“OPTIMIZING TALENT CAPABILITY” - Just a Catchy Phrase?


After three decades of living, leading, and working with wonderfully diverse people and organizations my purpose is now to share what I have learned – to help others “Optimize Talent Capability”.


What does “Optimizing Talent Capability” really mean? Is it just a catchy phrase or is there some meat behind it?


Quite simply, “Optimizing Talent Capability” is improving individuals’ and organizations’ knowledge, skills, and abilities to achieve their:

· career/business potential

· definitions of success

· desired levels of balance.


My approach is:

- Simple, practical, and results focused (Assess, Identify, Plan, Execute, Follow-up, Do it Again)

- Dual-tracked on “improving today’s performance” and “preparing for tomorrow’s success” (succession readiness; career growth; transition)


When considering “Capabilities” organizations commonly focus on finances, facilities, tools, equipment, systems and processes. Far too often they fail to consider “Talent” – which is THE critical piece that makes all the other bits work.


Individuals often do not consider “Talent” with enough rigor either. Some amble through life and work, incidentally picking up new capabilities, without consciously targeting those that can truly help them perform better in their current role, or that will better prepare them for future success.


Central to both individuals and organizations are the issues of ‘potential’, ‘success’, and ‘balance’. Why are these so critical?


Potential

- How much more, further, better one can be/do? This topic is often mis-understood and under-appreciated.

- Tools, equipment and systems all have certain defined amounts of capability (volume, tolerances, number of runs, etc.). This is one level of ‘potential’.

- BUT are there means to enhance / ‘optimize’ this capacity? To cause that equipment to produce more/better? To hit their acknowledged limits fast or at a lower cost?

- Of course there is! Manufacturing, production and others managers do it all the time!

- When it comes to ‘Talent’ (people) – there tends to be less rigor. Most companies hire talent to get a specific job done. This job may or may not be well defined. The recruiting, hiring, selection process may/may not be robust. Thus, there is little basis for truly knowing what capabilities people bring to the job NOR their potential for great performance in that job or success in future jobs.

- “Optimizing Talent Capability” is about helping people and organizations begin to understand what potential they have available for better performance today and greater success in the future.


Success

- Many people and organizations have only cursory ideas of ‘what good looks like’ for them. It is often unclear ‘how to win’. Are we trying to score touchdowns? Home runs? Other? Are ‘more points’ better (like most sports) or ‘less points” (like golf).

- Each person and organization defines success differently. “Optimizing talent capability” starts with helping people and organizations understand how “success” is defined and measured for them and others in their circumstance. Without this basis, it is very hard to know how well things are going - let alone how to optimize.


Balance

- An aircraft flies because it balances four forces (Lift, Thrust, Weight, Drag).

- People and organizations always seek balance, and always in the context of how they define success.

- Talent capability can't be optimized if the factors influencing people and organizations are out of balance; too much energy is spent simply trying to achieve balance.


Whether transitioning to a new career, shifting to a new business strategy, seeking to perform better in your current role or improve results of an existing business strategy, preparing yourself or your organization for future success “Optimizing Talent Capability” is a critical consideration to help people and organizations achieve their potential, be successful, and so do with balance.

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