All posts tagged: People Management

Getting rid of the word “Talent” – A Six Post Series on People Management


(This post was modified on March 11th to accomodate links to other post in the series). In the world of Human Resources there are few words to which I have become really allergic. One of them is for sure talent. Why? For a very simple reason: it is usually used as a shortcut, to justify or cover facts that are not always fully understood. This way Talent has been constantly used instead of more “proper” words. Sometime it identifies a set of skills that certain specific have… so why not simply call them competencies? In other cases it is used to identify group of employees that are “gifted” with the prospective of achieving great results in their work. It is therefore a way to refer to People, and btw wasn’t this why they were once defined High Potentials? Sometime the word is used to identify a group of people that share, instead, a common set of competencies, and that are organized into pools to enable succession within the organisation. Yet again I don’t see the …

Stop selling services to your employees


I just read an article on HBR by Michael Schrage titled “Invest in your customers more than your brand“. Very revealing about a winning attitude that organisations should have when addressing the customer challenge through advertising. Way too often we concentrate on product sales, or on the overall Brand, and forget the daily needs of the customers. I observed that also often a similar attitude happens within HR organisations well through their HR transformation pattern. The objectives of efficiency gains that similar projects support are key to the relevance itself of the HR function in modern organisations. However sometime it is easy to assist to a “commoditization” of HR services. These get packaged, put into nice wrapping, and “sold” to customers, these being employees or managers within the Organisation. Issue is that along this all the defects of commoditized products come in, with their fair issues of the “one size fits all” approach. Similarly, a lot of recycled bad marketing practices have contaminated internal communication. Often the “Change Management” programme meant to speed up the …

Be afraid of “Team Building”


As a Training Manager I have always been afraid of Managers and HR Business Partners coming along and asking for a “Team Building” course for this area. To be fair, I’ve nothing against the concept of Team Building. But what I’m sure is that in my experience way too often the idea of a Team Building exercise is way too often suggested as a (wrong) solution to a plethora of different needs and requirements. Most of them way too often linked to the inability of a manager to perform its role as a manager and a as a team leader. I’ve always considered I was doing a good job as a training manager when I would come out of the meeting to discuss the “team building” need, having agreed that a Team Building course was not a solution. Plus, I’ve always been very diffident if the request was also directed towards a very specific types of course, usually “extreme” off-sites. Just to give an example, I had once a discussion with a manager who claimed …