Harness Your Talent



“Linear careers are fast vanishing. Careers take place within a complex systems environment, so talented people need to manage their self-development and their “career-mindfulness” in ways that engage with and take advantage of dynamic change around them” (David Clutterbuck).

Research for Prof David Clutterbuck’s book, The Talent Wave explored the questions: If all the HR processes designed to identify, develop, promote and retain talent work, how come the wrong people so often get to the top? And how come we have made so little impact on gender, racial and other inequalities at senior levels in organisations?

The core conclusion was that most of the processes – from leadership competencies to nine box grids and annual performance appraisals – don’t work, because they are based on the assumption that the relationship between employees and employer organisations is a simple, linear system, when it is in fact a complex, adaptive system.

A (complex, adaptive) systemic perspective:

  • Focuses less on identifying talent, than on enabling it to emerge
  • Recognises that people and job roles both evolve
  • Offers developmental opportunities to all people, who are willing and able to make use of them
  • Places more emphasis on continuous, insight-provoking and honest conversations than on processes and rules

Download the pdf attached here