Is your business a talent show

Is your business just a talent show?

I’m probably asking you to show your age here (and I’m also revealing mine) but do you remember the first £1million football player? If was, of course, Trevor Frances who transferred from Birmingham City to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest in 1979.

Here’s another poser, do you remember anyone else in that Forest line-up? If you’re a Forest fan, or hoarder of football facts, you possibly do. But I’d hazard a guess that most people can’t name anyone else.

Francis’s name is so memorable because his talent – Clough believed – warranted that record-breaking transfer fee. But what of the rest of the team? What of their talent? Did Francis’s star outshine theirs, to make them feel less worthy than their new teammate?

Well, the rest of the squad were all Division One (the old name for the Premier League – in case you forgot) players too and, as such, they must have been hugely talented in their own right – hopefully, they didn’t feel their noses put out of joint too much.

But in business, the issue of talent management is very real and one that is faced daily by many CEOs.

Jonathan Winter, of the HR research organisation Career Innovation, writes eloquently about this issue and it is one that I also have to help my clients to deal with. Read his lastest article here.

It is many a company boss who focuses on the star players and one presumes Cloughy was no exception, but having an effective policy of talent management is not straight-forward. This approach can antagonise the rest of the workforce, who could rightfully ask themselves if they are being regarded as ‘untalented’.

One leading approach is to look at the talent of the team as a whole and group those who work best together to get the optimum result. It’s often been noted that one team of good, solid individuals can be more effective than one ‘talent’ working on his or her own.

And beware a reliance on talent has intrinsic risks – what happens when they leave..? Who will fill the void...?

One answer is to take a holistic and strategic approach to the workforce, building in an effective career structure, which will nurture and develop talent, attract new talent to the company and – hopefully – discourage the talented from leaving.

What are your thoughts on Talent Management..?

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