Posts Tagged ‘talent management’

How to play the Pokémon trading card game for stupid dummy dads and grandmas…

December 17, 2012

The idiot guide for dads. After extensively searching the net for a quick, easy and dad optimized tutorial on how to play Pokémon (pocket monster) cards with my son I have to come to the conclusion there is none yet. I need a manual  that walks dads like me carefully through every step in the game. In absence of this easy to learn and follow guide I have to do my own for the time being. (Dear Reader in case you know a good resource please do not hesitate to recommend it in the comment section of this post.)


Despite the fact that 5 year old kids begin to play Pokémon it is a highly complex strategy trading card game. The way to learn it is to start at a very basic level and to slowly work yourself up to the more complex level of understanding the game. In the following the basic questions and answers will guide you to play your first game with your child at a basic level. To advance you will need to learn more and more details about the rules of the game and the cards.

Basic Level (all what you really need to know for your first game)

#1: How many players in this trading card game ?
The game has two player – in my case one is dad (no cards and no idea yet) and on the opponent side is my son with a large collection of Pokémon cards but a very personal idea of how to play this game. It seems the rules always favour him….

#2: How many cards does one player need?
Each player needs 60 cards. You handpick and decide what cards to take before you start the game. This is then your card deck.

3#: What type of cards should I choose for my 60 cards deck ?
There are three type of cards:
1. The Pokémon (Pocket Monster)
2. The Energy Card (without it the Pokémon cannot attack)
3. The Trainer Card
A dad if he wants to impress his child should choose 20 Pokémon cards, 25 Trainer cards and 15 Energy cards. Therefore in the following there are a few exercises for the beginner dads:


First exercise for dads – card sorting #1: I took the card collection of my son and sorted the cards into the three categories: 1) Pokémon 2)Energy 3)Trainer.

(Detail explanations of these card types can be found in this blog post: “How to play the Pokémon trading card game for dummies“.)

The Pokémons look very similar to insects, small animals, dragons or small robots and have fantasy names associated to their appearances. Satoshi Tajiri the inventor of the game was a passionate insect collector in his childhood.

The Pokéman fight each other, always one by one. To prepare them for the battle they have a trainer (trainer card). To fight they need energy (energy card).

For  your first game just choose Pokémons with the same color. This means you need to go through your second exercise:

175Second exercise for dads – card sorting #2: Now select only the Pokémon cards (not the trainer cards and not the energy cards) from the first sorting excercise and seperate them into piles with similar colors. Each color resembles a different type of energy that the Pokémon belongs to – additionally the energy type is indicated by a symbole in the right upper corner of the card. Depending on the content of the card collection of your child you will end up with different number of piles.  The card collection of my son includes ten different types of Pokémon.

#5: What types of Pokémon with similar energies should I finally select ?
The recommendation is to have 20 Pokémon cards with the same energy tpye within your 60 cards deck. In the following video this boy explains how he selects Pokémons with the grass energy (green color cards) for his deck.

Were you able to follow ? Now very slowly and a short step by step explanations for the ultimate beginner.
Within the group of Pokémons of similar energy there are again three sub-types.
1) Basic cards
2) Stage 1 cards
3) Stage 2 cards

 177Third exercise for dads – card sorting #3: Select one group of Pokémon cards from the card sorting exercise #2. They should have the same color and belong to the group of Pokémon with the same type of energy. Now sort the cards into 3 categories: 1)Basic 2)Stage 1 3) Stage 2.

For your first game I would recommend you to only select the basic type pokémon. Stage 1 or Stage 2 cards I would get into after you have played your first game or first few games.

#6: What type of energy card should I select ?

In the next step you need to choose your 15 energy cards by doing another exercise.

001Fourth exercise for dads – card sorting #4: Now take the pile of the energy cards and separate them into piles related to their energy symbol and color. How many types of energies did you find ?

In my son’s card collection there are just 5 different types of energy cards.

As mentioned before my son’s collection contains 10 different type of Pokémon cards. Green (grass energy) Pokémon have the most cards. Now should I choose the green Pokémon with the grass energy ? The answer is a  straight no. In this card collection there are no green energy cards (grass energy). This means no energy available for the green Pokémons to attack.  A much better option for dad is to go for the blue (water energy) Pokémon cards and take the blue energy cards.

One more thing you will need to understand about energy cards. Do you see the colorful energy cards with the star (bottom right in the picture above)  ? These are universal energy cards called “colorless energy card”. As you might have guessed these work with any type of Pokémon cards independent if they are green, blue, yellow, and so on. If you also take some of  those this would do no harm.

Guess what you are not yet done with the card sorting exercises . What else is left to sort ?

003Fifth exercise for dads – the final card sorting #5: Now do the same with the trainer card pile. And how many types of trainers do you have identified ?
I have come up with three main categories – item, supporter and stadium.

#7: What trainer cards should I choose for my deck ?
To select your 25 trainer cards I would not go into much thinking yet. For your first game just choose one stadium trainer card, two supporter trainer cards and twenty-two item trainer cards.

Summary :
Card Deck for your first ever Pokémon game with your child:
20 Pokémon Basic Type cards with the same type of Energy
15 Energy Cards that have the same color as your chosen Pokémons and some colorless energy cards (Cards with multiple colors on it and a star)
25 Trainer Cards of which are 22 Item Trainer Cards, 2 Supporter Trainer Cards and 1 Stadium Card


For the Advanced Level 1 dads (not needed for your first game of  Pokémon):

#8: What is the difference between a Pokémon Basic, a Pokémon Stage 1 and Pokémon Stage 2 ? Well they belong together first of all, they are a family. A Stage 2 Pokémon evolves out of a stage 1 Pokémon and a stage 1 Pokémon evolves out of a Basic Pokémon. Each time they do it they get stronger and stronger. So guess what who is the strongest in this family ? The Stage 2 Pokémon.

#9: What is the difference between item trainer card, a supporter trainer card and a stadium trainer card ?

More about trainer cards here:

Ideally see also Reference: Wiki-How: Build an effective Pokémon Deck


Setting up the Game

#10: How to setup the game ?

In this video from the expert Jodi Serge I have learned how to setup the card game:

Important advice to dads: Also shuffle the deck of your opponent!!

Summary Step by Step:
1) Shuffle your card deck
0052) Take the first 6 cards and put them face down on your table (see picture). These are your prize cards.

3) Select 7 more cards from the top your card deck. Do not show the cards to your opponent and hold them in your hand

4) Place the rest of your card deck in a pile on your table as well.

Now I am all set to be beaten…


#11: How to start the game ?

This video by Jodi Serge below explains how to start the game:

Summary Step by Step:
1) Choose 1 Basic Pokémon from your seven cards and put it face down on the table. This is your active Pokémon that will go into the first battle.
2) If you have more Basic type Pokémons put those face down on your so called “bench” on the table.
Key Rule to remember: The Bench can have maximum five Basic type Pokémons at any time.
In my example in the picture I have one active Pokémon and two on my bench.007 What do I still hold in my hands ? I have three energy cards of which one has an universal (colorless) energy and one trainer card.
3) Flip a coin who is the first to start the game or decide the oldest (youngest) one of the two players will begin the game.


#12: How to play the first round ?

Before you start to play the game become aware of your true role. You are the trainer of the Pokémons that go into battle. The story of Pokémon is based on Ash Ketchum, a ten year old boy, who has the desire to become the best expert trainer for Pokémons in his life. The first Pokémon he befriends with is called Pikachu. And if you have 22 Minutes I would recommend you to watch the first Pokémon episode – I will choose you.

The video below explains what happens when you take your first turn in the game

Step by Step Summary of the video:
1) Both players:
Flip over your basic Pokémon cards that you have chosen as your active the ones on your bench so your opponent can now see these cards.
The player that goes first:
2) Draw one card from your pile
3) If it is a basic type Pokémon card and you have less than 5 basic type Pokémon cards on your bench, then add this new Pokémon card to your bench
3) If you have an energy card in the cards that you hold in your hand see if you can add it to your active Pokémon. You can add only one.
4) If you have a trainer card(s) in your hand see what it says and see if helps you to add more energy cards, or do some other useful tactical moves to enhance your battle power.

008In my example (see picture)  in step 2 I drew a basic type Pokémen card  which I placed on my bench. I put an energy card next and below my active Pokémon card. Now this Pokémon card is ready to go into battle. And I used my trainer cards which allowed me to go through my whole pile of my card deck and take out two more energy cards which I now hold in my hand. My trainer card will now go into the discarded cards pile. I cannot reuse it again in this game.
5) Next is the turn of your opponent to do the same steps 2-4 above.

Your First battle:

Summary Step by Step:
Basculin PokemonNow it is time that you understand more details about your Pokémon card. Below the picture of the Pokémon you find the name and descriptions of the attacks this Pokémon can do. In this case Basculin has one energy card attached which will allow you to use the Flail attack.

At first with the Flail attack willdo 10 damage points to your opponent.
As soon as Basculin received some damage points during the fight the damage points of the Flail attack will increase by number of damage points Basculin has collected. (see picture below)

To use the Final Gambit attack of Basculin you would need at least one blue (water) energy card attached which is the case already in this example. Then you would need additionally two more energy cards. These can be any type of energy card. The symbol next to the attacks will tell you what kind of energy card you need and how many. If you see the star (colorless) energy symbol this mean you can attach any type of energy card.

011It will take at least two more rounds to activate the Final Gambit attack of Basculin. You can only add one energy card per round if you have one.

Now Basculin recieved two damage points coins (20 Points). His maximum HP Hit Points was 80 Hit Points when you started the game. You see the HP Points on the right upper corner of the Pokémon card. Now Basculin has 60 HP left after the attack.

As he has two damage points the next time you use the Flail attack, Basculin will now do 10×2=20 damage points to your opponent.

Once Basculin has collected 80 Damage points he will be discarded together with the energy cards attached from the play field. These cards cannot be used anymore in the current game.

Your opponent will collect one of his prize cards as your Pokémon Basculin has been knocked out.

#13: What can happen during a battle – Weakness and Resistance ?

In this video the Pokémon Expert Mom Jodi Serge explains what else you need to be aware of during your battle:

#14: What can happen during a battle -Pokémon special conditions ?

This is another impact on your Pokémon that can be inflicted by your opponent’s card.

#15: What happens when your Pokémon was finally beaten?
When your Pokemon has no more HP (Hit Points) left and therefore is knocked out, all cards attached to it (including the energy cards) go into the discard pile.

Additionally your opponent can now draw one prize card from his prize cards on the table.

#16: When is the game over and who is the winner?
Once a player has collected all his 6 prize cards the game is over and he has won.


And below some examples what more advanced players know about the game and why it is good to start at a very basic level first. The more you know the more complex strategies for your game which heavinly depends on the card deck you choose you can develop.

For the more advanced players:
Advise: Choose a few trainer supporter cards that let you go through your deck to find other cards or possible discard your opponents cards. Reference: How to build a winning Pokemon deck

Once you advance with your knowledge and move towards mastery. This is what the highly advanced players do when they build their decks.
Deck Building Guide

And here is the list of the top 100 Hit Points Pockemon


Further reading:
I am just reading: “What Pokémon can teach us about learning and literacy.”
And as I am a People, Organizational and Talent Manager in my professional life and interested in using gaming where applicable I see a lot of common principles between the Pokémon Trading Card game and Talent Management.
I am not alone: Pokémon allows player to experience talent management


Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia
Official Guide Pokémon Trading Card Game Rules
Pokémon Cards provide rare insights into facial recognition processes
Pokemon Dad – The PokeCommunity Forums
A Dad’s Pokemon Quest – Real Men, Real Dads
Top 100 Hit Points Pokémon

Pokemon: Ultimate Handbook
Pokemon Trading Card Game Player’s Guide (Pokémon)
Trading Card Games For Dummies


Accelerating New Business Development Through Talent Management

October 22, 2010

New Business Development is at the heart of most company strategies these days. Failing on it means totally failing the company over time.   In an ever changing increasingly competitive environment new business development is key in driving growth and capturing new markets and market segments as they arise . One key aspect in accelerating new business development is the people factor. How to attract, manage, motivate, reward, retain and develop these increasingly critical talents ?

Dieter Herzog, Global Portfolio Leader Ventures & Busienss Development Dow Chemical and Peter Palme, Head of Learning & Development EAME Syngenta discuss the best approach of Talent Management to accelerate new business development within a company in the recently published book “Erfolgreiches Management”, Berndt, Ralph (editor), Springer and Lorange Institute of Business Zürich.
To read book/article online. Link.

The book contains several articles on a number of differnt related topics in English.

Examples of Failed Talent Management

May 6, 2009

This is a collection post on failed Talent Management and Succession Planning and what huge impact it had.  Please share if you have other interesting cases. or leave your example in the comments section of this post.

1) John Patterson (NCR) fired Thomas Watson who than founded IBM.
Market Value today: NCR 1.69 billion  USD versus IBM: 139,72 billion USD.

2) John Sculley (Ex-Apple) fired Steve Jobs. A few years later Apple almost went bankrupt .
Market Value of Apple today: 118,19 billion

Talent Management of High Potentials – Role Model Example

November 7, 2008

In my recent survey on High Potentials Steve Jobs (Apple) was most often named as a role model of a high performing CEO.

So when do you identify these top talents who will be your future leader of your organization?
The survey results show that most companies selcect their High Potentials when they are between 1 to 3 years with the company (50%) and 30 to 35 years old (39%).

Coming back to the role model Steve Jobs (Apple): What was he like when he was between 30 to 35 year old ?

Steve Jobs was born in the year 1955.
In 1983 Steve Jobs invited John Sculley (Pepsi Cola) to become the CEO of Apple.
When he was 29 years old (1984) his company introduced the first Apple McIntosh.
In May 1985 after an internal struggle with the CEO John Sculley Steve Jobs left Apple.
He then founded the NeXT computer company which build the most advanced computer at its time.
Yet NeXT was not a market success. The high costs of these advanced computers were unattractive to most buyers.
In 1986 he bought the computer graphics studio Pixar from Lucasfilm. He was then the
majority shareholder and CEO of Pixar.
When he was 41 years of age he returned to Apple and soon became the interim CEO.

What is said about his management style ?
He was a persuasive and a charismatic director for Apple. Yet some people also describe him as an erratic and temperamental manager with a demanding and aggressive personality. Reference: Wkipedia

What is Steve Jobs wisdom of success ?
Anticipating the future:
“There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will.” Reference: Wkipedia

What do those respondents say who have for Steve Jobs about derailment factors:

Most likely derailment factors:
1) Not adapting to new role
2) Inability to manage cross functional teams
3) Difficulties when presenting in front of senior management
4) Over ambitious
5) Arrogant behaviour
Compare to overall answers see the blog post: Talent Management of High Potentials – First trends below this post.

Least likely derailment factors:
1) As a female having children
1) Working less than full time
3) Not really seeing the benefit her/himself being a HIPO
4) Immobility due to family reasons
5) Risk taking
Compare to overall answers see the blog post: Talent Management of High Potentials – First trends below this post.

Talent Management of High Potentials – First Trends

October 31, 2008

Here are the first results taken from my High Potential Survey.

Some interesting findings:
86% who answered to the survey work in a company where a High Potential Pool already exists.

64 % who filled out the survey were High Potentials if they knew about it. Still 30% of the companies in this survey will not inform their employees once they are
identified. The majority of High Potentials are between 1 to 3 years with the company (50%) and
30 to 35 years old (39%) when they are selcted.

Managing this talent pool is a challenge. More than 10% of the High Potentials group will leave in the majority of cases (59%) the company. 41% of companies manage to keep the attrtion rate below 10%.
The main reason for leaving is the lack of opportunity (77%). About 12% who leave have actually failed to deliver on their status.

What are the main derailment factors ?
1. Not adapting to new role 
2. Not meeting targets
3. Not developing continuously
4. Inability to manage cross functional teams
5. Difficulties to manage teams

What are the least likely factors ?
1. As a female having children
2. Authorative Management Style
3. Not Networking outside the Company
4. Risk Taking
5. Working less than Fulltime

Only 73% who replied to the survey work under a CEO whom they judge being a High Performer.
What are there current role models ?
1. Steve Jobs, Apple (3 replies)
2. Paul Polman, Unilever (2 replies)
3- CEOs from different contintents with only one reply each
One astonishing reply was Southwest Airlines. Here a whole organisation instead of a CEO was mentioned as a role model of High Performance.

This was now a quick summary of the first trends that came out of the survey. Further results could be analyzed by looking at the number of employees in the company or the span of control of a supervisor in a company and how this will impact the derailment factors of High Potentials or on the attrition rate of these talents. Also it would be interesting to see where the difference is between Southwest Airlines and survey results related to Steve Jobs or Paul Polmann or Anand Mahindra, Mahindra & Mahindra for example.

So far I had 44 replies. To get a better picture I would encourage you to either fill out the survey or send it to other interested people. Thank you.

Knowledge Driven Economy – Quotes & Reference List

September 25, 2008

A continuously updated list of citations or references around the knowledge driven economy:

“Knowledge-Based Work: The second factor that makes jobs dysfunctional today is more and more work is knowledge-based rather than industrial. (Even the new industrial work is knowledge-based: the latest model of car has more built-in computing power than some of the first generation of satellites).” Helgesen, Sally: Leading from the grass roots,Page 20 f., in The Drucker Foundation. The Leader of the Future, Jossey-Bass Publisher, 1996

“The equation of leadership with positional power also reveals assumptions about the nature and shape of our organizations that are fast becoming obsolete. Certainly, such as linkage fails to reflect the decentralized and organic structure of what Peter Drucker has called the knowledge organization, which is the dominant form in our emergin postcapitalist era. Drucker notes that “the knowledges” that today’s organizations exist to make productive are by definition widely distributed. They are to be found not only among those at the top, the “lead horses”, but also among those who constitute what in the industrial era we called the rank and file. Indeed, people in the ranks no longer interchangeable ciphers performing simple repetitive tasks; in the knowledge organization, they are all knowledge workers. Each posses specific sets of skills and varieties of expertise, all of which are subject to continual upgrading.” Bridges, William: Leading the De-jobbed organization,Page 14 f., in The Drucker Foundation. The Leader of the Future, Jossey-Bass Publisher, 1996

“In a world where knowledge-worker companies are multiplzing, this is an especially crucial passage. Today’s twenty-two-year-old individual contributor in a company is tomorrow’s CEO. She no longer has to wait thirty years to ascend to the top spot; she may be ready in five or ten years (or it may be even less). Plus, first-time managers in knowledge-worker companies have a tremendous impact on productivity (in terms of cost efficiency and revenue growth). If they’re acting like individual contributors, their impact will be reduced. For these resons alone, organizations must do more than just give lip servcie to the importance of this passage.” Charan, Ram; Drotter, Stephen; Noel, James: The Leadership Pipeline – How to build the Leadership Powered Company; Jossy-Bass, 2001, Page 34

Knowledge Economy

Knowledge Economy

Wired cofounder Kevin Kelly recently reported that humans have “published” at least 32 million books; 750 million articles and essays; 25 million songs; 500 million images; 500 000 movies; 3 million videos, TV shows, and short films; and 100 billion public Web pages – and most of this knowledge explosion took place in the lst half century. Now add the constant stream of new knowledge created every day; so much, in fact, that the stock of human knowledge now doubles every five years. Tapscott, Don; Williams, Anthony D.: Wikinomics, Atlantic Books, 2007, Page 151 f.

Impact of the global knowledge driven economy: Example U.K.

“Collaboration, publication, peer review, and exchange of precompetitive information are now becoming keys to success in the knowledge-based economy.” Tapscott, Don; Williams, Anthony D.: Wikinomics, Atlantic Books, 2007, Page 153.

“In 1962, Douglas Engelbart wrote an extraordinary paper entitled “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework”, where he explained how exlectronic workstations could augment the thinking and communications abilities of what he called “knowledge workers” Tapscott, Don; Williams, Anthony D.: Wikinomics, Atlantic Books, 2007, Page 245.

“The problem from an organizational and knowledge-management point of view, however, lies in the inability of firms to capture and codify those moments of inspired brilliance – the moments when someone does something spontaneous that could be the key to unlocking a whole new approach to getting things done. Mayfield suggests the self-organizing group formation process should occur in social software. “Those are the moments where the greatest amount of learning occurs”, he says. Tapscott, Don; Williams, Anthony D.: Wikinomics, Atlantic Books, 2007, Page 256.

What is the impact on future Merger & Aquisitions ?
“Feigen points out that holding on to talent after a merger is an adverse selection process. “The most desirable people with the strongest resumes start marketing themselves first, and those are the people you want. Then you’ve got people down the line who may be high performers, but they’re younger. They’re saying, ‘Oh my God, my mentor, my boss just left,’ and they start looking. Not only do you lose the good leaders, but you also lower the morale of the up-and-comers if you aren’t prepared to take quick action to stem possible losses. A knowledge economy where people are truly your assests can implode very quickly.””Carey, Dennis C.; Ogden, Dayton: The Human Side of M&A, Oxford University Press, 2004, Page 65 

“Court employees. Especially in knowledge-based industries, losing talented employees is the same as losing business assets. Court them as ardently as you court customers.” Carey, Dennis C.; Ogden, Dayton: The Human Side of M&A, Oxford University Press, 2004, Page 68

“Work No Longer Has Clear Boundaries
A major factor in the mounting stress level is that the acutal nature of our jobs has changed much more dramatically and rapidly than have our training for and our ability to deal with work. In just the last half of the twentieth century, what constituted “work” in the industrialized world was transformed from assembly-line, make-it and move-it kinds of activity to what Peter Drucker has so aptly termed “knowledge work”.
Allen, David: Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, Pengiun Books, 2001, Page 5.

“The Real Work of Knowledge Work
Welcome to the real-life experience of “knowledge work”, and a profound operational principle: You have to think about your stuff more than you realize but not as much as you’re afraid you might. As Peter Drucker has written, “In knowledge work… the task is not given; it has to be determined. ‘What are the expected results from this work?’ is … the key question in making knowledge workers productive. And it is a question that demands risky decisions. There is usually no right answer; there are choices instead. And results have to be clearly specified, if productivity is to be achieved.”
Allen, David: Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, Pengiun Books, 2001, Page 15.

“Too often “managing by wandering around” is an excuse for getting away from amorphous piles of stuff. This is where the need for knowledge-work athletics really shows up. Most people did not grow up in  a world where defining the edges of work and managing huge numbers of open loops were required. But when you’ve developed the skilll and habits of processing input rapidly into a rigorously defined system, it becomes much easier to trust your judgement calls about the dance of what to do, what to stop doing, and what to do instead.”
Allen, David: Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, Pengiun Books, 2001, Page 198 f..

This doesn’t mean that everyone has to do everything. I hope I have described a way to relate to our releatively new knowledge-based world that gives room for everyone to have a lot more to do than he or she can do. The critical issue will be to facilitate a constant renegotiation process with all involved, so they feel OK about what they’re not doing. That’s real knowledge work, at a more sophisticated level. But there’s little hope of getting there without having bulletproof collection systems in play. Remember, you can’t renegotiate an agreement with yourself that you can’t remember you made. And you certainly can’t renegotiate agreements with others that you’ve lost track of.”
Allen, David: Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, Pengiun Books, 2001, Page 235.

“The rapid growth in scientific and technological knowledge is one driver that has contributed to the growing importance of human capital. Second, the information technology boom of the 1990s and the accompanying talent shortage got firms thinking about human capiatla as never before. Finally, there is a growing recognition that more and more of the market value of firms rests in their human capital.” Lawler III, Edward E., Worley Christopher G.: Built to Change, How to achieve sustained organizational effectiveness, Joessy-Bass, 2006, Page 5.

“Knowledge Is Central
The centrality of knowledge to organizational effectiveness has changed the very essence of organizations, what they do, and how they do it. Because of the growth in knowledge and the ways it is used by organizations, the nature of individua work has changed. Increasingly, work in developed countries is knowledge work in which people manage information, deal in abstract concepts, and are valued for their ability to think, analyze, and problem-solve. Fewer and fewer people are doing the mind-numbing, reptitive manual tasks that used to dominate the work scene. ” Lawler III, Edward E., Worley Christopher G.: Built to Change, How to achieve sustained organizational effectiveness, Joessy-Bass, 2006, Page 5 f.

Finally, knowledge workers, the fastest-growing talent pool in most organizations, have their own demands and peculiarities. By one estimate, 48 million of the 137 million workers in the United States alone can be classified in this group; a single company can employ upward of 100 000 (Lowell L. Bryan, “Making a market in knowledge,” The McKinsey Quarterly, 2004 Number 3, pp. 100;11). Knowledge workers are different because they creat more profit than other employees do – up to three times more, according to our research – and because their work requires minimal oversight. Yet the performance of knowledge-intensive companies within the same industry varies significantly, which suggests that some of them struggle to extract value from this newly enlarged type of workforce.” Reference: Making talent a stragic Priority, The McKinsey Quarterly Online, January 2008, Page 4

“Inflexible work arrangements such as 8‑to‑5 shifts are about as modern as Charlie Chaplin’s assembly line in the classic movie “Modern Times.” The model of industrial-age factories in that movie was later applied to offices, creating workhouses with endless rows of desks occupied by drones wearing visors and counting things. While it’s still necessary to have workers in assembly plants and clerks on department store floors, today’s knowledge and innovation (KI) workers don’t need to be confined to cubicles eight hours a day to create value.
Companies cling to the old workhouse practices because managing people is easier when one can see and touch them every day. Unfortunately, this illusory management practice encourages the wrong performance measurements such as attendance and visibility rather than productivity and creativity. Today’s KI workers tend to rebel against command-and-control structures and thrive on autonomy, flexibility and self-determination. In this environment, they can become more creative, responsible and productive team members, offering companies that embrace alternative work arrangements an advantage over those that insist on antiquated schedules and practices.” Lawrence, Ron: Managing Performance in the Knowledge and Innovation Worker Age, Talent Management Magazine, September 2008

“Peter Drucker was a pioneer in understanding the impact of knowledge workers in the new economy. He simply defined knowledge workers as ‘people who know more about what they are doing than their boss does’. In a world where knowledge workers are the key to value in most corporations, personal brand management becomes critically important. ”  Reference: Book Review by Marshall Goldsmith on “Personal Branding Academy’

“They (managers) assume that successful change comes primarily from being able to come up with a new, better organization structure. This is a particularly dangerous assumption in knowledge work organizations. In them, much of the intellectual capital of the organization rests in individuals, the systems that they work within, and the relationships that exist. Reference: Lawler III, Edward: Talent – Making People Your Competitive Advantage, Page 49.

“Profit sharing and stock ownership plans are particularly good fits in HC(Human Capital)-centric organizations that do knowledge work and are realtively samll in size.” Reference: Lawler III, Edward: Talent – Making People Your Competitive Advantage, Page 57.

An interesting way to manage career of knowldge workers was developed by Deloitte & Touche:
Mass carerr customization appears to be a praticularly good fit for Deloitte & Touche, because it is, when all is said and done, a knowledge-work, project-based organization. This type of organization has a constant need to retain and develop knowledge workers and to match them with the work that needs to be done. Knowing that individuals desire and want from their work, and what they are capable of doing, is an enormous aid when it comes to matching them with the project work that needs to be done at any point in time.” Reference: Lawler III, Edward: Talent – Making People Your Competitive Advantage, Page 80.

“Today, true collaborative sharing tends to occur primarily in nonbusiness settings and within knowledge-based communities. For example, knowledge is freely shared in scientific and academic communities because it is supported by the commonly held value of scholarly recognition – the recipent of knowledge is obligated to recognize all of the contributions to that knowledge. A similar commitment is a crucial ingredient in “open innovation” communities such as that supporting the Linux operating system. Within frims, members with common interests and problems often voluntarily share their know-how outside formal communications channels.” Reference: Raymond E. Miles, Grant Miles, Charles Snow: Creating The Capability For Collaborative Entrepreneurship: HR’s Role In The Development Of A New Organizational Form in The Future of Human Resource Management; John Wiley & Sons, Page 245

“As Frederick Taylor, the leader of the scientific management movement declared, “Simple jobs for simple people”. In this environment, employees did not have to understand or implement the strategy. They just had to perform well the narrow taks that engineers and management had assigned and trained them to do.
Today, this mode of work is virtually obsolete. For organizations to achieve their objectives – whether they are manufacturing or service, private or public, for-profit or not-for-profit – all organizational participants need to be aligned to the strategy. Much of the work done today is knowledge-based, not physical work. Automation and productivity have reduced the percentage of people in the organization who do traditional work functions. One reports estimates that 50 percent of the work done in industrialized coutnires today is knowledge work.”  Kaplan, Rober; Norton, David : The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment Page 211 f.

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge”  Daniel J. Boorstin

Talent Management and Impact on Business Results

August 18, 2008

This is work in progess. In this post I will collect research, quotes and best practices on Talent Management and the impact on business results.



1. Correlation between Integration and Operating Income Growth. Reference: CedarCrestone study in Integrated Talent Management: Extending the Value of a Strategic Framework, Oracle White Paper, March 2008, page 11 About the CedarCrestone study click here.

1a. “Ed Lawler and Susan Mohrman of the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California recently completed an intensive study of management practices in Fortune 1000 companies. Their study demonstrates that employee-involvement practices such as information sharing, skills training, rewards programs, and empowerment efforts — all of which fall squarely into HR’s domain — show a significant bottom-line return. In 1999, companies that were big users of employee-involvement practices boasted a 66 percent higher return on sales, a 20 percent higher return on assets, a 20 percent higher return on investment, and a 13 percent higher return on equity, USC investigators report.” Reference: Caudron, Shari: How HR Drives Profit

1b. “….various studies have shown that 15 to 30 percent of the total value of a company can be correlated to specific human capital practices” Reference: Caudron, Shari: How HR Drives Profit

2. “Companies with high scores across the board (Talent Management Practices) were more likely to have strong financial performance, based on reported change in operating profits between 2003 and 2006.” Reference: Talent Management: How to Invest in Your Workforce. A study by IBM and HCI (Human Capital Institute) in BusinessWeek, August 13 2008

3. “In fact, Bersin & Associates has identified the Top 22 processes (out of 62 studied) that drive highest levels of business impact. These include coaching; development-based performance management; the use of strategic competencies in recruiting, performance management and leadership development; implementation of skills and competency-based workforce planning; and creating personnel and organizational goals that align with current and strategic business goals.” Reference: Levensaler, Leighanne Integrating Talent Management Systems Strategically on TM, February 2008. “The three functional areas driving highest impact are performance management (34% improvement), competency management (31% improvement), and sourcing and recruiting (27% improvement).” Reference: Corporate talent management challenges include shortage of managers, engineers and salespeople, says Bersin, May 2007. Impact on the evolution of theHR Function the Talent Management Top Process see Reference: Bersin Blog.

4. “Research demonstrates that companies with enlightened talent management policies have higher returns on sales, investments, assets and equity (Caudron, 2001).”

Reference: Integrated Talent Management

5. Talent Managment is now Everybody’s business

6. Performance 2.0: Empowering the Next Level of Business Results. Reference: Taleo

7. The New Frontier of Human Capital Measurement: Reference found on BlogERP: Jim Holincheck’s HCM Software Blog.


Conference Board Study Reinforces How HR Strategies Can Drive Positive Outcomes

A small but growing number of major organizations are demonstrating the impact HR policies can have in meeting overall business goals, says The Conference Board in a soon-to-be-published report. Organizations such as Hewlett-Packard, Capital One, and Harvard University are using evidence-based approaches to Human Resources to show how company-aligned HR practices help them achieve business performance goals. The data are most welcome by every executive seeking to document the contribution of Strategic HR.” Reference

9. Europe Study: HR is Driving Business Performance with Talent Management

10. “A survey of 3,000 International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM) members and Knowledge Infusion clients’ in HR management revealed an explosive growth in talent management initiatives in their organizations. The 2006 Talent Management Survey, conducted jointly by IHRIM and Knowledge Infusion, found that 77 percent of survey respondents see talent management increasing in importance during the next three years.” Reference

11. “In the current skills drought, retaining and managing talented employees is crucial, but as two recent surveys revealed, very few companies have the processes in place to handle this effectively.” Reference

12. “High quality sales people and sales leaders require exemplary sales talent management practices, which require strong partnerships between sales and HR. In early 2008, DDI surveyed 297 sales and HR leaders to find out just how well the partnership between these two functions is working. Seventy-nine percent of these leaders hold mid- to senior-level positions, providing a unique perspective of challenges at the strategic level.”  Reference

13. “For the past several years, researchers at Watson Wyatt have been developing what they call the Human Capital Index. The Human Capital Index (HCI) seeks to measure the impact of human capital management (HCM) practices on shareholder value. This research is based on a survey of over 100 questions relating to HCM practices, distributed to more than 750 companies in the US, Canada and Europe. ” Reference 

14. “The Business Case for Human Capital Management: This white paper explains how a comprehensive human capital management HCM program differs from conventional HR functions. It argues that an HCM program that’s integrated with your business strategies can help HR managers: Improve workforce performance Focus on more strategic functions such as talent management and… ” Reference

15.” Research by consultancy Development Dimensions International and the Economist Intelligence Unit has concluded that half of business leaders feel their organisations are only sub-par when it comes to developing leaders, with a similar proportion believing they are poor or, at best, only fair at identifying talent.” Reference

16. Performance & Talentmanagement Trend Survey 2007. Reference.

17. Mark Huselid: SHRM Empirical Study “This table provides a summary and comparison of 158 empirical studies linking HRM systems with firm performance published between 1995 and 2003.  Included in the table are the citation, level of analysis, sample, HPWS indicator, performance indicator, presence of main effect, presence of interaction, and effect size.” Reference

18. The Talent Economy Blog from HCI

19. “The Building the Talented Organisation survey found that while almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents believed their company had an appropriate talent strategy in place, more than half (55%) said they had not seen it reflected in the decisions made by front-line leaders.” Reference

20. “Although McKinsey surveys show that business leaders around the world are deeply concerned about the intensifying competition for talent, few companies make it an integral part of a long-term business strategy, and many even try to raise their short-term earnings by cutting talent-development expenditures. “ Reference

Related Posts:
Knowledge Driven Economy Quotes & Reference List
High Potentials Survey

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