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The Truth about Talent. A guide to building a dynamic workforce, realizing potential and helping leaders succeed. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 1382760
  • Book
  • July 2010
  • 272 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Key themes in the book are:

1. The need to revaluate how people contribute and create value in today's economy ? it is about knowledge, innovation and relationships today rather than executive potential tomorrow.

2. Challenging the conventional wisdom that talent refers to a 'special few' rather than the 'vital many'. Perhaps we don't have enough because we keep looking in the wrong places and doing the wrong things?

3. Conditions facing organizations are tough and competitive and markets are turbulent. To withstand this, we need to build talented organizations and talented individuals.

4. Interdependence between people within and across organizations is critical. The way that each individual relies on each other and how talent is realised through social and team ties makes a decisive, defining difference.

5. Individuals control when and who their potential is shared with. The idea that an organization can manage talent and potential is an outdated conceit.

6. The nature of work itself matters hugely. The extent to which it is stimulating and engaging ? and how people can make the connection with what they do and the wider difference it makes ? is vital.

7. The way talent is generated is affected by the whole 'ecology' of an organization ? its sense of purpose, rituals, the behaviour of its leaders, how it hires and how it fires people all influence the way talent is generated.
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

Introduction 1

Recognizing the talent ‘doom loop’ 3

About our research 6

Seven key insights 6

How this book is organized 7

1 We Are All Talent Now 13

What we mean by talent 19

Talent ecology and the truth about talent 20

The truth about talent 24

We are all talent now 27

Talent is abundant and diverse 27

The talented are those who generate value, not merely those who can get to the top 27

Potential is discretionary 27

Growing and engaging talent is at the core of leadership 28

HR must reinvent itself to deliver practices for a ‘workforce of one’ 28

Talented people are attracted to talented places 28

2 A New Way of Thinking About Talent 31

How organizations think about talent 31

What we mean by talent 32

How talent management is changing 34

A fragmented, fluctuating supply of labour 36

From the credit crunch to the capability crunch 37

Connected consumption 38

Where we are today: the problem with current views of ‘talent’ in organizations 39

The belief that the future can be managed: from succession to scenario planning 40

The belief that we can spot our future leaders today (and manage their careers) 42

The march of the ‘high potentials’ 42

Potential for what? 44

Being insightful 45

Moving beyond the usual suspects ... 47

The rise of discretionary potential 49

A more tangible view of talent 50

How do you make a difference? 52

Leadership reflections 52

3 Talent Diversity: You Need to Believe It to See It 55

The link between talent and diversity 55

Meritocracy and diversity – sources of talent 56

Boiled frogs and Chilean potatoes ... why diversity is vital 58

Diversity – the best way to future-proof your business and avoid homogeneity 60

A new war for talent 63

Practical actions that will begin making a difference 64

Leadership reflections 66

4 Strategy – Beginning With the End in Mind 69

Strategy – the first priority 71

Future thinking and scenarios 72

Why future thinking and scenarios are valuable 72

Learning from the past, preparing for the future 76

Checklist: using scenario thinking 77

Developing strategy 80

The essence of successful strategies 80

Checklist: developing your strategy 82

Implementing strategy 83

Communicating strategy 84

HR strategy at work 85

Strategic tools for HR 86

1. Devising the right people strategy 87

2. Designing and refining the organization’s structure and focus 87

3. Influencing and enhancing the culture and environment 87

4. Developing future leaders 88

5. Understanding critical capabilities 88

6. Managing performance and reward 88

7. Involving people and increasing satisfaction 89

8. Learning and managing knowledge 89

9. Staying focused, flexible and managing HR services 89

Leadership reflections 90

5 Hire and Wire: Developing Your Organization’s Talent Ecology 93

Finding and nurturing talent 93

Managing your talent ecology 95

The impact of the external market 96

The pivotal link with strategy 96

Talent – a valuable Trojan horse 97

Talent loves talented company 98

The forgotten role of structure 100

From structure chart to social capital 101

The importance of networks 103

The nature of talented teams 104

Adopting new habits 105

How culture can make or break a talent strategy 106

Digging big holes 107

The revenge of the bell curve 109

Cultures that attract talent 110

Developing the talent ecology 113

Aiming for a ‘fly wheel’ effect 114

Leadership reflections 114

6 Getting Personal: The Workforce of One 117

Bringing your talents to work 117

Life just got personal – the trend to mass customization 118

The rise of the employer brand 119

The value of segmentation 120

Understanding memetics 122

Segmenting talent 124

Techniques for rating performance 124

Using employee data 125

Getting beneath the Employee Value Proposition 126

Leadership reflections 128

7 Engaging With Talent 131

Employee engagement: what it is and why it matters 131

The benefits of engagement 132

What affects employee engagement? 133

Three-factor theory 136

Engagement and the three factors 138

Checklist: connecting employee enthusiasm with business success 139

The rule of 150: Gore Associates 145

Sears and the service-profit chain 147

Creating a climate for engagement 148

Understanding what doesn’t work 149

Getting people engaged 149

Leadership reflections 151

8 The Meaning of Work 155

The meaning of work 155

The importance of meaningful work 159

People – more than ‘human resources’ 159

Making work more meaningful 160

Leadership refl ections 162

9 Leading for Talent 165

The challenges of 21st century leadership 166

Globalization, interconnectedness and interdependence 168

Increasing complexity 170

The challenge of sustainable growth 171

The need for innovation 172

Changing attitudes, rising expectations 173

Organizations are changing 176

Knowledge matters 177

A new approach to leadership 178

The business case 179

People are the answer (specifically, their head, heart and guts) 180

Understanding your leadership style 181

Understanding different leadership styles 182

Taking leadership seriously 184

Leadership reflections 188

10 Techniques for Realizing Talent in Your Whole Workforce 191

Leading with your heart 192

Balance the needs of individuals and the business 193

Know yourself and connect emotionally to others 193

Stay self-aware 194

Develop empathy 195

Remain in control 196

Use different styles of working 196

Develop emotional intelligence (EQ) 198

Inspire trust 199

Use visioning to increase collaboration and understanding 215

Develop creativity and innovation 217

Build a diverse team and empathic approach 218

Using intellect, intelligence and insight 219

Rethinking 219

Reframing 220

Focusing on results and getting things done 221

Developing and articulating a point of view 222

Courageous leadership 223

Taking risks with incomplete data 223

Balancing risk and reward 224

Acting with unyielding integrity 224

Communicating 225

Empowering people 227

Coaching and developing talent 229

Conclusion: Creating a Talent Flywheel 235

See talent in context 237

Treat everyone as talent 238

Focus on value creation 238

Make work personal 239

Build everyone’s capability 239

Take leadership seriously 240

Tend your talent ecology 240

Appendix: Researching the Truth About Talent 243

Research acknowledgements 245

Index 249

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Jacqueline Davies
Jeremy Kourdi Economist Intelligence Unit.
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown