The Week That Was

  • Terry Murray

    Hi Dan,

    I recently read the study you reference from the HBR on the level of dissatisfaction boards have with Talent Management. Obviously, some boards are more engaged than others, but a study of 1,000 directors is statistically significant, isn’t it? Not only are these directors most Talent Managers’ boss’ boss, but they also represent the owners of the company…in effect, they should be considered a customer, or at the very least, a constituent of HR. Shouldn’t their perceptions be met with a bit more open-mindedness?

    Let’s look at why they’re unhappy. Over the past twenty years, corporations and institutions have invested approximately $1 trillion (yes, trillion) in leadership development programs. The results?

    ~ Only 1% of executives score “excellent” in eight key leadership competencies and 90% score “below average” (McKinsey Quarterly®, July, 2011).

    ~ For more than a decade, the employee engagement crisis has been mired at a level of 70% disengagement (Gallup®, June, 2013).

    ~ Only 5% of more than 23,000 professionals and managers assessed demonstrate a solid blend of the top ten competencies demonstrated by today’s high performers (Corporate Executive Board®, 2013).

    ~ Traditional approaches to Talent Management misidentify upwards of 65% of high potentials (Corporate Executive Board®, 2013).

    It sure doesn’t seem like having such a dismissive attitude towards the board of directors, and the facts, demonstrates the type of leadership necessary to authentically engage talent and manage an organization’s most vital resource. And the reason we don’t have talent managers grading board of directors is it is not their job. As you say yourself, they have plenty to do already. It is, however, the job of the board of directors to provide input and guidance on behalf of the owners.

    Please have a pleasant trip!

    • Thanks, Terry. All fair points and a good counter-perspective for our readers. Keep reading and commenting!