Sunday, September 23, 2012

Three “S” Questions to Contemplate for Future of Talent Management

There are many transformations facing businesses today, from disruptive to incremental changes, one of the biggest challenges facing companies all over the globe is how to build and sustain a solid talent pipeline, what’re the new criteria to evaluate talent, do organizations use outdated models to drive their talent program? The way that works gets done needs to be reviewed and redesigned. At the era of digitalization, companies are highly connected and working beyond the four walls of the organization, a major transformation is on the way to transform future of talent development. Here are three provocative questions to ask both talent & talent managers:

1. S-Curve Pondering: Talent --Do you have X years of experience or one year of experience X times?

The S-Curve mental model indicates learning curves, exhibit a progression from small beginnings that accelerate and approaches a climax over time. It means the talent who can successfully navigate, harness the successive cycles of learning and maxing out that resemble the S-curve will thrive in this era of personal disruption. As changes are expedited for both business and individuals, and neither business nor life is linear these days, the capabilities to adapt to unpredictable is critical, and best curve one can compete is the ability to leap from one learning curve to the next.

  • For Talent: The professional may ask a tough question to self: Do you have X years of experience or one year of experience X times? Do you continue to learn & grow, how many S-curves do you throw self in? Are you at the stage of complacency or competency; Is your career path linear or like a circle? Is your career picture gray or colorful? Philosophically, life is just like drawing a circle, if the circle too small, there are not much space to fill out cheerful colors or make enough influence; if it's too large, life is too short to complete the circle and fill out colors, the circle might not be perfect, but many non-linear dots in life will help you define the right circle with your favorite colors, one just need have such courage to throw self more curves.
  • For Recruiter: Modern talent managers are not working for HR-Human Resource, now they are working on Human Capital, the provocative questions a talent professional may ponder:  Am I searching for a passionate talent for a journey or am I just recruiting to fill out a position: Am I a talent visionary to unleash human potential, or am I just a HR person to search for keyword; Am I hunting for both character & skill or I just look for pieces of knowledge?
Because now the business environment becomes more dynamic, talent with the non-linear skill set or learning agility to master S-Curves may help boost the culture of innovation many organizations intensively need now. Manage talent with growth in mind. Growth and innovation are heavily dependent on having the right talent in the right places at the right time.

2. Social Footprint: Talent--Who are You at Career Ladder & Social Ladder?

The need for a stronger, deeper leadership pipeline is nearly universal. Business becomes always on, "borderless", hyper-connected, and interdependent than ever, the standard to cultivate and recognize talent potential may also need to be updated:

  • More about who you are than who you know: At traditional business environment, “who you know” may decide who you will become later; however, social ladder will complement such steep and even biased career ladder; your social footprint will enhance the reputation on who you are, your value,  expertise, and strength. Your social influence is more powerful than your status quo. Talent management also takes magic quadrant, businesses are looking for the leader, visionary, challenger, and niche player.
  • Communicate deeper than speak louder: At typical physical working teams, speaking louder often makes one stand out, however, at today’s hybrid, complex global working dynamic, communicating deeper is more crucial, the more senior you are at career ladder, the deeper thought leadership is required for the position. You should also become more digital fluent, from sharing content to creating content; from absorbing knowledge to co-create updated knowledge. Many organizations are looking for real critical thinkers who have the potential to be change agents. It's how plenty of senior executives got where they are. 
  • Global companies need true global leaders: High-potential leaders must be able to execute on a global scale and adapt quickly to change. They also need the depth and breadth of skills and experience to work across converging industries, bring new insight with cross-functional, cross-sector and cross-cultural perspectives.   

 3. Solutionary Hunting: Talent -Are you Solutionary or Order Taker?

 Many business leaders talk about treating human capital as a strategic asset, but few companies put the idea into practice. traditional HR practice at command-control, hierarchical environment, is to evaluate talent via compliance, order taking the lens, not inspire talent to take initiatives. However, the next talent practice is to shape the new talent box. The solutionary mindset takes multi-dimensional thinking and intelligence:
   (1)  Critical thinking (Reasonable and reflective thinking, consciously examining deep assumptions, getting at root causes)
   (2)  Systems thinking (understanding and architecting complex social systems)
(3)  Design thinking (exploiting creative disciplines in problem-solving)
(4)  Emotional intelligence (an ability to understand and shape human emotions to productive ends)
(5)  Spiritual intelligence (an ability to apply ethical thinking to business dilemmas, and to imbue work with purpose and meaning)
(6)  Social intelligence (an ability to use the new tools of the “social web” to create organizations that are transparent, flexible, meritocratic and collaborative).
(7)  Change potential. Driving and responding to change; seeing opportunity in uncertainty
(8)  Intellectual potential. Thinking thoroughly and flexibly
(9)  People potential. Adapting to changing and complex interpersonal communication.
(10) Motivational potential: Adapting personal drive and focus on performing well in new and changing context

  • The Solutionary has the character to overcome obstacles and avoid pitfalls, she or he can see through the problems and see around corners, connecting the dots in new ways by lowering the walls that keep business and people apart.
  • The Solutionary is an innovator: today’s innovation has been defined more broadly to include processes, business models, communication, and  efficiency improvements across the enterprise, talent managers can help by aligning people-related factors, such as leadership, capabilities, processes, technology, and organizational structures, around innovation to foster a more innovative organization and culture.
  • The solutionary is also learning agile and coachable:
a. Give me a man who is eager to learn and I can teach him anything.
b Give me a man who does not want to learn and I can teach him nothing. 

Talent management is the top priority of any business today, as human capital is still the most invaluable investment in businesses and our society. The good talent strategy is an integral part of business strategy, businesses need to lead ahead on the future of talent trends, put social hiring at your agenda, to improve capabilities in talent analytics and talent blueprint. The digital talent management is both art and science.


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