To Talent Pools … and Beyond
Posted by Marcie Van Houten on November 5, 2010
If you’ve not been paying attention to the Succession Management process lately, you may have missed that many leading organizations are addressing their succession planning needs through talent pools. Many don’t even create individual role based succession plans and rely solely on the talent pools to provide their up-and-coming talent. So what are talent pools exactly and how do they differ from the more traditional succession plans?
Talent Pools are employees that are grouped together for a common promotion, job or leadership development purpose. Some of the means of determining talent pool membership includes manager defined, 360 degree feedback and Talent Reviews. HR typically helps drive leadership development curriculum appropriate for the group to help the talent pool meet the goals management has for it. Some times the members are told they’re in the pool and other times it is kept more quiet. Members are developed and if all goes well the talent pool becomes the primary place to source the talent from when the succession need comes up. Unlike traditional succession plans, talent pools are not necessarily tied to a job or position or incumbent, but rather are a pool that is being developed and groomed for one to many jobs or career paths.
In the Toy Story movies, Buzz Lightyear has a favorite saying “To infinity … and beyond”. To Buzz, it’s great to have the goal of reaching infinity, but it’s even better to aim for more. More beyond the thinking of the day. Talent Pools are a great way to achieve your succession and development needs. However, there’s the possibility of so much more. Let’s think beyond the basics here and strive for something more… something truly collaborative. Let’s provide the talent pool members with tools to become a collaborative community. Let’s provide them networking opportunities, collaboration spaces, and the ability to develop their community so that not only are they learning from the talent pool curriculum of training, experience and mentoring, they are also learning from each other and supporting each others’ growth. These relationships they form could really help them become more successful down the road as their talent pool peers get placed into new roles.
While Talent Pool succession planning is a worthy objective, to reach beyond that goal to one where Talent Pools are versatile, collaborative and interactive places for learning, development and networking is truly the goal. “To Infinity … and beyond”. I like the way Buzz thinks.