Inbox : Talent mining

In these tough economic times, many organisations don’t understand the capabilities of the people they have, says Iain Fraser, CEO at Project Plus.
In general, he says the business world is still ‘jittery’ about investing in new initiatives in programme and project management and admits that in some respects that nervousness is still well founded. “For example with central government projects, the time it takes to approve them typically seems to be longer than in the past. People are more hesitant and take care about making yes decision. Whereas in the for-profit world once those organisations commit to an initiative, they get right behind it and focus on the delivery time to ensure the benefits flow through sooner and RoI is generated earlier.”
He says that this generates more risk and requires additional skills. That said he can see growing maturity in leaders and managers who are becoming more sensitive to understanding the skills of their workforce and their talent capability via capability assessments.
“You have to understand what you’ve got, so you can deploy the staff in the right way,” says Fraser. “You need to make sure a ‘super-duper’ person isn’t working on job that might as well be sharpening pencils. You need them working on complex initiative that requires super-duper person.”
Fraser says leaders need to understand the talents of the people they have and target investment in those people, “rather than just throwing 100 people on training course that doesn’t benefit all 100”.
He says that means people will get more effective learning investments and development opportunities.
“If you match people to skill set demands and give people greater motivation, they will be willing to stay with your organisation. The key is to keep them longer and make better use of them and at the same time provide greater job satisfaction.”

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