Talent Management Strategy Must Match Business Goals

Talent management came into focus in the late 1990’s, but only in the past decade has it become highly formalized. If you’re seeking high performance, it just makes sense to plan for and create strategies for developing talent. There’s an obvious link between leadership and organizational effectiveness. So if you really believe you’ll succeed, why aren’t you planning?

 Business As Usual May Not Be Enough

Your organization puts the time in, you spend effort and money on charting a viable SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). Flip charts and laptops are everywhere and you have determined  you have a great grasp on reality in your company and industry. A few of your best minds have put their heads together and created a future that Orson Welles would be proud of – one that is actually visionary, and takes real data and information into account.

You trend financials and benchmark with other, equally astute and successful companies and industries. In the end, you bless it, print it, bind it, and distribute it. If you are in the top 5 percent of firms, you’re most likely even comfortable creating a mission that supports it and an execution plan that appears to match that incredible vision. Finally, you work your plan.

What Went Wrong?

Despite your efforts, something isn’t quite right. Six months later, sitting around the same conference table in those same, familiar chairs, you lament to a group of like-minded, equally talented executives: “We’re doing it guys, we’re kicking butt. Now, if only we had the management talent, we could really make this work”.

Did you not believe your research, SWOT, or strategy? Did you feel uncomfortable in your comparison benchmarks? Did you not really trust that $250K of McKinsey consultant’s input?

Why on earth would we spend the effort required to create viable strategy and subsequent plans for product, service, and marketing results, and not spend that same effort analyzing, identifying, and creating leadership talent we will need when we get there?

Talent Management Simply Must Be An Integral Part of Strategy

Keep in mind, Human Resources is not Talent Management. Nevertheless, we still need to make the same effort in identifying the supporting talent management strategy. That means conducting SWOT analysis, current state identification, desired outcomes and competitive benchmarks. And there are two reasons why. First, to make sure we have the horsepower to carry out those grandiose plans and execution items toward our vision, and second, in case we actually achieve our results.

Don’t get caught unprepared. Spend the same effort ensuring you have the leadership and management talent available, both sourced and developed, when launching any viable business strategy and execution effort. You can’t get there without it- but then, you already knew that.

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