The Talent Powered Organization: Strategies for Gobalization, Talent Management and High Performance

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 18 April 2008



Cattell, A. (2008), "The Talent Powered Organization: Strategies for Gobalization, Talent Management and High Performance", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 163-164.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The authors of this book present their combined experience of working at executive level for Accenture's Global Human Performance Practice and Accenture's Institute for High Performance in the USA. As such the text covers research, theory and the practical aspects of the talent‐powered organization. Whilst the book is of obvious interest to those involved in senior‐level strategic decision‐making within companies and organizations, it is also a valuable source of information for HR practitioners and students interested in the strategic management of talent.

The authors observe that although talent is rapidly moving to the top of senior management's strategic agenda, few organizations are really managing talent strategically. They assert that this text will assist the reader by “explaining how to create talent power for lasting high performance” and in “showing organizations how to generate enthusiasm and creativity and how to align these to strategic goals”.

The text is structured in seven chapters which cover:

  1. 1.

    Talent Imperatives for a New Economic World;

  2. 2.

    A Strategic Approach to Talent;

  3. 3.

    The Discovery of Talent;

  4. 4.

    From Talent Development to Deployment;

  5. 5.

    Engagement (of and with employees);

  6. 6.

    Embedding and Sustaining Talent Power; and

  7. 7.

    Next Steps and the New Imperatives.

Essentially the book presents ideas and frameworks for talent multiplication – namely, defining talent needs to be closely aligned to business strategy; integrating all possible options and sources to discover talent; then developing and deploying talent potential efficiently. Demographic trends, competitive pressure and advantage and the nature of globalized markets and their effects are set within the context of competition for talent.

The research suggests five talent imperatives allied to success within organizations:

  1. 1.

    put talent at the heart of business strategy, which transforms talent management from a support activity to a competitive essential;

  2. 2.

    make diversity a key strategic asset in the attraction and retention of diverse workforces;

  3. 3.

    build organizational capabilities in learning, skills development and capturing knowledge;

  4. 4.

    make leaders and line managers accountable for engaging employees, measuring engagement, and understanding the drivers; and

  5. 5.

    enlist the entire organization in identifying and nurturing talent.

International case studies and examples are used to illustrate and reinforce the messages and observations contained in the book and give a definite flavour of issues, approaches and solutions. References are very up to date and highlight main contributors on the topic and possible source material for further reading. Whilst the text is undoubtedly American in origin it considers and uses global examples of the challenges to organizations. Readers with an HR background will not be surprised with yet another text which suggests that the function needs modernising/reorganising and that learning faster and better has an important contribution to make. Having said this, the authors identify ways and means of doing so.

The book is comprehensive in its coverage of the topic and is a useful thought‐provoker on a subject which is of major importance to individuals, organizations and national/international/globalized economies. A cartoon within the first chapter (© Randy Glasbergen 2005) perhaps sums up the current talent conundrum when it shows an executive reading a document with a thought bubble above his head stating “Think Globally, Act Locally, Panic Internally”.

The price of this hardback is genuine value for money for a text which may well fill in the gaps in a number of reader's knowledge. The theory, practice, experience presentation of the text is also well balanced and informative.

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