Growing Talent to Fuel Your Business
November 19, 2020
3 minute read – Do you feel like your business is moving faster than the talent? Having the right talent that grows and changes with the business can feel elusive, but conscious effort and focus in this area can create a competitive advantage.
It feels as though the industry is moving at warp speed, given constant changes in member behavior, technology, and competition. A common refrain is that the talent that is needed to support the business is simply not in place. Many organizations are looking inward and concluding that placing greater strategic focus on talent development has become foundational to all other business plans. Recognizing its importance and committing to the required effort is the first step. If you’re ready to dedicate the focus, here are a few things we see are working:
- Being intentional in picking the raw talent to focus development efforts on and begin development efforts quickly
- Being honest about people’s capabilities and not continuing to expend precious attention where it isn’t warranted. It is said that you need to water the grass if you want it to grow, but you also need to water the grass that’s able to grow
- Taking the time to step back and see what the organization really needs 5 or even 10 years from now. The organizational structure should support the changing business and align with long-term strategic priorities
- Having the leadership team agree on which competencies and technical abilities are important for individual team members, as well as the team as a whole, so they can work together toward becoming a high-performing team
- Ensuring, as a leadership team, the progress of the talent being developed is discussed regularly, much like the progress of major projects. Some bake the development of talent into performance reviews
- Leaders often spend more time talking about problem talent than potential talent. Moving faster on dealing with problems can create more time and space to develop potential
Note that training is not the same as growing talent. Training may be a part of it, but development means taking and creating opportunities to work with rising stars – helping them understand your approach, and helping you understand and guide theirs as they develop needed competencies and technical abilities. It requires consistent effort, frequent feedback, and progress check-ins, but is a big engagement booster.
Growing talent takes time. It’s easy to forget how long it took for today’s established leaders to get there, so start sooner to begin reaping the rewards and ensure that talent development is up-to-speed with the rest of the business. Applying strategic focus on development is key to growing the talent to fuel your business for the long term.