I will be part of a panel discussion at the HCI conference in Chicago next week (my surgery is 7/13) and will be talking talent management. One of the thoughts that I hope to banter about with the participants is how we balance the needs for simplicity and consistency with the need to be flexible and agile. Are they mutually exclusive? No, of course, not. But these ideas can be in conflict depending on how we use them.
For example, I make the argument that an effective talent management system needs to initially cast a wider net in terms of understanding the many reasons people are staying, leaving, and growing or stagnating. Taking the time to collect, understand, and consider more information when designing and realigning (at least yearly) the system pays off big. Once we do this, however, we will need to choose a finite set of practices and initiatives that we think will make the biggest difference. And as long as we are open to the idea of having to adjust or change these periodically, having a focused system of actions is practical and can be more easily proliferated across a wide enterprise.
This can apply to any large HR or OD system but is especially important for talent management. You want to be able to say that your talent management initiatives and efforts are affecting the most important impacts to retention and growth/bench strength.
I look forward to the panel next week and ongoing on this blog and other talks.