If you have ever been employed by a large corporation, you’re probably familiar with the concept of talent management already: it’s a documented and closely followed process of attracting, integrating, developing and retaining highly skilled workers.
One of the main ideas behind talent management is that we all have talents. By definition, being part of a talent management process makes you a talented person. You may need help and time to identify and perfect your talent, but that’s exactly why your company has a talent management process.
If you’re new to this topic, I think you will really like the Wikipedia article on Talent Management” – it provides a great introduction to the many processes involved, and gives you a few really good pointers. If you’re looking for software, there are many vendors providing solutions to address every imaginable aspect of managing talent with your company.
There are usually a few processes under the umbrella of talent management and today I would like to show you how you can employ the same processes in your own personal development.
As I always say: that which is measured, improves. That’s why it’s important to set goals, to track them closely and to take time to acknowledge your progress or lack of it.
If you look at various approaches to goal setting and to getting things done, most of them assume some kind of progress review – the time where you tick your checklist items off or update long-term goals with next steps.
In large companies, you have to set your goals regularly and to be a consistent achiever – completion of your goals is measured through self-appraisals and reviewed by your management to ensure the goals are aligned with your company’s vision.
In personal goal setting, measuring and managing your performance is just as important.
Learning & Development
It is never too late to pick a book or to watch an educational video, to read a scientific journal or to carry out a quick online research to expand your knowledge.
In big corporations, you are required to submit your learning and development plans on a regular basis, with the expectation that you follow them up. Usually every half a year, you get a chance to point out the areas of expertise which interest you most, and to suggest some possible ways to gaining such expertise.
When you’re planning your learning and development on your own, you don’t have to follow such a formal approach. And you don’t have to wait for half a year to set a learning goal, either! Your are completely free to identify the gaps in your knowledge and to immediately start your development.
Usually part of a focal review, your compensation is most often based on your performance. If you had a successful year (set good goals and achieved them in a timely manner and up to or above expectations), you’re likely to get a financial reward. If you or your company weren’t successful enough, there is a chance you will not get rewarded. Such an approach ensures there is an additional motivation for you to be an achiever.
With personal development and your own personal goals, you can use something very similar: agree on a reward for each of your major goals. You don’t have to make each reward a financial one – it can be anything that can motivate you to achieve results.
If you learn to encourage and compensate yourself for all the major achievements, you can even become an inspiration to others!
Why would you need talent management at all?
We all have talents. Some of these are more obvious than others. Some talents are with us since the day we were born, others become obvious only after many years of mastery. That’s why it is very important for you to manage your own talents. This doesn’t only mean nurturing the things you believe yourself to be best at. You can simply decide on what you want to be great at and plan your strategy for getting there. Sure enough, your expectations should be realistic, but practice makes perfect – this means that doing your own talent management may give you just the advantage you need.
I hope this short article will manage to deliver its message – set your own goals and manage your own talents, because no one will do it better for you.