Developing Dollars

Author: Joy Kosta, HCS, SWP | Source: HCI | Published: May 19, 2010

When you think about delivering value for your customers, how does your talent development improve the customer’s experience?  Patrick Lencioni calls it “Getting Naked,” because that transparency promotes clients and talent learning together. Jay Cross calls it “turning over the asylum to the learners,” recognizing talent as a source to gather intelligence from clients and prospects. Intuit leverages talent development to improve customer capability, and as a result sold more professional services and related product.

Since most new initiatives have a formal talent development investment, deployment decisions need to be anticipated. How do you get a comprehensive view of your talent assets? When virtual teams are global, much of their development falls on leadership. Leaders who cultivate talent experience draw out the insights that talent develops during project implementation. 

Though leaders have several demands on their time, Dave Ulrich says the investment to develop talent is one third the cost of buying talent. So leaders who invest in drawing out talent insights optimize talent assets and keep critical informal learning from going underground. Tapping talent insights keeps high-potentials engaged and accelerates goal execution.

Forbes' list of the world’s top 100 companies includes Vodofone; Vodofone is described in Forum’s new book “Strategic Speed” as an illustrative example of leaders cultivating and developing talent experience. Vodofone’s CEO asks for examples of applied learning and re-tells the insights as stories with other groups, who follow up with the source of the story to learn “the how.” Vodofone increased revenue and delivered cost reductions ahead of schedule. Now that’s how talent develops dollars.

photo courtesy of Great Beyond