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analyticsFor organisations to compete in a VUCA world (VUCA stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), they need to learn how to identify, develop and reward the leaders that will drive the future of organisational vision and values. For HR professionals, who are supposed to own it, analytics can sometimes feel  like ‘pushing water up a hill’. However, if done right, HR analytics can really unlock a compelling story which can not be ignored by boards in a simple and effective way. 

At TalkTalk, where I was the Director of Talent Management, we recently implemented “Workday” – a one-stop shop for our managers to develop and manage performance of employees. However, it is my belief that systems can only go some of the way. It is the quality of the people analysing the data and then what you do with it which is sometimes forgot and over looked in the excitement of implementation.

Recently, I have seen this managed really well in the way that TalkTalk looks at its succession pipeline through its annual OCR process. This is what I will be talking about at Symposium’s Mission Critical HR Analytics conference in July. This process works on a “future back” methodology, designed by ON3 partners and their Managing Partner Jill Foley. It starts with asking very simple questions to the business on what will the business look, feel and be doing in eighteen months time. It then simply allows managing directors to map their roles on a level of importance and value scale. This is replayed against the performance and potential of the people working in that business unit. It is the ‘stretch’ which is the important analysis point and will give you a clear indication on whether you are fit for success, in effect your ” enterprise agility”. 


  • What leadership talent do you need?
  • What leadership talent do you have?
  • How do you close the gaps?

If we use analytics to answer these questions in succession planning, we align our businesses strategically to increase the human capital as well as profit and growth of our organisations. Ignoring the above is not an option in an ever more competitive landscape. Today’s talent want an experience, not a career! There is much less loyalty now and how we use data to unlock our USP or EVP while holding true to the vision and values is an exciting conundrum for us all to chew over. 

I will not spoil my session by talking through the effect of using this approach to analytics but, three years on from when we started with this approach, we have seen some brilliant results. 

I look forward to sharing more with you at my session.


Jo is an experienced & innovative leader and manager in the creative & technology sector. She believes that talent drives businesses, that by throwing away conventional scripts we can create environments that deliver behavioural innovation for business, the UK and the wider world. She wants to create legacies for businesses that deliver commercial, cultural and behavioural change.

Jo is Director of Talent Management for TalkTalk Group. She is responsible for driving an ambitious, innovative talent strategy. Her ambition is to empower people to take responsibility for their learning to make TalkTalk a brighter place to work for everyone – fulfilling theirs and others dreams and ambitions. She is currently creating a distinct employer brand proposition which plans for future business growth, driving a culture of innovation & risk which allows TalkTalk to be more opportunistic about where and how they develop their talent.

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