The Business of Talent: Magic? #TChat Recap

A Really Big Show…

Sleight of hand. Misdirection. Levitation. The Grand Illusion. Sounds like a great Vegas act. But is this any way to describe “people” practices in today’s world of work?

Truthfully, we’ve all seen it and felt it. Many of us have developed mastery at it. Even when it’s unintended, a bit of smoke-and-mirrors comes in handy when working the crowd on the “talent” side of the house.

No worries. Your secret is safe here. #TChat isn’t a confessional, but those of us who’ve been responsible for aspects of talent acquisition, development or performance management have learned what works well enough to comply with business rules and get the job done. But how well is that working for the organization?

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

It’s not that we’re not trying to be more accountable and transparent. Besides, new social tools and technologies are shining light up our sleeves, for better or worse.

However, we are naturally stalwart creatures of comfort and habit — we don’t adapt easily. Incrementally perhaps, but not easily. It’s tempting to fall back on the same old tricks of the trade, even as external catalysts are forcing us to change for the better. Progress isn’t necessarily linear movement.

For example, consider the conversation we had this week with #TChat Radio guest, Josh Bersin. Josh is the Founder and Principal of Bersin by Deloitte, leading provider of research-based membership programs in human resources (HR), talent and learning.

Among other things, Josh shed light on factors that are driving the global disparity between skills demand and supply. One point in particular — new talent selection, mobility and succession planning have long been determined primarily by gut instinct.

A Capable Workforce = Sustainable Magic

But saying that talent strategies should focus on hard skills is no longer magical enough. The softer skills — communication, empathy, team-building — are just as integral to selection and development, if not more so.

Josh looks at challenges in human capital management through this more strategic lens. It’s what he calls capabilities development, where both hard and soft skills are addressed in a holistic way. As organizations reinforce and expand these combined capabilities in real-time, and provide flexible context that responds to workforce competencies, we can expect business performance to improve.

The foundation is solid – we’re now able to glean useful talent insights from powerful tools that help us process and analyze the disparate “people” data we’ve held in cold storage for decades. And other technologies are enabling continuous learning and development, across business functions, and throughout the entire employee life cycle. High art, indeed.

Showtime!

Of course, magic shows still have their place — marketing spin helps to attract, retain and entertain. Meanwhile, we can feel confident relying more on science than art to inform our instincts as we move forward with workforce decisions. Talent-minded professionals are limited only by our willingness to adapt. We can lead by example.

#TChat Week-in-Review

If you missed any of this week’s events – or to revisit insights anytime – just follow the links below…

SUN 3/17  TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, kicked off the week by looking at how strong leaders are strong learners in her Forbes.com post: “The New Rules of Leadership.”

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Listen to the recorded show with Josh Bersin…

MON 3/18  #TChat Weekly Preview laid out key questions for the week: “Learning, Leadership and Talent”

TUE 3/19  #TChat Radio Show: Josh Bersin discussed how market factors and technology innovation are leading organizations to dramatically shift fundamental “people” practices – including talent acquisition, development and performance management. The 30-minute show is packed with insights for HR and learning professionals, as well as business managers.

WED 3/29  #TChat Twitter: The TalentCulture community showed up in full force at our weekly Twitter forum to report from the trenches about their experiences and ideas. Check out these highlights from the conversation…

#TChat Twitter Highlights Slideshow: Learning, Leadership and Talent

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

THANKS: Again, thanks to Josh Bersin for joining us this week, to help us understand how organizations can better leverage talent in today’s world of work. Your expertise and insights are invaluable to our community.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events inspire you to write about leadership, learning and talent? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week – fasten your seatbelts as we take the community for a spin into the brave new world of social learning, with our very own community leaders, Justin Mass (learning technology evangelist at Adobe) and Michael Clark (leadership development expert at ReCenter).

Until then, we’ll continue to tackle World of Work conversation each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of this redesigned blog/community website. TalentCulture is always open and the lights are always on.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

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