The New Talent Management Dictionary

The New Talent Management Dictionary

To the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary:


     With each new edition of your esteemed publication, you introduce entirely new words or interesting uses for existing words.  I have a few nominations for next year’s Oxford English Dictionary (OED).


     In researching your procedure, I’ve learned that you employ 50 readers to search all types of contemporary printed material for word candidates.  Also, you apply a “five year” rule between a word’s first appearance and when a word’s ‘coinage’ signifies sustaining ‘currency’ vs. a short term fad.


     Let me save your new word readers and the OED editors some time and effort.   I believe the words that follow will become common place in the next five years and signify important trends in the field of talent management.


New Talent Words


CARE BEAR– The insatiable demand for feedback and validation from the millennial generation causes organizations to designate full-time positions to dole-out coaching and support, regardless of reporting relationship.  Usage: “Oliver is feeling a lot better now that he’s reconnected with his Care Bear.”


GREY CEILING – With baby-boomers continuing to delay retirement, frustrated younger workers refer to the lack of advancement due to this artificial barrier.     Usage: “Kate’s promotion is a rare break in the Grey Ceiling around here.”


HELICOPTER PROMOTION  – Millennial parents continue to be overly involved in their children’s life … even their adult working careers.  HR departments cave into the pressure from employee parents, and start granting promotions based on parental lobbying rather than employee merit.  Usage:  “The latest marketing moves can only be explained as Helicopter Promotions.”


HIGH MOB LEADER – Short for High Mobility Leader.  A new ‘9-block’ emerges which array a firm’s talent pipeline by performance and willingness to relocate.  Usage:
“While she won’t set the world on fire, High Mob Terry is willing to move to General Manager job in Istanbul.”


MINUTE CLINIC COACH – First seen at the Mall of America, kiosks spring up in malls across the country where local consulting firms offer speedy career counseling to corporate-types taking a break from shopping.  Usage: “Mike is trying a new influence tactic he picked up last week at the SouthTown Minute Clinic Coach.”


PIPE-FITTER – Talent stolen from another company to rebuild an emaciated talent pipeline.  Many organizations can’t respond to the growth opportunities of the economic recovery due to the lack of internal “ready-now” leaders and aggressively pirate promising talent from their competitors.  Usage:  “John’s arrival as the latest talent Pipefitter brought new energy and three additional recruits soon after into the new business venture.”


PLUG-INS – Seminar reception and social networking time is replaced by gatherings when participants recharge their smartphones and laptops rather than mingling (See Thumbinar).  Usage: “I barely made it to the afternoon conference Plug-In as my iPhone battery was down to 1% power!”


ReFo CONSULTANT –  A refocused consulting practice.  Reversing the trend of consolidation in the talent management consulting field, firms dismantle the odd collection of acquisitions that never found much cross-practice synergy and often confused clients.  Usage: “Irene is a lot more effective as a Refo Consultant rather than fronting for the old GAS-E (General Advice Services – Enterprise) conglomerate.”


THUMINAR – A seminar where it is permissible for participants to keep thumbs actively working their smartphones,  constantly checking email, Facebook and Twitter during presentations (See “Plug-Ins”).  Usage: “MediaTec broke new ground with their latest Talent Management Thuminar by having presenters post tweets every five minutes to keep the audience engaged.”


TMS/LMS APP – Complete talent and learning management systems operated from a handheld iPhone or Android.  The 99 cent version of what was once large scale software systems allow talent managers and HR departments to provide workforce planning, training and knowledge management services at the touch of a thumb (See Thuminar).  Usage: “Let me check my iPhone TMS app to get you a list of candidates for that Global Sales VP position.”


OZ TIME – In the demanding always-on global work environment, employees are expected to be engaged 24/7, except when applying OZ Time or Out-of-Zone Benefit time.  OZ time replaces vacation, holiday and sick time granted to employees and is used to designate hours not available.  Usage:  “Mary catches up on her sleep by applying most of her OZ time this year between midnight and five A.M.”

© Kevin D. Wilde