What is wrong with talent management?

There are many challenges with the way that talent management is typically practiced within organisations.

1. Mindset of scarcity
The rhetoric of a "war for talent" and many of the reports and articles drives a mindset of scarcity. This can lead people to seeing talent as fixed and drive behaviours of holding onto talent rather than developing it.

2. Cult of individual heroes
The focus on individual heroes as "saviours" is attractive as it is simpler to believe that putting the right person in the right position will solve any problem. However, research consistently suggests that this is only a small part of success and that teams and culture can have more impact on competitive advantage.

3. Lack of strategic clarity
Senior teams often talk about the people who have potential, but rarely invest time in exploring "potential for what?".

4. Dominance of formal process
Formal process is often seen as the primary tool of talent management and has often become an end in itself, without fully thinking about the outcome that it needs to be driving towards.

5. Missing half the story
The talent individuals are a key stakeholder in talent management, and yet their input, aspirations and motivations are rarely seen as an input.

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From Talent Management to Talent Liberation

A book by Dr Maggi Evans, Prof John Arnold and Dr Andrew Rothwell

Talent management as practiced in most organisations is not fit for purpose. It is driven by an underlying assumption that talent is scarce; it is based on narrow views of future organisational needs and individual cases.

A more dynamic approach is needed that harnasses more of the talent that is lying dormant and that recognises the real challenges facing organisations and individuals in this changing work environment.

Talent liberation provides a solution. It looks to maximise existing talent, building agility, engagement and capability through a partnership approach that extends beyond the traditional boundaries of the organisation.

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