In true talent management terms, personal performance management (review/planning) aligns closest with business performance management, not compensation or development. And the greatest value in performance management is understanding what the individual is good at so they can be positioned to where they can add the most value; rather than having a development plan created to 'fix their weaknesses' only. What organizations should be managing is "capabilities" not just experiences or skills. Experience can be good (skill) or bad (stifling creativity) depends on circumstance; skill is linear or static, but the capability is more dynamic with "recombinant nature." And capabilities are what they should be acquiring and developing. HR would do well to learn the difference between Experience, skills, and Capabilities, and the appropriate use of each term in relation to the others. We hear far too much about the first two, far too little about the latter, and too many people are at the same time are confusing them and using them anonymously. And in talent management, 'potential' is defined as having 'the ability to add more value to the organization in the future' (usually based on repositioning), vs. HR that defines potential as 'taking on the additional scope of responsibility (moving up in the organization)'. etc.

The facilitation and development of people are a joint responsibility of HR and line management. Too much HR involvement leads to complex and generic competency lists that get lost in abstraction and administrative trivia. Too much line management involvement leads to a narrow focus on only one dimension of human potential. Talent Management and HR should be in disagreement about make/buy decisions and this is a healthy dynamic. There is no doubt that business leaders play a key role in talent management (TM) - and TM initiative is doomed to fail without their support. However, the danger of giving primary responsibility for TM to business leaders is that they may take a very narrow functional view of talent development.  HR, which is typically a corporate function, is in a better position to take an organizational-wide view in planning for the development of the talent pool. HR should oversee the entire TM process to ensure that business leaders wear the corporate hat, understand that they are developing people for the whole organization (and not just their own department or function) and very importantly, not to hoard talent.

What’s best is a balance and that requires line/staff communication and partnership. Talent management is a huge opportunity, for those who are willing to take it on, to add value to the company by doing what's truly possible in this area. But most just rename HR, or 'strategic HR', as talent management and make almost no real changes and say they 'do' talent management. Or when Talent Management, or Training, or Employee Relations, or other traditional "HR Departments" feel they are so important that they don't below in HR anymore, you have a serious problem. It means that someone has lost sight of the big picture. All parts of the Human Resources function or system should support the employment lifecycle, from recruiting to terminations and everything in between, in strategic support of the business operations. To think that your department is so special that it doesn't have to play well with other HR departments is just arrogant.

From managing talent as resources to investing talent as capital; from looking for specific skills to building recombinant capabilities; from searching the traditional channels to recruiting from alternative pipelines; there is a leapfrogging transformation of talent management.

Digitalization is like a flywheel, and Digital Masters are the one riding above it. Surf more Information about Digital Master:


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