Do Leaders know how to manage their most valuable asset – their people?

June 26th, 2012 by Sarah Green Leave a reply »

At Zircon Management Consulting, Dr Amanda Potter and colleagues specialise in managing talent and providing solutions to organisations on how they can best develop and retain their high potential individuals. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) identified how the retention of high potential individuals can be difficult for organisations. They suggested that the two main reasons for this include:

• Managers feel uncomfortable making a distinction between ‘high performers’ and ‘average performers’
• Managers are uncomfortable and uncertain as how to coach and stretch individuals

The HBR suggest that organisations often know the theory behind good Talent Management (by assessing, identifying, developing and retaining individuals), however translating this theory into action is often more difficult. The 2012 Zircon Talent Management research concurs with this and found that Talent Management strategies are often communicated inconsistently or not at all from HR and Talent Leaders to Business Leaders. We found that HR and Talent Leaders had a better understanding the organisation’s Talent Management Strategy than the Leaders within the business.

Business Leaders are therefore “in the dark” when it comes to using and applying talent management practices. This is a significant concern when the Business Leaders are required to manage, retain and develop their teams to drive the business forward. Organisations therefore need to empower, educate and support managers, work closely with them and communicate talent practices, standards and requirements more clearly.

As a result of our Talent Management Research we have identified practical ways in which organisations can translate the theory of talent management into concrete steps – bridging the divide between HR and Business Leaders.

We are currently meeting with our clients who completed the survey to understand the implications of the results for their organisations, however if you were not involved but would like to find out more please contact

Also, look out for a series of blogs we will be publishing over the next 2 months, telling a story of Talent Management in 2012.

Harvard Business Review. (2012). The Paradox of High Potentials.>>

The Future of Talent Management (2012). Published Research by Zircon Management Consulting Ltd.

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