Friday, December 4, 2009

Managing talent in turbulent waters

You've heard it many times: public service leaders are accountable for leading and managing people to achieve results aligned with strategic directions.

This is a tall order at any time in a dynamic political environment marked by evolving priorities, shifting resources, changing employee expectations, and ongoing public scrutiny. However, people remain at the heart of it all – people who take on the challenges of leadership, and the people they lead.

Many pieces of the puzzle need to be in place for leaders to achieve results in the short and longer term. Talent management is one key piece. Leaders need to strategically manage the flow of talent through their organizations so that the right people are in the right place at the right time.

Critical to managing the talent flow is recruiting the right people and developing them. In the hurly burly of daily activity, however, leaders often focus less on developing people after they are on board.

For some, that talent flow is now becoming a sea of white water as the reality of baby boom departures sinks in and new generations are being recruited to fill their shoes. The timely development of the right people to fill those shoes is a major challenge for many managers.

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