The Philippine Talent Development Framework (Part 1)
The Philippine Talent Development Framework is one of the key contributions of the Philippine Society for Talent Development (PSTD) in elevating the practice of Talent Development in the Philippines. This series of articles will help the readers navigate through the different aspects of the framework for them to appreciate the relevance and importance of having our country’s version of the Talent Development Framework.
In Part 1 of the series, we will focus on providing a broader understanding of the Talent Development Framework as a journey more than just a set of competencies.
Part 2 will delve deeper into the details of each of the 9 Talent Development Capabilities that enable a successful transition to each of the different stages in the Talent Development journey.
The Rationale for Shifting to Talent Development
The training function has evolved from Training and Development, then Learning and Development, and now Talent Development.
The initial impetus came from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) when it rebranded itself to the Association for Talent Development (ATD). In 2018, the Philippine Society for Training and Development (PSTD) was rebranded to the Philippine Society for Talent Development (PSTD) under a new set of By-Laws and Articles of Incorporation.
Like ATD, the rebranding of PSTD was driven by the rise of various modalities and practices that have rendered training or learning insufficient to represent the whole spectrum of development. Before, there was an emphasis on the distinction among training, education, learning, and development. Development used to be associated with developing the potential of people to take on future roles while the rest focuses on enabling people to become better or more effective in their current roles.
As HR has evolved to become more strategic, development has become more holistic and integrated to encompass the total development of individuals on critical competencies for the current and future needs of the organization. Hence, the term Talent Development represents the holistic integration of all approaches to enable people to become effective in their current roles and to prepare them for future ones.
After its rebranding, PSTD recognized that the shift to Talent Development does not only involve a change in name. It must change the very fabric of what it aims to develop. Thus, in 2019, PSTD’s Board formed the Talent Development Framework Committee and embarked on a major initiative to formulate the Philippine Talent Development Framework through consultation with business leaders, industry experts, and Talent Development practitioners. The First Talent Development Summit was born in the same year and subsequent summits were held in 2021 and recently last May 2023. The result is the Philippine Talent Development Framework.
Who are Talents?
Prior to its association with HR and Talent Management, the term talent typically refers to the natural ability or aptitude of someone in a particular field. Think of America Got Talent. Or Michael Jordan.
Then came McKinsey’s landmark study published in 2001 on the War on Talent which puts the word “talent” at the center stage not just of Human Resource but of Business Strategy. McKinsey defined talent as “the sum of a person’s abilities… his or her intrinsic gifts, skills, knowledge, experience, intelligence, judgment, attitude, character and drive. It also includes his or her ability to learn and grow”(Michaels, et al, 2001). This was the Exclusivist Perspective on Talent which limits it to the High Performers or High Potential (HiPos) who usually belong to the top 10% to 20% of the organization (Bradford Smart, 2005).
However, after several years, the elitist view of talent has started to crumble. Renowned HR gurus like Dave Ulrich has redefined talent to encompass all employees in the organization. Ulrich’s Talent Pyramid (What is Talent, Dave Ulrich) clearly showed that talents pertain to all employees. Another HR thought leader, William Rothwell, has also laid down the foundation for a more holistic and inclusive Talent Development in his book Strategic Development of Talent (Rothwell, 2003) which referred to talent as everyone in the organization. A more inclusive view of Talent eventually emerged.
Now, talents are not just those who belong to the High Potential (HiPos) for succession planning purposes or the best and the brightest in the organization. Talents encompass all employees at various ranks and levels of the organization.
PSTD views talents from two perspectives. One is an inclusive approach that defines who the talents are i.e. all employees. Another pertains to someone’s potential, gifts, or abilities that are developed into higher capabilities to maximize contributions to an organization and to society.
What is Talent Development?
The Association of Talent Development (ATD) defines Talent Development as the “talent development efforts that foster learning, employee engagement, talent management, and employee development to drive organizational performance, productivity, and results.”
On the other hand, PSTD defines Talent Development as the “journey towards realizing a person’s full potential and maximization of one’s contribution to an organization and to the society.”
While ATD focuses on the efforts and capabilities aspect, PSTD emphasizes the stages that talents go through in their development journey. Another distinction is the outward view of PSTD on the contributions of talents beyond their organizations. The word “society” in PSTD’s definition underscores the important role that talents and talent development play in both nation-building and sustainability.
What is the Philippine Talent Development Framework?
The Philippine Talent Development Framework is a capability model developed by PSTD that describes the various stages in the development of employees and the capabilities required for them to succeed in each stage. The Framework takes root in the belief that everyone is endowed with innate talents and gifts that can be developed and actualized. It consists of four stages that capture the journey of an individual from the Discovery (Pagmulat) of one’s talents, to Molding and Shaping (Paglinang-Paghusay) of one’s talents leading to Mastery and Excellence, which enables the individual to experience Freedom (Paglaya) as s/he becomes more independent to choose and perform where s/he can excel, and ultimately, achieve the Full Realization and Maximization of the individual’s potentials (Pagtagumpay).
The four stages are purposely named in the Filipino language, albeit with their English descriptions, to signify that it is a framework intended for the Philippine setting though it can have universal application.
Fig. 1 – The Philippine Talent Development Framework
Pagmulat is a Filipino term for Awakening or Discovery. This stage emphasizes the belief that talent development starts during Talent Acquisition and continues throughout the employee’s journey by spotting their potential or helping them realize those hidden potential. It is also predicated on the fundamental principle that each of us possesses gifts and potentials that can be molded and shaped into value-adding capabilities through Talent Development. The purpose of this stage is to enable individuals to discover these gifts and potentials and commit to a journey toward developing them to their fullest.
This stage redefines the purpose of Talent Acquisition from just hiring talents to designing the entire recruitment process and experience to enable the discovery of a candidate’s potential. It also promotes the seamless integration of processes and data between Talent Acquisition and Learning and Development. Another important implication is the role of HR and leaders in spotting talents by creating an environment that allows talents to explore, experiment, and discover their potential to avoid getting stuck for a long time in where they are currently assigned.
Let us take the case of a new employee whom we shall call here as Donna. She has been accepted for an HR Assistant role focusing on Compensation and Benefits. During her interview and assessment, the Interviewer/Psychometrician noticed her background as a student leader and her potential to take future roles involving public speaking and leading projects. This observation has been included in her Profile, something which her Team Leader also becomes aware of. In the course of her employment, her Team Leader recognized her interest in leading events and public speaking roles, thus, she was given the opportunity not just to participate in events but also to take on several assignments in various areas of HR from Engagement, Learning and Development, to Organization Development.
What Should Happen in the Pagmulat Stage
- Talents begin their development journey with their self-awareness of their potential.
- Talents experience self-awareness about their strengths and potential for development
- Out of the initial confusion and fear of the unknown, Talents use their sense of curiosity and growth mindset to explore opportunities for their development.
- Talents start taking charge of their career and of their development.
- Driven by a strong sense of personal accountability, Talents align their development goals with those of the organizations where they belong.
After the Discovery stage, talents go through the process of developing their competencies so they can gain mastery and maximize their potential. This is the Paglinang-Paghusay which involves Molding and Shaping one’s capabilities leading to Mastery and Excellence.
This stage involves a holistic and strategic approach to developing the potential of talents. The focus of the development in this stage is for the talents to gain mastery of the required capabilities in their roles and to prepare them for future higher responsibilities.
Using Donna’s example, we can see her journey in this stage trying to master her craft in the various functions of HR. Along her journey, she takes on varying roles, assignments, and projects that provide her the opportunity to deepen her mastery of the HR field. Her Individual Development Plan (IDP) is always a combination of development strategies focusing on helping her excel in her current role and preparing her for future ones. As she gains expertise and excels in her role, she gains the respect of her peers and leaders and becomes an internal consultant or resource within the organization. She is also able to widen her knowledge and capabilities beyond HR. In Donna, you have someone who, aside from being an HR expert, is also business and tech-savvy, has a deep understanding of the market and the company’s customers, is knowledgeable of trends, issues, and opportunities shaping the company’s future and has a good grasp of the financial aspect of the business.
What Should Happen in the Paglinang-Paghusay (Molding and Shaping) Stage
- Talents have established their career and developmental goals and recognized the capabilities they need to develop.
- Talents seek personal and professional growth through the acquisition and enhancement of their capabilities to help them improve and achieve their career aspirations.
- Empowered by a learning culture and growth-oriented leadership in their organizations, they seek regular feedback to deepen their understanding of their craft and pursue opportunities to apply lessons that enable them to build on their capabilities and performance leading to mastery.
- The leaders take an active role in enabling the growth of the Talents through regular mentoring, coaching, assignments, exposure, and other forms of support. Both the leaders and the talents engaged in co-creating the journey of the Talents toward gaining mastery and expertise.
Paglaya is about gaining the Freedom to choose the avenues for expression and maximization of one’s talents. As Talents gain mastery in their fields, they become more independent in choosing where and what to work on. Talents who are at this stage are the products of “future-proof” Talent Development strategies that prepare them for the future.
Let us continue with Donna’s journey. Having gained expertise in all major functions of HR, she becomes ready as a potential successor to an HR Leadership role. She can also choose to focus on any function of HR depending on the available opportunities within the organization. The influx of new technologies and trends is not something she worries about because she is future-ready. With her multi-faceted experience beyond HR, she can also consider taking on challenging roles in Sales/Business Development, Business Transformation, Risk Management, etc.
What Should Happen in the Paglaya Stage
- Driven by their accountability for self-determined learning, Talents have learned how to navigate the complexities, chaos, and constraints in their organizations and environment.
- Enabled by a democratized learning culture, Talent has the freedom to explore all possible options for one’s development at any stage of their career.
- As the Talent is provided with the systems, structure, and resources for development, the Talent is allowed to choose what to work on, as well as how, when, and where to access and apply Talent Development Tools.
- As a result, Talent is exposed to new and bigger development opportunities and possible cross-functional assignments which reinforce confidence and creativity in performing his or her work.
- Talent experiences a stronger sense of fulfillment and becomes empowered to make more impact in his or her organization, community, and society at large.
Pagtagumpay is the full realization and maximization of one’s gifts. This stage is punctuated by the achievements, contributions, and impact of the Talents in their teams, the organization, and the communities and societies where they live.
At this stage, Donna is now a recognized leader in her chosen field, gets invited to speak in public to share her stories and expertise, and is considered a mentor and influencer to others. She also either participates or leads programs in her community to pursue her advocacies that benefit society at large. She shares her expertise for the advancement of a noble cause like building Sustainable and Regenerative Communities. While Donna is focused on carving her legacy that will inspire the next generation of HR leaders, she continues to learn and gain mastery in other areas where she finds purpose and passion. In her case, she started taking advanced studies on Regenerative Sustainability, regularly joins forums and Communities of Practice, and attends relevant learning sessions.
What Should Happen in the Pagtagumpay Stage
- Talents gain mastery of their chosen craft and career, and they become high performers and contributors.
- As a model of self-determined development, the Talents at this stage influence and inspire others to achieve what they have accomplished for themselves.
- Talents achieve their career aspirations, and they move forward towards achieving more based on their potential.
- Enabled by an integrated approach to Talent Development, Talents are rewarded and recognized for their achievements which inspire them to contribute more and create a greater impact on their organizations and to society.
Who are the Talent Developers?
Talent Development is a collective, collaborative, and cross-functional discipline. Though the Learning and Development function typically serves as the process owner of Talent Development in many organizations, others are an important part of the process and have their share of responsibilities.
Is there a Need to Change the Functional Name to Talent Development?
Given our view that Talent Development is cross-functional, we do not recommend changing the name of the functional unit to Talent Development as a necessary step toward the shift from Training and Development or Learning and Development to Talent Development. The shift is not just in name but in mindset, roles, and our understanding of the journey and process that comprise Talent Development. Instead, what is more required is a holistic and collaborative Talent Development strategy that creates synergy and leverages the power and influence of the various Talent Developers.
The Talent Development Capabilities
To succeed in each and all the stages in the Talent Development journey, Talents need to develop nine (9) unique but interrelated capabilities. The details of each of these capabilities will be the subject of Part 2 in this series on the Philippine Talent Development Framework.
How To Benefit from the Philippine Talent Development Framework
The purpose of the overall Talent Development Framework is to provide a useful guide to Talent Development practitioners in formulating a holistic strategy and set of programs for developing the Talents in their organizations all throughout the Talent Development journey.
On the other hand, the 9 Talent Development Capabilities will guide Talent Development practitioners in assessing their capabilities and identifying learning pathways and priority development areas that will enable them to become more effective in the practice of Talent Development.
About the Writer
JUAN M. ROY
HROD Consulting Head,
Nomura Research Institute – Manila Branch