One Page Talent Management: Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value (Harvard Business Press, 2010) by Marc Effron and Miriam Ort, reviewed by Steve Gladis, Ph.D.
Overview: Companies build complex and difficult talent management processes (including performance management, 360 assessments, talent assessments, succession planning, and engagement evaluations) only to find out they often don’t produce expected results. One Page Talent Management (OPTM) by Marc Effron and Miriam Ort simplifies and improves the talent management process to make it more effective and efficient. The elements of OPTM are as follows: Start with the Science; eliminate complexity and add value; create transparency and accountability. Step 1: Start with the Science. The depth of management research on leadership and organizational development is immense. It makes no sense for us to ignore it when making decisions, but that’s often what we do. This book adds to that important component by offering relevant research to the common corporate problems addressed. Step 2: Eliminate Complexity, Add Value. Seek the shortest and simplest line between value and complexity. At some point there’s a trade off; so, break down the elements of a practice into small bits and assess the value of each and eliminate the unnecessary. You add value simply by purifying the process, by limiting choices and so on. Step 3: Create Transparency and Accountability. Talking to leaders about their performance and potential, sharing 360 assessments more widely, and letting high potentials know of their own status in succession planning are certain to create transparency. On one hand, transparency may be difficult for some companies to swallow, but on the other hand not doing so can lead to some awful leadership choices. Accountability for performance, 360s and other activities can be added with some thought by using corporate pressure, peer pressure, compensation, etc. One clear tenet of OPTM is differentiation: Companies must decide who adds the most value to the organization and then invest appropriately. It’s like putting money into a stock. You make a calculated decision based on performance and likely potential in the future.