The Talent Powered Organization (2007) is a phenomenal read for any C-level seeking a greater understanding of the business value of making talent a strategic priority inside their organization and how to make it happen. The authors point out that technological, societal and economic factors have increased the urgency of viewing talent as a strategic resource (p.11) and challenge organizations to “move beyond the oft quoted platitudes of ‘people are our most important asset’ to meaning it and doing something about it” (p.47).
The authors introduce the concept of ‘talent multiplication’ which is when talent, deployed strategically, can multiply through out the organization, becoming a key differentiator in today’s fiercely competitive ‘Age of Talent’ (p.49) business environment.
They identify 5 talent imperatives and expand on each of these in depth throughout the book, supporting their argument with contemporary research from Accenture’s Institute for High Performance. Chapter 4 on the importance of the development of Line Managers was particularly interesting and may be of value to OD executives. The authors tie the overall success of the organization adopting a strategic talent mindset directly to how “bought in” line managers are. Since line managers have exposure to the most number of employees, this point is particularly cogent.
The arguments and examples provided are compelling, practical and well supported by data from cross-industry research conducted by Accenture’s Institute for High Performance. At just over 250 pages loaded with value-adding insight, it’s public transit commuter or lunch hour friendly length.
As a forward-thinking HR or C-level, I would strongly recommend you pick up this book and apply their advice – before your competition does.