Tuesday, November 1, 2016

CIOs as Talent Master: Develop the Next Practices to Innovate IT Talent Management

The best or next digital talent management practices should encourage innovation, inspire learning, take a structural approach to make digital transformation.

Digital workplaces are diverse and dynamic and digital workforces are multi-generational, multicultural, and multi-devicing than ever today. IT skills gap is not fiction, but a reality. CIOs as “Talent Master,” how to innovate talent management and develop the best and next digital practices for bridging gaps between strategy management and talent management, integrate talent management and performance management into a holistic people management solution and build a high-performing and high-mature digital organization?

Making the good alignment of strategy management and talent management: CIOs need to think constructively about IT talent competencies at both the strategic level and operational level. IT leaders play a crucial role in identifying talent gaps and align talent skills and collective human capabilities with strategy execution. However, there is Out-of-Date traditional talent recruiting and performance management practices and mechanism in many organizations today. There's misunderstanding or miscommunication (lost in translation) in between IT talent request and HR's searching mechanism. Also, there's a disconnect of short-term IT staff needs and long term talent perspectives. Often times people are at the leadership or management position look narrowly at specific problems and projects developed to solve daily business challenges or meet the immediate staff requirement at the operational level, with ignorance of strategic priority; partly because that is the way funding is allocated, rather than having a broad view of their enterprise and the longer term strategy for the organization and build the sustainable and collective human capability for the business growth.

Improving employee satisfaction and engagement via communicating the big “WHY”: Organizations need to do a better job of communicating the "why" -mapping the strategic objectives of the business to individual employees’ daily tasks clearly. There are many different views of employee engagement. The very goal is to well align corporate goals with employees’ career goals, encourage talent growth, create synergy by putting the right talent in the right position with the right capability to solve the right problems. Engagement is assured, and excellence in performance is virtually guaranteed when people know their unique gifts are appreciated. Organizations need to make a concentrated effort to connect the dots for everyone and provide clear communication about the goals at each level in an endeavor to improve engagement. How does each employee work, accountabilities, and efforts support and contribute to the overall organization goals and strategy, and explore the best practices and next practices for building an engaged and high performing digital workforce directly impact on the business's bottom line efficiency and top line growth.

Managing both potential and performance accordingly: Performance keeps the business running, and potential can make a leap for your organization up to the next level, both need to be managed effectively. Performance is well done of current assignments and demonstrated the capacity of doing good work with the quantitative result. However, do not assume though that top performer is the top talent for the future. See through your talent from a different angle, the high performer may be at the top of their game at the moment, but the question is how well they will adapt to changes, be learning agile to enhance their innate capabilities. This is where the potential comes into play. Potential is about future performance, how well does an individual continue to grow, how likely can they take on new challenges at work, how effective is their time management skill, rapidly learn and grow into next-level roles, or roles that are expanded and redefined as the business changes. From people management perspective, how to encourage IT professionals stepping out of comfort zone, continue to learn, continue to innovate, and update performance management practices by assessing both quantity and quality result, thinking and doer capability objectively, to refine digital talent management in order to adapt to the fast-paced business new normal. Therefore, unleashing talent potential is a great human capital investment and business investment as well.

Reward innovators and creative problem-solving: Creativity is not a "thing," it´s a process that happens as a proactive mental activity to a problem. Creativity is the #1 most wanted skill in the 21st century. This is particularly true for IT professionals because creativity is the wind under technology’s wing, creative thoughts can bridge the gap between the industrial age and the digital era, local and global, transactional and transformational, and accelerate digital transformation via the balanced forces of "push and pull."  Creative IT leaders and professionals can solve the business problems in an intelligent manner, to either bridge the gaps or delight customers.There’re a lot of opportunities to clarify the role of IT in innovation. As IT leaders/managers/professionals, you need to understand what the organization’s expectation from IT through innovation lenses. In the business world, at least, you can't always wait for the "best" decision to emerge. Creative problem-solving starts with creative communication, sets alternative choices, and then you have to make best decisions you can, based on connecting unusual dots, identify and prioritize alternative solutions, to run IT as the innovation hub of the business. All humans are naturally creative, create and nurture an environment in your organization where humility is appreciated, curiosity is encouraged, and creative thinking is rewarded.

Appreciate talent quality and advocate digital professionalism: High quality IT can only be run by high-quality IT leaders and digital professionals. We are what we think, the quality of a person is often decided by the quality of his/her thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. High-quality digital leaders or employees are great in attitude, aptitude, and altitude - a winning mixture composed of character, intelligence and competence, independent judgment, critical thinking, and the sense of responsibility and balance through which it becomes possible to earn the role of trust and guiding the organization in which they work. The worst mediocrity is not the mediocre result, but a mediocre attitude, which often brings negativity, unprofessionalism, change inertia, silo, or lower team morality. Quality employees are the ones who can work independently, have excellent problem-solving skills, well disciplined, have a "customer focus, " and bring positivity and wisdom to the workplace. Unfortunately, in some organizations, mediocrity get encouraged or even rewarded, and ultimately drag the whole business down to irrelevant.

Talent development is a continuous effort to groom the right digital leaders and workforce for the business’s long-term prosperity. The best performance management system needs to tie everyone in the organization to the company’s long-term prosperity, the best or next digital talent management practices should encourage innovation, inspire learning, take a structural approach to digital transformation.


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