Talent managers failing; new report

A new report says many widely adopted approaches to improving corporate performance are time consuming, expensive and disruptive. Author Professor Colin Coulson-Thomas argues “by the time many initiatives are implemented, requirements and priorities may have changed, while opportunities are often missed during transformation journeys.”

The report, entitled ‘Talent Management 2’ follows a five-year investigation of different corporate practices. It sets out a more affordable approach to creating high performance organisations. According to Coulson-Thomas: “We need to shift the emphasis from recruiting and developing high fliers for an unknown future to helping people to excel at activities that are crucial today and to handle challenges as, when and wherever they arise.”

The evidence examined by the Professor suggests the approaches of many organisations are costly and doomed to disappoint. Over three quarters of practitioners participating in a poll during the investigation thought talent management is not delivering. About a half thought opportunities are being missed.

Coulson-Thomas finds “Talent wars to attract ‘the best people’ can push up salary costs, be distracting and involve collateral damage. Talented people can also be difficult to manage and retain. A person who is exceptional in one area may be average in another. It may be cheaper to work with the people one has and put the right support environment in place to enable them to succeed.”

The professor’s study found “Large amounts are spent on expensive people who are not engaged, effectively used, or appropriately supported. Views of what represents ‘top talent’ can also quickly become outdated. We need more flexible ways of making it easier for affordable people to understand complex issues, and helping them to do important, difficult and stressful jobs.”

One Response to Talent managers failing; new report

  1. Pat Hartwell Reply

    May 31, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    The more I look into Talent Management, the more the phrase ‘Emperor’s New clothes’ comes to mind.(Just wish I’d thought of it first and made the money!) ‘Talent’ is situational not universally applicable and I think the Professor is right in his assertion that it’s better to work with people in place alright and support and develop them. I’ve been around in this game a long time and seen things come and go and found there’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to people and performance. Or maybe I’m just an old cynic?

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