WHY IS THE DREAM OF INTEGRATED TALENT MANAGEMENT SO HARD TO TRANSLATE INTO REALITY?
AFTER MORE THAN A DECADE OF “THE WAR FOR TALENT,” THE QUEST TO INTEGRATE TALENT SOLUTIONS REMAINS ELUSIVE.
Many executives are crying out for better integration. Leaders want the right people with the right skills, and they know that is best accomplished by a global approach to talent management. However, after more than a decade of trying, integrated talent management (ITM) is still not a reality at many corporations. Meanwhile, the war for talent is not going away, it’s just getting worse.
TECHNOLOGY IS NOT ENOUGH
However, it is much too early to give up on ITM. The idea of making talent management a globally shared pursuit was still a new idea in the late 1990s. So far, the biggest component of ITM’s brief evolution has been the technology.
Companies gather a wealth of personnel data in numerous departments at various locations. It is hard to remember the not-so-distant day when computers were tied to flickering green screens and floppy disks, and the World Wide Web did not exist. Today corporations can collect, crunch and integrate all of that data across departments and continents to manage talent in ways never before possible. ITM would not be attainable without the information network and workforce analytics the last two decades have brought.
However, after huge investments to install ITM tech solutions, corporations are discovering that integration remains elusive. The reason: technology is not enough. You can’t achieve global integration of talent management functions simply by installing the right software.
TWO ESSENTIAL ITM STANDARDS
The path to a talent management breakthrough lies beyond the technology. Tech is just a tool. The real solution lies within the human beings who are using those tools to drive your enterprise. To be successful, ITM must rise to meet two standards: it must
Become connected to enterprise-wide transformation and change. Transformation of culture is best done as an underlying learning experience in context of achieving greater business results.
- No such thing as partial integration: Many companies have attempted a partial integration of their talent management and have been disappointed with the results. In this regard, ITM is like pregnancy: there’s no such thing as being a little bit integrated. ITM must reach beyond the half measures many corporations have tried so far.
Siloization, whether the product of terfdom or bureaucracy, is what has kept many companies trapped in the 20th century. If siloization is the enemy, and it is, then there is no room to tolerate its vestiges. Every component of talent management must be integrated; the whole system must be transformed; every shadow of siloization must be exposed to the light of integration. ITM must be total.
- The Transformation must be cultural: Your leaders now have the technological tools at their fingertips to take your talent management to new heights. However, if they still have a silo mentality, nothing has changed. Effective integration occurs only in a culture of collaboration. From the corner offices to the production line, everyone must share the corporation’s vision, purpose, strategy and passion. The cultural shift must be genuine and radical. Some corporations are achieving it and are emerging as 21st century leaders.
The Transformation must start with leadership. Effective leadership must be unified in how it shows up. Leadership being, knowing, and doing harmonizes into a unified “Oneness” that we experienced by all in the organization.