Monday, May 08, 2006

Talent Management vs. Career Management

A couple of weekends ago, I was in Boston attending the annual meeting of The Association of Career Management Professionals International - ACP for short. Great weather and great content quickly made me not to be upset over the fact that I was giving up a glorious spring weekend.

In any case, among the featured speakers was Dr. Edgar Schein, the well known and respected professor of management at MIT's Sloan school of management. The title of his talk was Discovering Your Real Values which was built around his many years of research on what he calls discovering one's career anchors. Fascinating stuff to those of us who follow this sort of thing, and hearing it from a source such as Dr. Schein, was an added treat.

What prompted me to say something about this experience here wasn't Dr. Schein's remarks per se but rather a phrase that he used during his presentation. The phrase was Talent Management versus Career Management. I am almost certain that he said the phrase did not originate with him, but in my notes, I guess I didn't write down where it came from, so for that and to the inventor I apologize.

I bring it up because the phrase, at least for me, was one of the most precise ways I have heard to describe the change in relationship of employer and employee. Indeed, it is a phrase that one could really say has applied to many, many years, not just recently. It is just that it may seem like it is new concept because up until 10 or 15 years ago, most of us kept telling ourselves that our employer was really "interested" in helping us to more effectively manage our careers, and while there have been and even are today, some companies that really are, by and large, they aren't.

What lots of us wanted to think of as company sponsored career management was really company sponsored talent management, and there's a significant difference as I am guessing anyone who has read this far already knows. Talent management is the WIFM for the employer. Career management is the WIFM for the employee. If they happen to match up from time to time, that's great, but make no mistake about where the interests lie for each.

I don't mean to say that this is necessarily bad. I really don't think it is. Indeed, with something that makes the delineation as clear as this phrase does, I think it can only help individual executives internalize and therefore hopefully act upon the notion that when it comes to your career, nobody cares about you more than you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WIFM (What Isinit For Me)

Aren't you the fellow who yells at me and others for jar gone, ak rho nims, and mem mon nicks? :-) gobble gobble