Sunday, November 07, 2004

Talent Retention - the good and the ugly

The focus on talent, the "War for Talent" and the "Talent Economy" are smack dab in the spotlight. There are however, a number of different takes on the issues and solutions.

A question: why would "Talent Retention" not always be a key strategy? Why would we throw away or let slip the best people in any organization at any time? One key to surviving and thriving on the realities of this crisis (and avoiding the media and consultant hype) is to take a hard look at your organization for what is working now.

Assuming that people have actually stayed with you, ask them why? Ask them what's important to them about the organization and how they participate in it - their organizational citizenship. Ask them what makes they feel valued. Then figure out how to get more of that!

Beware the dangers of being "star struck" with a talent focus that makes you vulnerable by concentrating all your energies on a few performers. In our enthusiasm for creating engaging workplaces we need to be sure that the people we ask to help us design them are the ones that we we need for sustainability. A production designed just for the star only runs as long as they are willing to stay. You never know, there may be untapped talent in the chorus line.

Take a look at the manifesto "The Talent Myth" by Malcolm Gladwell for a well timed warning.


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