Fine tuning talent - London Business School BSR


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In this BSR presentation, Bernard Kerres looks at how talent management is perceived in the worlds of music and entertainment and makes an interesting comparison with talent management in a corporate environment.

The original article was written by Bernard Kerres in Business Strategy Review, Volume 24, Issue 21 - 2013. Subscribe today to receive your quarterly copy delivered to your home or work place.

Published in: Business, Education

Fine tuning talent - London Business School BSR

  1. 1. Harnessing talent requires focus on theindividual not the organisation. Bernhard Kerrestunes into the reality of managingexceptional talent.© Copyright 2013 London Business School
  2. 2. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 1Talent and talent management have long beenconsidered important in the world of management.But mostly talent management has been looked atfrom an organisational perspective rather thanfrom an individual’s point of view.
  3. 3. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 2Contrast this with how talent andtalent management is perceivedin the worlds of music andentertainment. There talentmanagement addresses theindividual, not the organisation.And there are good reasons forthat approach.
  4. 4. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 3Variations on talentIn music there are three different requirements fornaming someone a real talent. First musiciansneed to have technical abilities. Second, they needan incredible musicality. And third, they need apresence on stage.
  5. 5. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 4Taking the stageSimilar to musicality, stage presenceis very different from musician tomusician. A musician needs the abilityto communicate to an audience ofseveral hundred and sometimes eventhousands of people.Technical ability proves itself whenmusicians play the most complexmusic absolutely correctly.Musicality brings music written onwhite paper with black lines to life.It suddenly begins to movelisteners emotionally.
  6. 6. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 5Back to businessWhat has this to do withmanaging talent in a businesscontext?
  7. 7. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 6Talented managers and business leaders need to havedeveloped the necessary technical skills as aprerequisite. In management these can be financialskills, expertise with numbers, understanding oforganisations and individuals, and many other skills.But, to be considered as a talent, these technical skills inthe individual’s field of expertise need to be perfected invarious environments and proven to hold up.
  8. 8. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 7Musicality in management translates to the applicationof technical skills to a bigger context.This means that, apart from utilising technical skills,managers need to understand a bigger picture and thecontext in which they apply their technical skills. Itrequires even more skills to then simplify the businessplan to make it generally understandable withoutmissing the important practical and contextual issues.
  9. 9. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 8Management talent is just as much aboutcommunication as is making music. Managementtalent includes leadership potential. And leadershipwithout communication, without the ability to inspireothers, is not possible.
  10. 10. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 9What it takesLooking at outstandingly talented musicians, the really top talentperforming as soloists or conductors, we can identify certain personaltraits in their ambition and behaviour.Their personal value system, making great music is above the loyalty toany organisation or group. Their loyalty only comes when they realise thatthe organisation supports their music making. Great musicians aretherefore very often highly-motivated individuals.Parallels can be made with the changing world of business. Top managerslook for areas where they can apply their talent to the greatest effect andpersonal satisfaction. They are as much driven by great business ideas andthinking as are musicians by music.
  11. 11. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 10Talent firstIt is first the talent, then the organisation. The resultsare amazing. Orchestras often have a highly regulatedway of working. Conductors and soloists need to find away to work in that constraining framework.
  12. 12. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 11Think of your organisation. Can you persuade andenable it to give up traditional patterns ofworking? Could people believe in a vision?Preparing for a much better performance is muchmore attractive to management talent than astrictly regulated environment.
  13. 13. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 12Two stagesI see two importantstages in talentmanagement –a teaching stage anda mentoring stage.
  14. 14. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 13When thinking of managing talent we have to developnew models of working with them rather than new waysof integrating them into existing organisations.Similarly we need to create organisations which areattractive for top management to work with and notnecessarily being part of. We need to connect top talentto an organisation but not necessarily imbed them in anorganisation. Only then will talent truly thrive.
  15. 15. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 14This article was written by Bernard Kerres inBusiness Strategy Review, Volume 24 Issue 21 - 2013Visit our website