Martin P Wilson


Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Insight, IT

Facilitation and Mentoring for Success.

One Page Talent ManagementIn many organisations performance and talent management systems are bureaucratic so they are not used effectively. One Page Talent Management is the answer.

At last a book on human resource management methods that seeks to eliminate the overly-complex bureaucratic processes used in so many organisations. Managers and staff alike hate them and pay lip service and as a result the performance management and staff development systems do not work as hoped; the response is often to add more complexity and controls to force their application.

In One Page Talent Management Marc Effron and Miriam Ort seek to deal with the challenge of making talent and human resource management usable so that managers and staff will use the leaner processes effectively. They aim to do so by Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value to performance and staff development management whilst still basing it on the same science as the ineffective bureaucratic systems.

Four Barriers to Building Effective Talent and Performance Management Processes

The authors identify four reasons why existing approaches are not effective. Many line managers will recognise all or some of the barriers yet their experience and understanding does not get translated into effective talent management.

  • Creating Needless Complexity – simple intention so why do line managers experience so much complexity?
  • Adding No New Value – the outcome for all the effort, and cost, by human resource staff and line managers is lost because the managers do not how to use the output.
  • Neglecting the Science – there is a substantial body of academic research to inform talent and performance management processes, yet it is suggested this it is often not understood or is ignored by those creating human resource management processes.
  • Lack of Transparency and Accountability – most organisations do not hold managers to account for executing talent management and staff development practices as a priority that will benefit the operational performance. However, if managers and executives do not understand or use the talent or performance management systems then that is an inevitable consequence.

A Consistent Three-Step Approach to Simple and Effective Talent Management

One Page Talent Management provides a generic three-step process that can then be applied to all aspects of a talent and performance management regime.

  • Step 1 – Start with the Science. In each area there will be a body of research that can be used to inform the requirements of the processes. However in some cases it may be based on qualitative rather than quantitative measures and analysis. The key is identifying the real performance measures against which performance on all aspects can genuinely be measured – the authors replace five-factor SMART objectives with three-element SIMple objectives.
  • Step 2 – Eliminate Complexity and Add Value. The tool that results needs to intuitive to make it easy for pressurised line managers and staff to use. The authors make the point in One Page Talent Management that there is a benefit-complexity curve and which shows quickly diminishing returns on added value as complexity increases. There is a need to avoid mission creep, need to keep methods focused and lean.
  • Step 3 – Create Transparency and Accountability. With One Page Talent Management there is no excuse for processes not being followed by managers. Managers should then be held accountability and an easy way of doing is by increasingly visibility of individual performance. A combination of "naming and shaming" those who repeatedly fail to perform and public praise for those that deliver – peer pressure will do much of the rest. By applying a similar approach at all levels of the governance structure managers will actually be required to manage effectively.

One Page Talent Management then goes on to show how it can be applied across wide range of talent management and staff development areas. Most importantly it shows how the thinking can be applied rather giving generalised simplistic solutions – recognising one size does not fit all.

A Major Step Forward for Talent and Performance Management

In One Page Talent Management Effron and Ort apply the above approach across all aspects of talent management, staff development and succession planning. It provides a valuable insight into how performance management can also be efficient and effective. It is a slim volume that should be read by all senior executives and human resource professionals. Line managers, too, may wish to understand One Page Talent Management so that they can effectively argue their case for leaner talent management processes – most will already know they are needed. One Page Talent Management will give them the ammunition to show that it is possible

One Page Talent Management, Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value (2010, ISBN: 978-1-4221-6673-4) is published in hardback by Harvard Business Press at £29.95.

The Authors

Marc Efron is the President of the Talent Strategy Group and Miriam Ort is Senior Manager, Human Resources at PepsiCo. Efron and Ort have worked together on developing and applying the One Page Talent Management approach in major organisations so that is based on both theory and practical experience.



First appeared on Suite101

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