Talent Management is about putting the relationship first, building a process full of great conversations, and using goals to drive individual ownership
Based on surveying 150+ human resource and business leaders 20% seems to be the magic number. Only 20% of organizations have development plans for ALL their high potentials and for their executive teams. This is a key conversation because it allows for a great conversation around past, present, and future. My standard measure for a great conversation around performance and development is 30 / 30 / 40. 30% focused on the past, 30% focused on where you are right now, and 40% focused on where things need to be in the future.
So why do development plans? Below are five outcomes that happen when we invest 60 minutes 1-2x per year to update development plans:
1. Refined knowledge of talents/nontalents: Wisdom is knowledge gained from our experiences that we apply to influence the outcomes of some present or future situation. When individuals develop wisdom about their talents/non-talents the success rate for taking on new assignments or successfully building a relationship with a new leader goes way up. Development plans (see my template) always start with refining our picture of ourselves.
2. Creates the building block for performance – A Strength: Gallup shared the formula Strength = Talent + Skill + Knowledge in their book First, Break All The Rules. Research has also shown that achieving mastery in a discipline takes 10,000 hours of effort (see Malcolm Gladwell’s book – Outliers). The core of the development plan is to script the building of skills and knowledge so that the effort people are putting into personal growth moves them towards mastery.
3. Get Feedback From Others: Where a plan or measure exists, feedback has the best chance of happening. Author Jodi Glickman (Great On The Job) says the goal of feedback – “. . . . is not to make you feel good. The goal is to make you better at your job.” We do not get better without understanding the perceptions of others. In our own minds, we are all amazing performers. 🙂 A great development conversation confirms and challenges this belief.
4. Proactively Deal With A Weakness: Weaknesses are either non-talents that are required for success in your current job or strengths that are being overused. Whichever the case, spending time talking about weaknesses before a performance evaluation is done or before they evolve into a crisis provides an opportunity for that individual to make a conscious shift to address an issue before it becomes a big problem.
5. Self Management of Stress: Development plans get people thinking about what their preferred future looks like, whether it is 6 months out or two years. This includes what has to change in how they are feeling about their role – ie: stress, balance, and focus. It is not a leader’s job to fix how their team members are feeling, but it is their job to ask the questions, be present for the answers, and support the plans that are created.
When I first created the Talent Scorecard over two years ago this list was not in my mind. Since learning that only a small number of teams have development plans for all their people (20%) and personally leading 30+ leaders through the creation of Individual Development Plans this list has emerged. It is one of the new additions to my Talent Scorecard presentation that I will be sharing at the Illinois SHRM State Conference in a couple of weeks – and it has become one of my favorite conversations.
If you are interested in what your Talent Scorecard looks like – here is a link to an on-line version that will give you a printout of your results and some hints for what your priorities should be.