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Talent derailment: a multi‐dimensional perspective for understanding talent

Suzanne Ross (Doctoral Researcher based at Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 25 January 2013




The purpose of this paper is to propose the value of more widely incorporating derailment factors into talent management practices in order to effectively develop and engage talent.


The paper considers various approaches to understanding derailment in the context of leadership talent. It draws on a combination of literature, early doctoral research and practitioner experience in talent management and leadership development, to present a viewpoint on the merits for talent management practitioners of using an understanding of derailment to broaden talent development practices.


It is suggested that by understanding the nature of derailment and incorporating this understanding into talent management practices, a more balanced and robust approach to talent development is achieved. Only focussing on core talents without identifying potential derailment tendencies and creating strategies at either the individual or organisational level to mitigate these, can leave leaders vulnerable to derailment as they advance their leadership careers.


Prevalent within organisational talent management practices is a single minded focus on definitions of talent, without considering aspects of derailment as a matter of course. This paper encourages talent management practitioners to proactively consider aspects of derailment in order to generate a multi‐dimensional approach to understanding talent, therefore more effectively prioritising talent development needs and engagement strategies.



Ross, S. (2013), "Talent derailment: a multi‐dimensional perspective for understanding talent", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 45 No. 1, pp. 12-17.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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