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Who is your talent and how transparently are they managed?

At a recent CIPD event about talent management it was really interesting to hear the vastly different viewpoints and approaches from a relatively small cross-section of organisations.

For example, the extent to which organisations differed in terms of how they defined and approached talent management was striking. Some companies defined all their employees as talent, whereas others had a much narrower definition around people who displayed ‘exceptional potential’. This in itself is not necessarily a problem as long as both the definition, and development plans that sit alongside this, are clear and understood.

However CIPD Research Analyst Ruth Stuart(@RStuartCIPD) made an interesting point when she asked the extent to which this knowledge about talent and talent development is clear and understood across the business or whether this knowledge is known ‘by a few’. For example, is your organisation’s approach one of transparency, or secrecy? Is talent management owned by the business or by HR?

Admittedly there are no rights or wrongs, but obvious influences to which end of the spectrum organisations sit are the size, scale, structure and culture of an organisation. Perhaps the most interesting seam in what is an often widely debated topic, was the impact of different approaches on retention of talent.

One fascinating perspective came from Paragon who, as Investors in People‘Champions’, have a refreshingly open and progressive approach. They see talent management as a whole business initiative. For them effective talent management is championed at the top, advocated and supported by line-managers but  understood at all levels of their organisation. Perhaps no surprise that they can quote an impressive 100% completion rate for their CMI accredited team leader programme.