A talent management culture, who owns it?


4th December, 2018

I often get asked about my definition of what ‘Talent Management’ actually means. For me, the question is far more fundamental than that. We can all read the wording around a talent management strategy but unless you have the right culture to deliver it, it will remain precisely that, words on a piece of paper.

What is talent management culture?

HR Professor and prominent talent thought leader, Dave Ulrich, has some great thought leadership on the question.

“Organisations require the ability of talented individuals to work collectively to deliver value. Often, after companies stipulate that talent matters, they get lost in the myriad of promises, programmes and processes, and lose sight of the basics.”

In short, organisations often lose sight of developing a talent culture.

How do you help build a talent management culture?

Ulrich has a simple talent formula to create that culture, which is:

Talent = Competence x Commitment x Contribution

When applied a high performing talent culture begins to emerge:

  • Competent people have the ability to do today’s and tomorrow’s tasks. This is all around their knowledge, skills and attitude of truly understanding the requirements of the business. Without talent competence we get poor decision-making and low competence.
  • Commitment is around how engaged your people are. If they are not committed to the task and requirements of the business, then their effectiveness will decrease.
  • Contribution is when your people feel their own personal needs are being met. This is real hearts and minds stuff. If they feel that their hard work is going unrewarded, or even worse unrecognised, the lower the level of performance contribution.

Question for you as a talent manager:

If I review each of the three dimensions of Competence, Commitment and Contribution for my people and rate each one on a scale of 1 to 10, how is my organisation’s talent culture looking?

I’d suggest if you’re scoring under a total of 20 points then your talent management culture should be an area to focus on for the future.

If you want to speak to me about any of the techniques above and for more details on my new Talent Diagnostic offering on how I can help transform your Talent Strategy please email me Matt@twentyoneleadership.com


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