How do we identify talented people? The SHAs have been tasked with creating talent management strategies for their regions, and each Trust will have its own way of spotting the rising stars. In South Central we have the Stretch to the Board programme for senior managers who are seen as potential board members.
Earlier this week I was talking about how we can encourage people to put themselves forward for opportunities that let them shine in our organisation. I was reminded of a theory that I had seen, which was that men will always take risks in applying for jobs and opportunities that are just outside their level of ability, and will come out of their comfort zone to progress themselves. Women, on the other hand, (and this was the theory!) tended to apply for jobs that they were confident they could achieve successfully. Women (it’s said) don’t apply if they can’t tick all the boxes. I wonder if that’s true? If it is, we need to push our talented women to take risks in their self development so that they have an equal place at the table.
There is a real danger in any talent management programme that by identifying the high flyers, (let’s say 10% of the workforce, for the sake of argument) the 90% who aren’t identified are left feeling not good enough, de-motivated, and sidelined. I don’t think we want to do that do we? But we certainly do want to find the people who can soar and be the leaders of the future.
I think it’s about horses for courses. If everyone is confident that they will be supported to reach their own potential, we have a win-win situation. The race horses will need to be given a lot of challenging activity, the dressage horses will need painstaking repetitive practice, and the children’s ponies will need careful training to ensure they behave with little Mary.
Appraisal, LQF 360 degree feedback and Leadership Development Centres all play their part in spotting what people have to offer, and what they need to progress – if you haven’t had an LQF 360 feedback, it’s a really good way of finding out what your strengths and “areas for development” are.