Unleashing the full capacity of your people

Talent Management: All agree we need it. Few act on it.

The old phrase “easy to say, hard to do” seems to be the prevailing sentiment about talent management in business. I came back across research I collected in 2008 from the Economist Intelligence Unit that surveyed about 500 senior executives internationally, and its conclusions ring true today: Close to 80% of the senior executives surveyed agreed that a lack of talent was “likely” to impact their operations negatively in the future. So they recognize the need to groom talent, but that same survey measured only about 25 % of them as committed to talent development:

Platitudes vs. commitment to talent management

The sad truth is, stated commitments are not leading to action, even when consultants like us have proof that investments in talent development pay off in spades:

  • Only 3% of those surveyed said they were doing “an excellent job” in talent management.
  • Another 24% said they were doing a “very good job”, which leaves about three in four executives who felt they had to improve.
  • Meanwhile, merely about one in nine respondents said they often championed strategic management of leadership talent.
  • Only one in five said they often spent time on managing leadership talent or involved their human resources (HR) department as a strategic partner.
  • Furthermore, just one in ten said they often reviewed leadership talent with their board.

This is an area where HR can step up and insist on investing in employee development. Those corporations that do will reap great rewards:

  • Better trained executives
  • Who stick around
  • Who continue to contribute enthusiastically
  • Who foster leadership and innovation within their teams
  • And groom their own successors in turn

What’s not to like about that? Ask us about furnishing the support you need to get talent development to the top of your CEO’s priority list.

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