Corporate Talent Development – 3 Rules for Success

So you’ve taken an interest in corporate talent development, and you’d like to maybe test the waters with it in a small training scenario. You’re just a leadership guy, training isn’t your forte, but you’ve been put upon by those above you to handle this. Handle it you must. And, you’ve looked into the other organizational learning models and been put off by their complexity and their technical, nigh mechanical approach. They work, but it’s a lot of technical mumbo jumbo to learn to handle a task delegated to you from outside your department.

So, you heard about corporate talent development, which is a far more holistic approach, and thought it might be better. You’re a bit of an informal leader, you have casual business relationships with your subordinates, only assuming the stern leader archetype when someone needs to be enforced.

A nurturing kind of approach to learning might just jive with your open hand and open door leadership style. But, how do you succeed with this? Well, here are three tips that’ll make you a successful novice at this learning model.

First, know your people. I don’t mean know their skills and weaknesses, though that is important too and another item. Know who they are as people. Understand their personalities. Understand where they come from, how they think, and what they do and do not like. Grasp them as people, and be able to forecast their reactions in situations.

Understanding how they think and how they react is critical to guiding and determining their own personal strengths with this model. You must connect on an emotional and philosophical level with your people here, not just an intellectual level.

Second, avoid grading systems with this model. The personal, self-edification outlook this model has does not jive with self-esteem governing machinations like grading systems. In stead, simply rate by level of accomplishment, failure only meaning no progress, not permanent degradation of their impending outcome.

Ensure that self-esteem and self-confidence are always at 100% with this model, and be sure to bolster morale as well. Gamification and incentivization are going to be heavier with this methodology, but if done right, they make it pay off quite well.

Finally, be sure to make yourself always available to people with this model. Unlike organizational learning, the more personal or intimate approach this system has requires minimal use of learning officers and pecking order of communication. While some sort of hybrid system with knowledge management thus involving a second connection between those in the learning cells is something to consider, it’s something to consider later when we have hard facts about how well this model does or does not work in long term application in the wild.

If you’re interested in corporate talent development as an alternative learning model, those are three steps that will ensure your basic success in your initial foray into the subject. Be careful that the personal connection doesn’t turn into something else, and be careful to understand how personal is too personal. The antitheses to standard, protocol and procedure, this system could be a slippery slope with the right conditions present. We shall see.

Boaz Amidor
Head of Corporate and Marketing Communications at WalkMe and Contributing Author to Training Station blog.