It’s Not About FINDING Talent. It’s about IDENTIFYING and TAPPING What You Already Have

By Michelle Malay Carter on September 3, 2009 

Put Me in CoachI answered the following question posted on LinkedIn, and I’m posting my response for your enjoyment:

What are the most important factors needed to be considered for effectively managing talent?

Talent, Talent Everywhere
PeopleFit research, with over 7,000 data points, finds that about 20% of employees are UNDERUTILIZED. So the problem does not lie with FINDING talent. It lies with IDENTIFYING it, because 1 in 5 employees sitting within organizations today could be performing higher level work, given the opportunity.

Why do we need talent? To work, of course. But is all work equal? No.

So step one is understanding requisite work levels.

Step two is understanding how to match people to work.

Step three is putting the two together.

We Already Know This, We Just Don’t Have a Language for It
What is missing is a common (science-based) language to talk about these issues, organization design and engineering principles based upon these science-based findings, and a process for the application of the knowledge and principles.

Given this, managers with their managers’ help are quite capable of effectively identifying talent and putting their employees into positions that allow for their “best use”.

Why Employee Engagement is so Low
Right now, about 35% are misplaced. Add to that the fact that 39% have been provided a leader (manager) who is not in the optimal position to provide them appropriate leadership, and we have the mess we have today with engagement sitting at about 20%.

I’m OK.? You’re OK.? Let’s fix the system.

Have you ever sat underutilized in an organization waiting for your talent to be tapped?? Do tell.

Filed Under Employee Engagement, Organization Design, Requisite Organization, Talent Management, Work Levels


3 Responses to “It’s Not About FINDING Talent. It’s about IDENTIFYING and TAPPING What You Already Have”

  1. Glenn on September 3rd, 2009 6:00 pm

    I guess one of the most frustrating thing in my life is to recognize the truth in what you say — coupled with the fact that it is really not that hard to do, and to see how few organizations choose to act on the available knowledge.

    How about you organizational leader?

  2. Jason Shick on September 17th, 2009 4:50 pm

    Another problem is dealing with systems. Many times, the larger the organization is and the longer it has been around, the more systems (aka -red tape) it has in place. These systems are fine as long as they can be reviewed and changed. The problem is, the bigger an organization is, the less the makers of the systems want these processes messed with (and with good reason). So there are usually more systems in place to make sure they don’t get changed on a whim. I understand the need for many of these rules and regulations, but when the system stops leadership or managment from moving a person to a position where their talents would be better utilized, it causes people to lose their drive because they are working out of their strength area. The million dollar question is, how do we keep the fruit of the systems, while still allowing those rules to be tweeked and even thrown out if necessary?

  3. Michelle Malay Carter on September 19th, 2009 8:37 am

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for stopping by. You are absolutely right that this is a problem. The solution is that systems must have an owner, and those owners must be accountable for feedback loops, control, audit and continuous improvement of those systems. If this is not happening, appropriate systems are not in place regarding systems! They cannot just be set up and abandoned.

    Thank you for your comment. I’m OK. You’re OK. Let’s fix the system.