New Year, New You

New Year, New You

     Last year might have felt like the off-season and as you look at the reflection in the mirror now, you realize your talent management practices have grown soft and a bit bloated.  No worries, consider starting the New Year with this five week workout routine guaranteed to get you back into talent winning ways. 


Week One:  Check Your Vital Signs 

New exercise routine caution consulting with your physician before leaping into a new workout regiment.  Likewise, refrain from jumping headfirst into changes.  Begin with a strategic perspective-building pause to read your current vital signs.  Your vital signs checklist to reflect your starting point should include asking:

  • What is working well right now and potential strengths to leverage even more?
  • What isn’t working or missing to successfully support today’s business needs?
  • What are the emerging talent trends that you need to address now?
  • What would your CEO and your other critical line stakeholders say about the state of talent in the organization today?  How would they assess your performance and contributions lately?
  • How hard was it to answer these questions and what information gaps need to be filled in before you have a handle on your current talent management shape and most needed opportunities for the New Year?


Week Two:  Stretch to Expand


Recharge your leadership muscles by using this week to identify a stretch goal for the year.  Building on your week one assessment, choose the two most important talent management issues or opportunities for the New Year.  Ask yourself, “if I don’t get anything else done this year, the two most important accomplishments in the coming twelve months would be …?”


Now look at your two target improvement areas and challenge yourself to stretch by picturing great results and not just satisfactory progress.  Describe in detail what outstanding success would look like in each of your two critical stretch areas.  Give yourself permission to dream to reach further for greater impact this year. 


Week Three: Get Lean

You knew eating habits would be part of the New Year effort, didn’t you?  This week’s focus is to slim down through simplification.  What are the talent reporting routines that are bulging with data-fat and little nutritious insight?  For example, find at least three overweight candidates for ‘one page talent management’ thinking.  Moreover, consider this the year to cut something completely out of your talent development diet?  Be courageous enough to stop doing something for awhile and see if anyone misses it!  Slimming down frees up time and energy to focus on your week two big impact dream projects.


Week Four:  Strengthen Your Core


Extend your week three gains of getting lean by reaffirming and strengthening the fundamentals.  Apply yourself this week to renewing at least one of the five building blocks of great talent management:

  • Ensure a strong linkage of business strategy translation to practical talent management imperatives. 
  • Orchestrate better talent flows through improved effective workforce planning.
  • Conduct credible and useful talent forums with line leaders to talk talent.  Engage them in applying the same rigor to talent calibration and actions that is given to other critical management functional routines such as new product development and sales planning. 
  • Align the disparate parts of HR systems, such as staffing and performance management, to complement key talent development and deployment strategies. 
  • Nurture robust leadership development practice which equips and inspires leaders at all levels to positively meet future challenges.


Week Five: Sustain the Momentum

Congratulations on successfully completing the first month of New Year, New You Talent Management!  Week five is time to solidify which improvements over the past four weeks you want to continue working out for the remainder of the year.  You’ve worked so hard this first month to get back in shape, it would be a shame to backslide to the talent management doldrums again.  Start by identifying your specific commitments to talent management improvements next week, next month and next quarter.  Hold yourself accountable by revisiting the week one vital sign questions periodically to assess progress and refocus efforts.  Remember, there really isn’t an off-season for the fit talent management pro!

 © Kevin D. Wilde