Talent transformation is critical to create new leaders   2 comments

Emerging Trends Results in the development of better and effective business strategies.

One of the latest buzzwords in the global HR landscape is talent transformation. In common parlance, talent transformation essentially means harnessing the potential and skills of employees to help them reach leadership positions while achieving strategic business objectives for the organisation.

However, at the moment there is no one singular definition or guiding principle that qualifies the words talent transformation. While some organisations and individuals view talent transformation as mere betterment of capabilities others look at the process (of talent transformation) as one that results in complete change of an employee’s talent/skills and attitude.

Prevailing uncertainty
The latter view is however increasingly gathering momentum in the current context of organisations world over trying to cope with the ‘new normal’ in the marketplace. With prevailing uncertainty and unpredictability of the business environment, employees today need to have a keener than before comprehension of market trends and be more nimble and better disposed to correspond to these both at an individual and professional level.

Though there are no surefire ways of engaging in talent transformation initiatives there are few basic things which every organisation can keep in mind while undertaking the same.

Business matrix
Firstly talent transformation should be suitably aligned to strategic business priorities. Consequently HR departments should develop talent transformation programmes that make the employee feel more needed and valued in relation to the overall business matrix of the organisation. Secondly talent transformation within organisations must aid the development of better and more effective business strategies.

In a challenging business environment, HR must do more than process paperwork and administer benefits. It must identify the strategic people challenges most likely to undermine the company’s business strategy and then develop solutions to overcome them.

This new role requires HR to take on new responsibilities: anticipating critical workforce trends, helping to shape and execute business strategy, identifying and mitigating people-related risks and regulations, enhancing workforce performance and productivity and offering new HR solutions and services to help the company grow.

Business as usual is not an option and it is this understanding that rests at the foundation of talent transformation initiatives in the organisations.

Talent transformational plans need to be preceded with a comprehensive scan of the emerging market trends. One should pay close attention to things like whether one’s leadership development plan can be truly linked to the new market, or whether it is a replay of yesteryears? This understanding should precede the structuring of talent transformation initiatives.

Gen Y
In other words for greater effectiveness, all talent transformation initiatives need to be backed by an understanding of what worked and did not work in the past. A critical consideration of all talent transformation initiatives today is their ability to resonate with Gen Y. Hence these initiatives and programmes should employ new age tools like online social networking and encourage knowledge sharing through collaboration.

More recently, organisations have come to understand that leadership can also be developed by aligning the efforts of individual leaders and the systems through which they influence organisational operations.

This has led to a differentiation between leader development and leadership development. Leader development focuses on the development of the leader, such as the personal attributes desired in a leader, desired ways of behaving, ways of thinking or feeling.

Social influence
In contrast, leadership development focuses on the development of leadership as a process. This will include the interpersonal relationships, social influence process, and the team dynamics between the leader and his/her team and will also include the contextual factors surrounding the team such as the perception of the organisational climate and the social network linkages between the team and other groups in the organisation.

Leadership development can build on the development of individuals (including followers) to become leaders. In addition, it also needs to focus on the interpersonal linkages between individuals in the team.

Succession planning is another imperative of talent transformation. The development of “high potentials” to effectively take over the current leadership when their time comes to exit their positions is known as succession planning. This type of leadership development usually requires the extensive transfer of an individual between departments.

In many multinationals, it usually requires international transfer and experience to build a future leader. Succession planning requires a sharp focus on organisation’s future and vision, in order to align leadership development with the future the firm aspires to create.

Thus successive leadership development is based not only on knowledge and history but also on a dream. For such a plan to be successful, a screening of future leadership should be based not only on “what we know and have” but also on “what we aspire to become”. Persons involved in succession planning should be current leadership representing the vision and HR executives having to translate it all into a program.

Larger business
Though talent transformation has to be in synchronisation with larger business/organisational imperatives it has to ultimately benefit the employee and translate to leadership development.

This can happen in a number of ways. For instance, by providing employees with increasingly challenging assignments that allow them to chart their own growth, allowing them to succeed.

Facilitating mentorship platforms whereby seniors can act as mentors and buddies and providing constructive feedback and encouragement to employees are other ways of facilitating talent transformation. There are other factors that impact or influence talent transformation for instance the organisational culture, employee’s education, relationships with co workers and family circumstances.

However positive supervision and constant coaching through talent transformation initiatives can help in mitigating the negative or not so positive impacts of these influences and keep employees motivated and growing on the job.

As Allan Schweyer said, “Human capital is a core corporate asset, just like financial and physical assets. As such, it must be managed the way companies manage other assets.

This requires thinking strategically about how to invest in human capital, and figuring out how to optimise and measure its return.” So it brings me back to my core thought that in order to build strong organisations of the future, talent management should be viewed as a critical business enabler; it is the link that supports your organisation in achieving its goals.


Posted February 1, 2012 by avinash2060 in Work Place

2 responses to “Talent transformation is critical to create new leaders

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  1. Pingback: “Not your father’s client team.” Episode #02: Commitment | RainmakerVT

  2. Pingback: The Meirc Conference: Building Multicultural Leadership – The Ultimate Corporate Challenge | Training Courses Blog

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