It’s good to focus on developing your high potentials, to think about how we can quantify skills and build bespoke development programmes, but it’s important that this is done with a view on the realities of the Social Age of work, where careers are portfolio and varied and our time with any one organisation may be limited.
I’d argue that the truly social leaders of tomorrow will be the ones who navigate these waters well, spending time aligned with various businesses, but not sticking with any one for too long. It’s the diversity that keeps us agile, the breadth of experience that counts, especially when we build communities as we go.
Maybe we should aim for talent magnetism instead? Creating resources and a culture that welcomes innovation and creativity, that rewards risk and experimentation, that allows communities to select which members advance?
Traditional models of talent management veer dangerously close to ‘human assets‘ that fail to recognise the evolving social contract. In the Social Age, the socially responsible business is one that recognises the evolved nature of careers.
It’s great that so many organisation are wiling to invest in developing their people: we just have to ensure that it’s done in a fair way, where we recognise that it’s as much about being magnetic to retain people as it is about our own organisational needs.