April 23, 2015 / Book Reviews

Book Review | Demystifying Talent Management

demystifyingDemystifying Talent Management: Unleash People’s Potential to Deliver Superior Results
By Kimberly Janson

Head: (4 out of 5)
Heart: (4 out of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (5 out of 5)

All companies aspire to get the most out of their employees, yet often stumble along the way. The results of annual employee surveys often offer the evidence, such as a lack of development, a lack of feedback and coaching, and a lack of direction. But according to the author, good talent management doesn’t need to be as hard as a lot of companies experience it today. It just needs commitment, as well as the will and skill from managers, to be able to unleash the potential in their employees.

In this easy-to-digest book, the author, Kimberly Janson, lays out a simple framework for understanding what talent management is and how managers can get the most out of their employees.  While there are two major components of talent management – managing performance and developing employees – she defines all key talent management terms, and helps readers understand how they all fit together. In understanding the interconnectivities, organizations can truly get the most from their talent as drivers of business strategy. The section on talent management stakeholders and their perspectives can be useful in this regard.

Leaders, managers and human resource professionals who aspire to be excellent at managing and developing their talent and want to improve the quality of their talent management practices will want to read this book.  Buy it now.

December 18, 2013 / Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation

Better Brainstorming for HR Innovation

As an HR leader, you need to come up with innovative ways to energize, develop and retain your workforce.  You need fresh ideas – many useful ideas – as well as an new method for cultivating those fresh ideas.

In a design thinking process, brainstorming plays a key role in cultivating a plethora of fresh ideas. But we aren’t talking about your average run-of-the-mill brainstorming session, with everyone in the room (hopefully) contributing a single idea out loud, one by one.  This is a frenetic, fast-paced process which sets the stage for creativity!

Here are our tips, based on our Breakthrough! Model:

  • Clarify the specific problem upfront. Set the problem for the group before you begin to guide the brainstorming process.  Examples: How might we redesign the entire end-to-end employee experience of performance reviews? How might we create buzz about our company to a certain demographic, so they know us and know good things about us? How do we ensure that non-comp recognition and rewards are tied to retention? How might we redesign our current leadership development program with Millennials in mind? With multi-generational audiences in mind?
  • Encourage imagination.  Ask your team to think broadly and creatively.  The sky is the limit for ideas!
  • Start alone. Give each person some time to write down a bunch of ideas on individual sticky notes by themselves and post for the group.
  • Break into small groups. With smaller groups generating ideas at the same time, groupthink can be avoided, one person can’t dominate the conversation, and idea generation potential multiplies.
  • Each small group member produces an idea…and another…with limited time.  In a small group format, have your team write ideas on sticky notes and share them aloud one by one without comments.  Challenge your team to produce more ideas after a period of time.

This brainstorming process will result in a broad, creative list of ideas, from which to cull further.

For additional tips on frenetic brainstorming and culling the list of ideas, download our Executive Guide to Design Thinking or join us in our NEW Using Design Thinking in HR & Talent Management workshop.