To avoid talent management failure and maximise effective resource use, organisations need to avoid three delusions:

  1. that talent activities constitute strategy
  2. that identifying talent does not need validation
  3. that transfer and application practices are an optional ‘add-on’ activity.

In an article published in the Feb 2012 issue of HR Director, The three delusions of TM …, ASK Managing Director Dr Anton Franckeiss shows that, if they are to ensure their talent management strategies operate at the intersection of individual and organisational development, organisations need to see talent management as change management that helps individuals develop into the roles that will be required.

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Change is, at the clichés of the zeitgeist run, now a constant of organisational and individual working life. On top of market globalisation, technological advance, downsizing, rationalisation, business re-engineering, merger and acquisition, the public sector in the UK is now to face the kind of cuts that, for once, deserve the use of capital letters on the words Very Significant. Arguing about the requirement for them, or attempting to discern the assumptions and reasons for the choices that the Government will make will not change their impact: the motivations of the axe-wielder make little difference to the results of the blade’s impact.

There will, undoubtedly, be pain. Many of the howls of anguish will be real, rather than mere disagreement from those who are less directly affected. But managers and HR functions in the public sector (and in private sector companies dependant on income from public sector contracts) need to focus not on the vocal symptoms, but on repairing the damage and remodelling the future. This week will mark the change from a situation on not knowing what’s coming and asking ‘what are we going to do?’ to a situation of knowing what’s coming and doing it.