Friday, 26 May 2017

Great new reads from Kogan Page /1: Exceptional Talent



Publisher Kogan Page have done a great job this year in having several stars from the world of HR blogging to write books for them.


In addition to my own book, The Social Organization, there is:






I'm aiming to read and post on all of these books and have already been reading another one, Exceptional Talent from Mervyn Dinnen and Matt Alder.

Despite the title this book focuses on talent management vs talent. That's probably a good thing and I completely agree with Matt and Mervyn that talent is an overused term. So despite the reference to 'exceptional', we 're not looking at a 'high-skilled, high-potential candidate who is in some ways special.  Again I think that's useful. M&M suggest this can lead to poor recruitment practice and I'd have loved to hear some examples of this (the book has plenty of case studies of successful approaches - eg one of my recent clients, Bromford Housing - but it can also be useful (and often more fun) to learn from the disasters too. But for me, an even more important reason to avoid a focus on the special ones is that this is vital to create and retain an inclusive environment.

I'd also suggest that the book focuses more on talent engagement rather than capability eg there's a lot of great ideas on employer branding, talent attraction and the candidate experience. Most of this is about the new approaches open to organisations, and perhaps required for exceptional talent management, brought about by advances in technology. I spend quite a bit of time in this area myself but will need to do some further research into Workometry, Life Guides, Papirfly, Quesocial, Rolepoint, Social Referral, Lever, Greenhouse, 4MAT and Punchkick too. It doesn't deal with Google Jobs but that's just an indication of how quickly things are changing in the space, and therefore how important it is to try to keep up with them.

However there's less focus on talent selection, where I think there's been a lot of innovation in technologies and other approaches too. But the biggest gap is talent reward. I'm not blaming M&M for this - as I've suggested previously reward is an area that as yet there's been little innovation taking place. That's going to change. Soon.  But it does cover talent onboarding, development, engagement, recognition and retention and again, makes a good case for why and how these need to change. I'd have liked to have seen more on the employee experience as well as the candidate one but in a sense, that's what the whole book is about.

I really liked the sections on social graphs, social sharing and social proof, and if you do too, you should definitely check out The Social Organization. This also make some further suggestions for how talent management processes need to change to respond to the social and technological factors M&M describe.

In summary, it's a great summary of the huge shift many organisations still need to make. Well, actually, I don't think any businesses have made it. But many have still to start. If that applies to you, you need to read this book so that you'll understand some of what you need to change.

As an added incentive, this weekend (26, 27, 28, 29 May) you can get a 50% discount on all of the above books, and all of KP's back catalogue too.


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