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The Vanguard of Innovative Thinking in Talent Management


We are seeing something new and exciting in recent conferences, client meetings and industry research regarding talent-related innovations for organizations. In the past, there has been a long shadow of established human capital gurus and big-name consultancies with “common wisdom” on best practices and tried-and-true methodologies (some going back 40 or more years). Those days are gone.

For example, with the death of traditional performance management processes (e.g., “9 Box” forced ranking) and with the emergence of innovative, digitally-driven ideas about organizational design, career development, and the “employee experience,” much of the thinking (and the demand for new ideas) is coming from the client organizations themselves (i.e., in-house experts) and from emerging new-generation thought leaders.

In both cases, there is a heavy component of rigorous, leading-edge management and behavioral science combined with fresh business design approaches influenced by digital behavior and work practices. This often manifests itself in teams of PhDs, tools for scientifically sound methodology and measurement, application of analytics for end-users, and the like.

This development also runs alongside the opening of organizational silos – companies realize that the critical business issues and objectives that management science could address cannot be constrained within functional units. Big ambitions for building new organizational capability require new models of business design and new ways to assess, design, and implement employee-facing programs and associated experiences.

The traditional players have a lot invested in established methodologies, but the innovators are not tied to this history and are disposing of old ideas wholesale and innovating in very refreshing ways. For the energized, creative thinker, the talent space today is an amazingly open field of opportunity.

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