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Key advantages are to be gained for organizations striving to keep ahead of the game in a complex and competitive international business environment through the conscious and strategic development of talent. There is, however, no simple formula for successful talent development. A good learning and development strategy can help you establish a talent management training program that works for your organization. While each organization must find its own balance, leveraging executive education at the right times can boost the impact of on-the-job learning for effective talent development.
Leverage corporate training to solidify the talent pipeline
The essential advantages that businesses seek with talent development are to make recruitment and retention more effective and to build the talent pipeline for a strong general management team from which to pick the future top executives of the company.
Good corporate education can help solidify the talent pipeline in two ways. First, an effective human capital development program is a value proposition that will attract and retain more motivated individuals. Secondly, with a well-calculated talent development plan, you can place and grow the right skills for the priority functions in specific roles, which in turn contribute to your overall business objectives.
This requires using corporate training strategically. Don't make the mistake of simply offering leadership or management development programs that train talents for which individuals have shown aptitude - also consider the functional, management and leadership skills that the position needs. Another strategy not to be overlooked is talent development for teams. Leverage corporate training to ensure the right skills across a team as well as to build their teamwork skills.
Target specific function talent development with executive education
Talent development within specific divisions of an organization needs to be developed with the real skills needs of that department in mind. Determining the precise functional, management and leadership skills required in the division is a task that should be shared between the department head and the corporate learning officer – combining intimate knowledge of departmental challenges with expertise in talent development.
Employees themselves are also key stakeholders; making them a part of their personal corporate training plans is important to heighten confidence in the talent development strategy and to make each training course more individually valuable.
Corporate training should be built towards supporting the professional goals of individuals as well as the learning and development needs of the department in terms of its mandate of contributing to business results. Look to good business schools for project management training, finance courses, marketing training, business analyst training and more. There are also a wide variety of management training programs that can help function managers move into general management.
Boost experience with management and leadership development programs
As individuals grow within a company, they may take on a variety of roles and promotions. Each posting can offer extremely valuable learning for those destined for senior general management. However, as they get caught up in a new role, the gains of the previous one can slip away. Executive education can help prevent this, so there is true knowledge and leadership skills building - talent development - through every experience.
The right leadership training program at the right moment can help an executive gain perspective on the experience and analyze their own learning outcomes, to better integrate that learning. Executive leadership coaching (on its own or in the context of a leadership program) can further help them practice and perfect the leadership skills relevant to their on-the-job experience. In this way, every job posting or management project contributes to their long-term talent development.
Find out how IMD's Organizational Learning in Action program helps you drive successful corporate learning.