Chapter 5. Hire and Wire: Developing Your Organization's Talent Ecology

Once we stop treating organizations and people as machines and stop trying to re-engineer them, once we move into the paradigm of living systems, organizational change is not a problem. Using this new worldview, it is possible to create organizations filled with people who are capable of adapting as needed, who are alert to the changes in the environment, who are able to innovate strategically.

Margaret J Wheatley, We Are All Innovators, Drucker Foundation Journal, vol 20, 2001

Finding and nurturing talent

History has shown us that talent management has been driven by supply of labour in the external market. When times are good we 'Buy' Talent, injecting fresh perspectives into the organization. There is of course a downside to this, our newcomers take time to make their mark or when they do, their difference is such that the organization rejects them. The cost of this in both personal and financial terms is high. We have both worked in organizations where the turnover in executives during their first year can hit 25%. Disruption, pay offs, search and re-hire fees are sizable, resulting in heavy losses at the corporate level. The cost to the individual is also high, reputation and confidence are shattered with only the most resilient being able to continue on their chosen career path.

When the skills we require are scarce we 'Make' Talent, accelerating the development and progression of those already with us. This ...

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