One More Time: Competency Based Talent Management is Still the Key!!


A recent white paper from SAP proclaims: ”The ability to attract, retain and manage talent will soon become one of the biggest factors in determining organizational success”.  While the paper is focused on the unique challenges that millennials pose to organizations, the points it makes are broadly valid.

  • Relevance and importance of work in their life are different
  • They are looking for collaboration, innovation and teamwork
  • Their focus is not on promotions but competencies like teamwork and decision making
  • Demographic gap in organizations poses a significant knowledge leakage issue

Another white paper from Deloitte proclaims how Procurement/Supply Chain must transform itself by 2020 (Really?  We haven’t started yet and we have that much time????).  They see the role as not one of sourcing goods and services but sourcing ideas.  They talk about Innovation and Creativity as key competencies for Procurement/Supply Chain organizations.  Expectations that category management is  just normal expected activity and driving top line (revenue) growth are what will set organizations apart as Next Practice organizations.  And then they go on to identify Talent Management as one of the top four capabilities needed by Purchasing/Supply Chain organizations – “helping strike a balance of roles and the right expertise at all levels”.

We have one thing to say to our professional colleagues in these esteemed firms – welcome!!  For those of you familiar with our firm, you will know that we have been talking about Competency Based Talent Management (“CBTM”) for quite a while.  And while we have seen a fair amount of progress in our most recent research, it is clear that we still have a long way to go.  Our colleagues are now starting to talk about Change Management, Collaboration, Alignment, Stakeholder Engagement, Innovation, and Creativity as key competencies.  Finally!!  We have been steadfast in our belief for close to two decades that rather than the derogatory label of “soft” skills, these are actually the strategic competencies that enable any and all value generation – at least that which is valued by our stakeholders. 

By now the debate should be over – CBTM is what will separate the men from the boys or the women from the girls (just to be gender neutral) and within CBTM, the organizations that rightfully acknowledge and incorporate the strategic competencies will be Next Practice organizations and the rest will be “also- ran” or Best Practice organizations.  The ability to forecast and align your needed/desired organizational competency model and then put in motion a strategy that closes those gaps will set leaders apart.  The ability to manage, grow, invest and develop your competency asset base will be your competitive differentiator.  Protecting existing knowledge and then growing it as an asset will be a huge risk factor.  Moving away from “certifications” as competency indicators and more towards applied knowledge will be critical. Having a CBTM strategy to manage the entire hire to retire lifecycle will be crucial.  I know you have heard us say this before but given the recent attention by some of our colleagues, it perhaps merits another discussion.  Where are you in your CBTM journey?  Are you still trying  to convince your boss and your leadership?  Is your training budget the first thing to go?  When was the last time you assessed the risk that you are carrying as far as CBTM is concerned?



  1. “One More Time: Competency Based Talent Management is Still the Key!
    ! | News You Can Use” was a relatively pleasant blog post, .

    Keep publishing and I’m going to keep on following! Thanks for the post -Broderick

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