The AMA Handbook of Leadership

By Marshall Goldsmith; John Baldoni et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8

Talent Pool or Talent Puddle:
Where's the Talent in Talent Management?

Marc Effron and Miriam Ort

These should be heady times for those in Talent Management (TM). CEOs fueled by good-to-great dreams are increasing their investment in building leaders. Companies fighting increased competition from China and India are recognizing that great talent is their only competitive advantage. Individual leaders are realizing that continually growing their capabilities is the only sure path to success. With talent issues like these dominating the agendas of nearly every organization, TM practitioners should be the new corporate “rock stars.”

Instead, this enhanced focus on talent building has produced an ironic result. After years spent begging to be put in the game, many players in TM are underperforming on the field. Their promises to build leaders more quickly and effectively, if only given the chance, are showing little effect. Their practices still reflect the same bloated, impractical approaches that have long caused line managers' eyes to roll. Companies expecting their TM professionals to deliver superior results are discovering the sad, surprising truth: there's not enough talent in TM.


TALENT POOL OR TALENT PUDDLE?

A compelling metric of this talent shortage comes from those closest to the market. If you speak with leaders in the largest executive search firms, you'll hear an amazingly similar refrain: “There are very few people in this

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