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Last week at an event that Anna Penfold and I hosted on the Future of Work at Korn Ferry, we played a game for our Global Talent Workforce group of buzzword bingo.

Below is the speech that we gave and while in the session it was a bit of fun there was a serious message on the importance that people play in defining our businesses success.

Anyway, enough of that have a read and see what you think?!

We are living in an ever more VUCA world and how we develop, support and enable our talent has never more important some would say. Who remembers the Mckinsey paper the War for Talent? Has anything changed, we would say not. Just look at how our workforces are changing.

Millennials, the powerhouse of the knowledge economy, are demanding a different type of organisation. One that is driven from a place of permission and trust, where organisational structures and styles of leadership are more fluid and agile. Just look at Zappos at how they have taken out management roles completely for a new order of Holocracy…

The KPIs for a twenty-something employee are light years away from those 5 or even 10 years ago. Let’s take organisational capability reviews, for example, they are becoming even more intertwined with talent analytics and succession planning. We are working currently with organisations who are actively encouraging their employees to leave their companies for their development opportunities: in order, say, to gain experience within a dynamic emerging market, companies such as Shell create strong alumni networks. Some organisations are collaborating with their competitors to borrow talent in order to support the development of their business and their hi potential individuals

Add to this a brave new digital era, where technology enables us to always be on, to answer emails on any device but is this good for our people? Are we seeing a more stressed, burnt out workforce whose emotional drivers are becoming more important than the economic that existed 20 years.

Loyalty to brands is diminishing, however, one transformational change remains constant within talent management how do we harness, engage and develop the skills and behaviours of our multi-generational workforce to ensure ROI?

In the global, self-service culture of Ulrich 2.0, managing the global talent workforce has inserted itself at the centre of our leadership responsibilities. This stands particularly true for the senior HR community who need to increasingly act as a catalyst for virtual leadership and the creation of dynamic talent pools within our international businesses.

At Korn Ferry, for example, we talk with both our clients and with our employees about career development, mobility, training, mentoring and coaching: we employ performance management to ensure we are well-positioned both for spotting potential and to ensure retention and colleague experience is at the heart of the organisation.

All of you are here because you recognise that spotting potential, ensuring career development and infusing our employee base with a diversity of talent in the most innovative way will give us a competitive edge in the post-global financial crisis marketplace.

It is an exciting time so let’s embrace it, recognise that things are changing but be the change we seek to make as Barack Obama said “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Our Graduate Recruitment and Development Forum 2016 will help you develop innovative strategies to attract talent in a competitive market.



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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