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Louis Carter, speaker at Talent Management Asia
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5 dos and don’ts of talent development



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Leadership guru Louis Carter reminds HR leaders about the need to create a balance between innovation and tradition when building and recruiting high-potential talent.

Finding effective managers and leaders to fill challenging roles is always a priority because it enables you to overcome uncertainty and to capitalise on hidden opportunities.

From our experience, we distilled five ways to effectively recruit and develop high-potential talent.

1. Develop a common language for talking about talent

A shared set of standards for identifying individuals with leadership potential is crucial. This starts with having one performance rating scale.

Such a standard, based on metrics for leadership best practices identified for each level of management, enables you to determine the high-potentials, and retain top talent.

2. Put people in positions that play to their strengths

Not every high-potential is suited to every task.

Managers working within their element are likely to achieve greater productivity.

This is not to say, however, that high-potentials should stay within comfort zones. Place them in stretch situations at the edge of their abilities, to challenge them to refine their skill-sets and to acquire new skills without overwhelming them with duties that exceed their capabilities.

3. Let people own their processes

Leadership requires self-directed individuals who can act decisively within their role, and who own the function for which they are responsible.

For high-potentials, process ownership encourages closer engagement with company goals, and more effective and collaborative connections. Don’t hold the reigns too tight, but also don’t allow a “free for all” either.

Not every high-potential is suited to every task.

4. Connect people to the message

The ability to form strong and sustainable relationships is a vital skill for leaders.

Connecting people to the message means inspiring co-workers, and conveying shared goals on an emotional level.

Developing leaders requires setting standards of communication, engagement, and focus to enable them to act as connectors.

5. Balance new perspectives with experienced veterans according to business needs

Should you promote from within, or hire from outside? Do fresh ideas trump organisational knowledge?

If your industry is in a state of flux, you may benefit from bringing in fresh perspectives and novel influences.

Filling leadership roles with current employees with the right skill sets can shorten ramp-up time and rein force the incentive of potential advancement for other rising stars. On the other hand, recruiting competencies outside the current skill inventory enables you to introduce new people and approaches.

Focusing on business needs can help you to arrive at the optimum balance.

Here are five tendencies to avoid:

 1. Don’t ignore enterprise goals

Keep focused on organisational goals and strategies.

Talent managers must emphasise respect for the culture, partnering with others, and collaborating for better results. Managers involved with leadership development should not lose focus on enterprise goals.

Talent managers must emphasise respect for the culture, partnering with others, and collaborating for better results.

2. Don’t lose focus on business needs

With so many well-developed strategies of leadership development to choose from, it is tempting to ignore facts that might call your methods into question.

To avoid this trap, engage with individuals at all levels, and compare performance metrics with the intended outcomes of your decisions.

3. Don’t be afraid to develop or hire people who challenge you

Being challenged can be a threatening and uncomfortable experience.

Developing the maturity to encourage respectful dissent and contrary opinions is essential for leaders. It will prevent a culture of fear in which employees allow business goals to suffer out of concern for their own reputations and positions.

Fostering open dialogue sets an example for rising stars, contributing to a culture of constructive collaboration that will drive greater performance.

4. Don’t over-orchestrate

At times, you need to roll up your sleeves and get involved with the actual work. Direct engagement with both recruited and promoted leaders will yield more effective results, and set an example that will lead to better communication.

Creating a culture of cooperation and a sense that “we’re all in this together” can break down barriers between line personnel and managers, resulting in a more effective and coherent organisation.

5. Don’t undervalue experience and history

From great trials come great opportunities, and a proactive talent strategy will help you to meet current challenges and prepare for future ones.

While a balance must be maintained between bringing in new people with fresh ideas and promoting proven talent within, don’t let fear of tough times blind you to the benefits of investing in employees who are dedicated to meeting goals.

Today, you need effective and capable leaders to remain resilient, adaptable, and productive.

From great trials come great opportunities, and a proactive talent strategy will help you to meet current challenges and prepare for future ones.

One of the world’s leading leadership development specialists, Louis Carter is the President & CEO of the Best Practice Institute, a think tank and research institute devoted to leadership development and excellence. He is also a headline speaker at Talent Management Asia 2015.

 TalentManagementAsia2015_banner_645x90_3-Louis

Talent Management Asia is Asia’s biggest conference on talent management and human capital strategy, attracting a large audience of senior HR generalists and specialists as well as other C-level executives involved in their companies’ HR strategies.

To increase your knowledge and skills across the talent management spectrum, don’t miss Talent Management Asia in April. Review the topics & agenda, check out the stellar speaker list and reserve your seat before it’s sold out.

For more information please contact Carlo Reston on +65 6423 0329 or carlor@humanresourcesonline.net.



Don't miss Employee Benefits Asia, Asia's leading C&B conference in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in May. Maximise your savings now!

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