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Critical talent management actions

Talent management is a system within a system: the organisation's culture. Get talent management wrong and the organisation's culture will be misaligned with the customer's emerging needs. Critical talent management actions to turn the organisation's talent management approach into a competitive advantage include:

  • Leadership development
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Storytelling
  • Performance management
  • Succession and replacement
  • Talent acquisition
  • Team excellence

Tomorrow, of necessity, talent management will be about resilience, reinvention and recognising that the ideal organisation design reflects how, given a choice, people would choose to work together. Investing in the most efficient way to develop talent, putting muscle behind the succession process and, generally, building a cadre of leadership talent, will allow your business to survive and thrive in turbulent times.

Insights from "Future-Oriented Leadership Competencies: Today's Talent Management Lynchpin" by John Burdett, Leadership advisor to TRANSEARCH International.

Where the interviewee is truly a top candidate both parties are being fully evaluated

Where the interviewee is truly a top candidate both parties are being fully evaluated. As a recruiter, there are candidate questions that you must know how to answer. Although by no means replete, in some ways, the 10 questions outlined are an acid test of how prepared you are for the turbulent talent management path that lies ahead.

10 candidate questions from "Great Candidates Ask Great Questions"

Insights from "Great Candidates Ask Great Questions" by John Burdett.

Bringing on board great candidates draws on six fundamental hiring building blocks

Uncovering, informing, involving, inspiring and successfully bringing on board great candidates draws on six fundamental, hiring building blocks:

  1. A winning hiring value proposition. People do not join your organisation … they connect with your story.
  2. The means to define (measure) both the organisation culture you have and the culture you need. Successful recruitment is always strategic!
  3. A robust performance scorecard.
  4. The means to define the emerging role-specific leadership competencies.
  5. In that tomorrow's organisation will be a team of teams, the tools to measure and assess future team fit.
  6. An integration process that provides the structure, support and the tools to enable newly hired executives to take a leadership role in their own integration. Given the opportunity, leaders lead!

Insights from "Great Candidates Ask Great Questions" by John Burdett.

If you are not fast, you are going to be last!

As the momentum of business both increases and accelerates, a culture where learning how to learn becomes a high priority. And it is not just learning fast at an individual or team level but building an environment where speed of learning becomes an organisation-wide competitive advantage.

Consider the questions below.

  1. What needs to change to be flat, fast, focused, flexible and fertile to new ideas?
  2. How will compelling metaphors be introduced to coaching discussions?
  3. What would it take to architect leadership workshops as 'learning how to learn and learning how to learn limited only by imagination'?
  4. In future meetings what are you going to do to change the patterns of play?
  5. Do you measure culture? When and how will you make that happen?
  6. How successful are you in displaying behaviour in line with who the customer strives to become?
  7. How is 'speed of learning' woven into hire and promotion decisions?

If you are not fast, you are going to be last!

Insights from 'Speed of Learning: The Ultimate Competitive Advantage' by John Burdett.

Facilitation is like skiing. Preparation, practice and picking the right line are essential

Facilitation is like skiing. Preparation, practice and picking the right line are essential. In other words, know your audience, know the outcome desired, and introduce a facilitation approach (style) that best fits the situation.

John Burdett outlines four facilitation styles. One size doesn't fit all. A masterful facilitator sees the four approaches as a rich pallet of behaviours to be mixed, matched and blended as the situation demands.

Insights from "Facilitation - the Forgotten Art" by John Burdett.

Excellence in facilitation shares much with what it means to be an outstanding coach

Few companies teach facilitation as part of their leadership development agenda. And yet, if we want collaboration, if we want to grow teams, if we want to challenge talent in a meaningful way … being able to get the best out of meeting of minds becomes pretty important.

Excellence in facilitation shares much with what it means to be an outstanding coach:

  • Humility
  • Conduct with a hidden baton but don't start to play any of the instruments
  • Come with a beginner's mind … be open to being surprised
  • Pass power to the participants
  • Ask great questions
  • Push for clarity around what the real issue is but avoid suggesting potential solutions
  • Listen, listen, listen
  • Summarise what has been agreed to
  • Push for objective action regarding next steps

Good luck on your next opportunity to facilitate. It is one of the most difficult but at the same time rewarding leadership skills. Remember, from a career perspective, bringing the best out of a group session is something of a forgotten art.

Insights from "Facilitation - the Forgotten Art" by John Burdett.

Culture is the often overlooked, all-pervasive, enterprise-wide, organisational DNA

Culture is the often overlooked, all-pervasive, enterprise-wide, organisational DNA that dictates whether your strategy lands or if your brand sustains. It is "a way to be" shaped by the past but continuously honed by the emerging business, social, economic, political and customer context.

The essential supporting pillars of culture are:

  1. Mission (why do we do what we do?)
  2. Diversity (diversity fuels innovation)
  3. Brand (why buy from us?)
  4. Speed (Focus - Anticipation - Simplicity - Technology)

The four pillars are braced by the organisation's values. Culture and values frame the context - the cultural canvas. The most forceful elements on that canvas being:

  • Vision and strategy;
  • Measurement and rewards;
  • The talent management system (e.g., who gets hired and/or promoted, the leadership development agenda); and,
  • Technology (quickly becoming an irresistible force).

All of the elements described come together to shape the organisation's story. You are your story. Culture is story and story is culture!

Insights from "The 7 Questions Every CEO Should Ask About Culture" by John Burdett

How do you prepare before commencing your new Executive role? The following suggestions will help

How do you prepare before commencing your new Executive role? The following suggestions will help:

  • Involve the family – the support of your family and closest friends is invaluable, so share your excitement about the opportunity
  • Research the organisation's history, key players and culture
  • Reflect on what old habits you could let go of, what you need to start and stop doing
  • Develop a beginner's mind – be inquisitive and ask lots of questions from day one
  • Rehearse your story and be prepared to provide your new team with some insights about you
  • Build trust early by being transparent, sharing your personal values, being respectful and understanding
  • Thank those who assisted you secure the role, including your referees

Insights from "7 'Must Do' before you commence your new Executive role" by Bill Sakellaris, Managing Director of TRANSEARCH International Australia. #executiveleadership #talentmanagement

Talent management is a system within a system: the organisation's culture

Talent management is a system within a system: the organisation's culture. Get talent management wrong and the organisation's culture will be misaligned with the customer's emerging needs.

Tomorrow, of necessity, talent management will be about resilience, reinvention and recognising that the ideal organisation design reflects how, given a choice, people would choose to work together.

Talent management is ultimately about hard data and tough choices – who to hire and promote, investing in the most efficient and fastest way to develop talent, putting muscle behind the succession process and, generally, building a cadre of leadership talent that will allow the business to survive and thrive in turbulent times.

If you can't imagine it, you won't reach it. If you don't measure it, you can't manage it. Strive to develop tomorrow's leadership competencies with purpose, precision, pragmatism and no little passion.

Insights from "Future-Oriented Leadership Competencies: Today's Talent Management Lynchpin" by John Burdett, Leadership advisor to TRANSEARCH International.

There is one fact of life that is impossible to ignore – tomorrow will be (very) different

There is one fact of life that is impossible to ignore – tomorrow will be (very) different. More specifically, the rate of change is getting faster – and about to get much faster. Being faster, however, is ultimately all about how people learn. It's a matter of adapt or perish.

How and what we learn is a product of the:

  • Nature of the experience,
  • Mental model (metaphor, theory, hypothesis, conceptual template) used to access the learning,
  • Quality of the questions posed,
  • Time set aside for reflection, and
  • Follow-up.

Ultimately, an investment in learning is about orchestrating change. In pursuit of that goal, learning starts with the experience. And it's not just learning fast at an individual or team level but building an environment where speed of learning becomes an organisation-wide competitive advantage.

If you're not fast, you're going to be last!

Insights from "Speed of Learning: The Ultimate Competitive Advantage" by John Burdett, Leadership advisor to TRANSEARCH International.

If you are a top executive, you don't owe it to yourself to be coached, but you do owe it to all of those whose lives you touch

If you are a top executive, you don't owe it to yourself to be coached, but you do owe it to all of those whose lives you touch. The coaching conversation must be informed by the emerging economic environment, tomorrow's customer's needs, and the business strategy. A number of coaching disciplines are common:

  • Coaching is about framing the conversation such that the coachee finds their own way (power to).
  • What the coach believes, the coachee will perceive. The coach must therefore work from the belief that the agreed outcome will (not might), could or should happen.
  • An experienced coach learns how to work from a beginner's mind.
  • To coach is to listen in the way the coachee has always wanted to be listened to.
  • To coach is to help connect the coachee with their own story, ask great questions, introduce a new metaphor, share a compelling story, open the door to best practice and personally model the behaviour being sought.
  • Coaching mastery draws on a robust coaching model, meaningful executive experience, cultural relevance, interpersonal sensitivity and mental agility.

Insights from "Coaching the CEO" by John O. Burdett, Leadership advisor to TRANSEARCH International.