Archive for September, 2008

Talent Management: A framework to Attract and Retain Talented People

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Many organisations forget the people management fundamentals when struggling to attract and retain talented people.

 

Here is a framework to help organisations build the fundamentals to attract and retain talented people.

 

{     Organisation

 

{     People

 

{     Role design

 

1. Organisation:

 

{     Ensure clear linkages exist between Business/Organisational Strategic  objectives to people strategies (clear line of sight)

{     Ensure competencies are clearly mapped for each organisation level across the organisation

{     Ensure consistency with organisation operational requirements

{     Ensure appropriate organisation structures

{     Identify and eliminate negative cultural factors that adversely impact on the psychological well being of people

{     Ensure leadership and people systems are in place that support your talent and succession management strategy

 

Eliminate Negative Cultural Factors

 

Talented people will not tolerate negative cultures. Common negative culture factors include:

 

{     Blaming

{     Silos

{     Over-control

{     Bullying

{     Lack of recognition

{     Avoidance of responsibility

{     Intra-organisation competitiveness

 

2. People:

 

{     Identify the critical factors that clearly characterise high performance

{     Understand how to identify and assess talented people at the organisation and individual competency levels, and at the personality and temperament levels

{     Understand how to determine the readiness of people to progress to the next career level – and how long and what type of development is needed before people can progress

{     Avoid and/or remove dysfunctional and destructive people

{     Ensure reward and recognition strategies, policies and processes support achievement

 

Leadership and People Systems

 

Talented people demand effective leadership including:

 

{     Trust building

{     Acting with integrity

{     Inspiring others

{     Encouraging innovative thinking

{     Coaching

 

Identify High Performance

 

Talented people seek opportunities for high achievement:

 

{     Communicate what and how they need to achieve outcomes

{     Ensure competencies are meaningful – complexity levels of work

 

How to Identify and Assess Talent

 

Factors and activities include:

 

{     Know how the complexity of work changes at each organisation level.

{     Focus on the complexity of the work rather than the specific function to be performed.

{     Understand the key personality and temperament factors that contribute to high performance;

{     Psychological resources required for success change as roles increase in complexity

 

3. Role Design:

 

{     Design roles that enable people to focus on critical performance factors that enhance their recognition and development

{     Ensure role description documentation provides for an evaluation of people’s Organisation Citizenship Behaviours (OCBs)

 

The Need for Competencies

 

Talented people want to know what is expected of them:

 

{     Core competencies and performance

{     Functional competencies and performance

 

Map competencies across the organisation – paint the picture

 

Summary

 

Management fads come and go. Effective talent management is about establishing tried, tested and proven people frameworks, policies and processes. Forget focusing on yard work. Be strategic.

 

 

© PeopleAdvantage Pty Limited 2008  All Rights Reserved

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Leadership: Psychometric Assessment Cuts through the Glass Ceiling.

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Do women make better leaders than men? Do men make better leaders than women? Answer: Top performing women and men have the same executive competencies profile.

 

Some years ago we were engaged to assist a local government authority to select the Head Librarian. A male had been acting in the role for some time. The council advertised the role and short listed candidates. We administered a series of psychometric assessments specifically designed to identify executives with potential for high level performance. A female candidate emerged as the top candidate.

 

Nevertheless council felt a loyalty to the male who had been acting in the role for some time. However we presented the results of the psychometric assessments and strongly recommended that the lady be interviewed. Council did interview her and she was selected for the Head Librarian role.

 

If the results of the psychometric assessment were not available the best candidate, in this case a women, would not have been selected.

 

Our experience demonstrates that top performing female and male executives have the same psychological profiles. Our experience also highlights that one of the best ways of eliminating discrimination is to utilise appropriately designed psychometric assessment tools – particularly for executive level roles.

 

High quality executive talent is in short supply. Ensure your organisation has the best psychometric tools available to both identify potential and develop your people.

 

For more information see the Leadership category Identifying Executive Leadership Potential using Organisation Levels of Executive Work and Psychometric Testing” posted on 19/8/08 (8/19/08).

 

Copyright 2008 PeopleAdvantage Pty Limted

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Technological Change: The Critical Role of Organisation and People Values

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Technology has the greatest impact on how people do their work. Yet too often the potential benefits of technological change are not realised. Why is this?

  

The Change Silo – (see Organisation Renewal – How to Avoid Change Silos – posted on 16th July 2008)

 

Information Technology Managers often struggle to escape the Change Silo problem. As a result critical technological change is conceived, planned and executed in an organisation personality vacuum. The technological “experts” consult with potential users at the technological level but often fail to explore and understand what, how and why people can directly benefit from the new system. This requires a deep understanding of the strategy and mission of the organisation. It also requires a deep understanding of the values of the people who work in the organisation – why people decided to contribute to this organisation and not a competitor.

 

Impact of Values

 

Technological Change Managers must first examine and understand whether the proposed system will be accepted by people. This requires an analysis of the values fit between the organisation, people and the impact that the new system will have on these values.

 

The first question is: Does the current values set contribute in a positive way to the achievement of mission and strategy?  If the answer is no, then considerable work is required before implementation of the new system is attempted. That work involves organisation wide values development and realignment. To impose a new system on an inappropriate value set will reinforce the anomalous values set, and because of the inherent rigidity of most information technology systems, will result in virtually no chance in the future to realign values without catastrophic intervention.

 

Alternatively, if people’s values are aligned to mission and strategy, then the Technological Change Manager must ensure the system is designed and implemented so that people can continue to work in ways consistent with their values. This seems obvious. However in many cases this factor is ignored – because the emphasis has been on the technological aspects of the change rather than the people aspects of the change.

   

Organisation Personality

 

Understanding the organisation personality is critical to realising the full benefits of new information technology systems. For example, the application of information technology to secondary education. Principals are the education leaders of their local community. They expect, and the local community expects, that Principals will have a major input into the design of information technology systems that impact on their school and children. Yet too often technological change is conceived, planned and attempted to be implemented from the “Expert” centralised perspective – “We know what’s best for you”.

 

In this example, the organisation personality is one of local independence – Principals lead their schools on a day-to-day basis, teachers are focused on the best interests of their students and expect to have control over the available information technology to deliver education outcomes to their students.

 

In this organisation environment, removing a Principal’s opportunity to influence technological change outcomes undermines his/her leadership in the local community, and prevents Information Technology Managers from fully understanding how to optimise information services to schools. The result is poor implementation outcomes, ongoing resistance and conflict with Information Management groups.

 

New Information Technology Roles

 

No longer is it sufficient, if it ever was, to just focus on the technological work of Information technology professionals. Modern organisations are complex with broad cross functional interdependencies (see Leadership – Effective Cross-Functional, Multi-Discipline Leadership Will Power Performance posted on 11th August 2008). This means IT professionals skills need to include:

 

{    Leadership, particularly cross functional leadership

{    Technological Change Management with emphasis on organisation renewal and people (see Page – What is Organisation Renewal)

{    Project Management

{    Problem Solving/Innovation

{    Technology Risk Management

 

Summary

 

The missing link in technological change management is awareness and understanding of the critical impact that values have on how information technology systems need to be conceived, planned and implemented. The failure in the past to acknowledge this factor has resulted in project delays, cost over-runs, less than optimum final implementation and work arounds ie people finding ways to subvert systems.

 

It is time for Information Technology Managers to rethink the skills set of their IT professionals.

 

Dallas Burgess

 

 

© PeopleAdvantage Pty Limited 2008  All Rights Reserved

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