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Swimming in Priorities? Don’t Forget About Talent Development

Consider this scenario: You’re an experienced, talented, very stretched human resources leader. Your company is moving at a pace that is unparalleled in its history. Regulations abound. Competition is formidable. Employee relations issues are challenging. Recruiting resources are thin. Succession planning has become stale. Leaders are switched on 6.5 days every week. The CEO wants to know if the culture is improving.

And you’re thinking: “How many priorities can I possibly manage at any one time?”

I have been where you are, I know what you’re thinking and how it feels. But I am reminded of something one of my CEOs used to say: “With the right perspective, and with the right set of actions, your worst day can become your best day.” And on this day, my word of advice is to shift your focus to talent development. When you think about it, there is nothing more important in your sphere of accountability than leading your organization to a place where it is intentionally and deliberately managing the flow of internal and external talent resources. And doing everything you can to ensure talented people learn, grow, succeed, and lead into the next generation.

A couple of years ago, I ran across a Blue Ribbon report that studied talent development. Quoting the report, “talent is one of the most critical risks and one of the greatest sources of opportunity that companies face.” The report goes to describe the current gap between demand and supply for talent, and makes the case for top leaders to make this a priority.

And that is where a valuable new publication becomes truly relevant; the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) has recently released the Talent Development Strategy Playbook. This report takes you through a step-by-step approach to develop the talent you need now and into the future. You need to read this—it’s pragmatic, with a foundation based on research and counsel from leading talent practitioners at some of the world’s top companies.

While it’s tempting to deal only with the most urgent business issues of the day, you will be richly rewarded by shifting at least some of your attention to a talent development strategy. Consider these questions in terms of where your organization is today:

  • How will we address the talent gap?
  • How will we manage a balance of internal talent with external resources in an ever-growing “gig economy” sector?
  • What kinds of learning experiences do our best performers need, not only for retention, but to deepen our talent bench for the future?
  • How will we secure alignment with the leadership team?

To learn more, contact i4cp. Get the publication. Read it. Share it. Follow it. Talent is your passion. Do it.

Mark Englizian is chair of i4cp’s Total Rewards Leader Board and the former Chief HR Officer of Walgreens.