Category Archives: Talent Management

Four things L&D must do to stay relevant part 1

The world of learning at work is changing and we need to change with it.

This is not a matter of adopting some new, hyped technology nor of championing the latest fad in training techniques. The shifts in how we work in the West are fundamental and long-lasting and are not susceptible to superficial solutions. We are now in a global economy where most organisations derive their value from their people’s knowledge, skills and attitudes.

This will demand fundamental changes in how people develop themselves at work.

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A good talent management blog – apparently

It’s always nice to be recognised – even if you’re not quite sure how it happened. It turns out that I am apparently one of the Top 25 Online Influencers in Talent Management (for the list see here), according to HR Examiner.

What I like about this is that the lists are not produced by a bunch of self-appointed experts in a smoke-filled room, but using bias-free technology.

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Learning 3 – what are the key competencies for learning professionals?

On Friday I attended the Learning 3 symposium at the British Museum in London along with Jane Hart, Laura Overton and a crowd of others, mostly from the UK Further and Higher Education sectors.

Here’s a picture of me at the event producing a 30-second series of sound bites on what the future of Learning and Development needs  (the picture links to a video on the Learning 3 Ning site).

What our hosts LLUK (and particularly Briony Taylor) wanted to stimulate was a dialog around this question:

      What are the skills and competencies needed by the lifelong learning sector now?

During the day I put out a quick Twitter poll on this, as it seemed odd to be discussing Learning 3 in a room without pulling in the wider learning community. Jane Hart did the same.

The learning Twittersphere was engaged: we generated quite a few replies….

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Jason Corsello picked up on the announcement this week of’s acquisition of InfoBasis on his Human Capitalist blog.

I keep my eye on the HCM/Talent Management place, but I have never totalled up the number of ‘financial events’. Jason has, and he made this week’s acquisition the 51st since 2005.

What does it mean? The comments on Jason’s entry focus on how many of these purchases were genuinely to build capacity (as opposed to fire sales), and on the number of recruitment companies involved.

Whatever the detail, though, one thing is clear. As Bersin’s Leighanne Levensaler predicted earlier in the year 2008 is the year of TM consolidation. A few deals will involve the marriage of market leaders, as with May’s $129m Taleo / Vurv acquisition. Some will be technology purchases, as with / InfoBasis, which provides with a competency platform complementing its existing range of products.

And anyone who’s ever been in software will know that a good few of the deals will be ill-advised purchases of non-complementary technologies. These will fit a short-term goal (usually taking a competitor out of the market or buying revenue). The hoopla dies down, the new purchase fails to add value, but the buyer’s M&A activity continues unabated (that is, until the cash runs out).

Over the coming months it’s going to be interesting seeing who’s making the right calls.

Talent Management and Learning and Development

Last week I keynoted at a conference arranged by Stephen Citron of Informatology. The audience was largely workplace learning and development professionals, and the chair was Andrew Mayo, recently voted one of the top 10 HR thinkers on Human Resources’ Magazine’s annual poll.

I was there to talk about the intersection of two worlds: Talent Management and Learning and Development, and I thought it was about time for another airing of my definition of how Talent Management is all about ensuring organisations deliver on their strategies. Talent Management is about:

making capability match commitments.

Okay, that should be Making (human) capability match commitments, but as around 80% of organisational value is now intangible and that value is almost all driven by its human capital component, I feel justified in dropping the ‘human’. And it reads better, too.

How far do Learning and Development (L&D) and Talent Mangement (TM) intersect?


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