What I learnt from 8 World-Class Talent Development Professionals

World-Class Talent Development

Last week I had the honour of working with 8 World-Class Talent Development Professionals.

I was the Chair of the Leadership Development Track at HR Vision in London and the speakers included:

  • Shannon Banks, HR Director Talent Management, Western Europe Microsoft

  • Pip Clark, Principal Consultant and Director, Assessment & Development Consultants Ltd

  • Louise Brownhill, Chief Learning Officer, PWC

  • Nick Pope, Global Learning Director, Unilever

  • Gregor Thain, Vice President Global Talent & Leadership, Intercontinental Hotels Group

  • Julia Friend, Senior Director, Head of Talent Management EMEA, AIG Insurance

  • Michelle Blieberg, Senior Vice President of Global Organization and Leadership Development, Time Warner

  • Yves Givel, Vice President Human Resources, EAME and Southwest Asia, Hyatt Hotels Corporation

They talked on a variety of subjects all related to leadership, change and culture. And while the topics were different, the companies were different and the industry sectors were different, there were some strong themes that emerged.

World-Class Talent Development in Action

The three key messages I took away from the event were:

1. The world is changing

The new “normal” is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA). Businesses need to change to respond adapt and compete in this environment. And leaders need different skills to operate successfully in a VUCA world. HR professionals need to transform the way they approach talent and leadership development to meet new business priorities over the next three years.

2. It’s no longer enough to develop leaders as individuals

Top management teams have a significantly greater impact on organisational performance than individual directors. In order to develop top talent that delivers business results, we need to develop top leadership teams as teams.

3. We need to create a culture that allows development to happen outside of training programmes

We’re all familiar with the 70:20:10 model, which says that 70% of learning happens to experience in the workplace; 20% happens through reflection on that experience in coaching and mentoring; and 10% takes place through formal classroom learning. But organisations are still investing 90% of their time and effort in that formal 10%. While there will always be a need for well-designed development programmes, we need to place greater emphasis on leader’s experiences and helping them reflect and learn from them.

It was a privilege to meet and hear from these speakers. It occurred to me that you might like to hear from them too so I’m planning a series of 30-minute interviews them and other Talent Development “Masters” as part of a new podcast series.

You can hear the first episode on my blog. It’s an interview with Gregor Thain of IHG on bringing the 70:20:10 model to life and creating a mentoring culture to build leadership development across the business.

Click here to listen to the podcast >>

I hope you enjoy it. If there are any particular companies or individuals that you’d like me to interview for the series, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

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