The Evolution of Talent Development Part 1

Sep 21, 2023

Talent Development continues to be a top HR priority. In a world where outsourcing is much more common than doing something in-house, talent development is one process that needs to be in-house. Creating a dynamic in-house talent development process is one key to, hiring, developing, and retaining great talent to build the future you want for your organization. Over the next weeks, we’ll explore the evolution of Talent Development, why it is critical today, and how to build your in-house process to drive performance, employee satisfaction, and growth.  Let’s start with a definition of Talent Development. 

I like definitions. I often find that people can use the same words, but they have different meanings for each person. Teamwork is a good example. If you ask ten people if teamwork is important, they will all shout, “Yes!” But if you ask them to describe what teamwork is you will likely get at least 6 different definition from those 10 people. Here’s another example – coaching. For years I taught performance coaching. In those classes we taught a specific questions-based coaching process. I noticed a fascinating pattern. People would often just rename what they were currently doing and call it coaching, even if their current pattern was the opposite of what we were teaching. Once they renamed it, they felt great about what they were doing (even though it what not what we were teaching). The first step in Talent Development is getting everyone on the same page.

For some organizations Talent Development is providing training classes & achieving certification. The assumption here is that what most people need is more information. If what we needed was more information, we would all be in great shape, have great relationships, and be independently wealthy. Why? The information is already out there. The need is not more information.  The issue is application and accountability.

In many organizations talent development is “hiring the right people and turning them loose to perform.” The assumption, it seems, is that talent development is about who you hire. People either have the “it factor” or they don’t. If you hire the right people, you don’t have to develop them. They will develop themselves. Interesting idea but it won’t build a strong team. Some people do develop on their own – but not many. There is a difference between Talent Selection and Talent Development. You do need to hire the best talent you can find and afford, but hiring is the starting point, not the end goal.

Here's the definition of Talent Development we believe is most effective at creating the growth you want in your organization.

Talent Development is the process of building the team you need with the people you have for the growth you want.

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