10 critical components of a talent development program

10 critical components of a talent development program


The May issue of Harvard Business Review contains an interesting article on Talent Management: “How to keep your top talent” by Martin and Conrad Schmidt. In this article they highlight 10 critical components of a Talent Development Program. These components are:

  • Explicitly test candidates in three dimensions: ability, engagement and aspiration.
  • Emphasize future competencies: rather than current performance.
  • Manage the quantity and quality: see talent as a scarce portfolio of growth assets.
  • Forget rote functional or business unit rotation: rather focus on intense assignments with development challenges.
  • Identify the riskiest,most challenging positions: assign them to rising stars.
  • Create individual development plans: linking personal objectives to corporate plans for growth.
  • Reevaluate top talent annually: on changes in ability, engagement and aspiration.
  • Offer significantly differentiated compensation: and recognition to star employees.
  • Hold regular, open dialogues: between high potentials and program managers.
  • Replace broadcast communications: about strategy with individualized messages from emerging leaders.

These components were uncovered as a set of best practices based upon research. In my opinion not all components are really about talent development, but rather about talent management. I also find the suggestions quite high-level, interrelated, and culturally biased. But, you might be able to translate them into ingredients of your talent development programs. Good luck, since effort in talent development will become more and more critical in the years to come!

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