The Huge Challenge of Cranking the Talent Development Engine of Your Organization

by | Sep 20, 2021 | 0 comments

A few years ago, PSTD rebranded itself and worked towards developing a Talent Development Framework to guide members in broadening their strategy from learning and development to, well, talent development.

As of today, the conversation to create a clear roadmap for talent development continues. In the meantime, some companies continue to frustratingly waste money on disjointed systems like training that don’t lead to performance, performance management systems that don’t lead to performance improvement, or leadership development programs that fail to develop an organization’s leadership culture. If talent development is the better route for helping employees achieve their full potential and maximize their contribution to organizational performance, then organizations must start their talent development journey NOW!

So, where to start? Someone has to give birth to the change. Someone must take the lead. The directive may need to come from the most powerful person in the organization, but the initiative and influence must come from the talent development champion.

Whoever you are, whether you’re the HR or Learning and Development Manager or someone who stumbled upon the concept and is eager to try it. The key to successful change is leadership. You must enroll your key stakeholders in the cause, and it starts with the leaders of your organization. John F. Kotter proposes 8 steps to successful change. It helps to follow the steps if you are to engage your stakeholders in your talent development movement. Here are the steps:

  1. Create Urgency – Show data that proves your investment in recruitment, learning and development, performance management, career, succession, and other HR initiatives can yield better return if you can integrate these systems to work towards facilitating the employees’ talent development journey.
  2. Form Powerful Coalition – It takes an entire organization to make a talent development strategy work, but you have to start with the true leaders of the organization, the ones who can help you make things happen. You need to get their commitment. Doing Step One well should help you with this task.
  3. Create a vision for change – Agree on the desired outcome. Be clear about what you collectively accomplish and make sure that everyone in the leadership team takes ownership of the vision and give their emotional support to it as they communicate it to their respective teams.
  4. Communicate the Vision – Many well-meaning changes fail because the champions failed to communicate. When you start your talent development journey, people will realize that there will be some changes in people’s roles, and processes may change. This can make people feel uncertain. It helps to communicate the vision. Co-create roadmaps while being cognizant of people’s questions. Listen to those questions, listen to inputs. Make sure that it is truly a co-created roadmap.
  5. Remove Obstacles – For the change to succeed, people will need structure. They need to be equipped to participate in the change, otherwise, they will resist it. This is where some heavy lifting happens.  You will need to write policies, procedures, and guidelines that will enable the integration of talent acquisition, career planning, learning and development, leadership development, performance, management, succession management, and all allied initiatives to work together.  Given the lack of a comprehensive field guide on talent development in the country, you and your cohorts will have to learn things as you go. It will be a fantastic journey!
  6. Create short-term wins – Talent Development is a huge change with a lot of moving parts. Pick a starting point that you can afford to complete and celebrate the win when you achieve it. Recognize people for their contributions.
  7. Build on the change – Very few things are perfect on the first try. Look for opportunities for improvement. See where the systems don’t quite connect and make adjustments.
  8. Talent Development is a long-haul initiative. The improvements may not be dramatic but incremental. For the changes to hold, the people in charge of the program should continually review implementation, make improvements and adopt innovations. It is also important for transitions in leadership to include proper turnover. Talent development must become part of the organization’s leadership development program so that they can continue to facilitate it.

Talent Development is a giant engine that will take a lot of people to crank. It will take some effort to get it started and will not achieve full speed right away.  Organizational leaders must work together to gain the necessary momentum for it to continue and then succeed.


Disclaimer : The individual contribution of authors are based on their own opinion and research and do not necessarily reflect the stand of PSTD.

About the Writer



Edwin is the founder and President of ExeQserve, Corporation, an HR Solutions Company. He is also the company’s head consultant for Organization Development and Human Resource Development. Ed developed his skills in training, recruitment, human resource management, organization development, and management consulting through twenty years of collective experience in the retail, financial, BPO and HR consulting business.


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