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Talent Management for Everybody

Three major shifts in thinking on talents, selection and organization during the last ten years.

  • The traditional vision of talent management is selecting the 10% most talented people in a company. The shift is now to the vision in which everyone has talents, and for the person and the company it is best for everyone to find their own talents. This is an inclusive rather than an exclusive approach.

  • The shift is now from assessing and selecting the talents of a small group, to investing in activities where everyone recognizes their own talents and concentrates on developing.

  • The organizational perspective also shifts: what does the company need now and perhaps in the near future? This includes the perspective that growth and success of each member brings success and growth of a company.

These shifts are also supported by the idea that many small actions can realize much larger effects. If all employees improve by one percent every other week, the total progress for a company is larger than a rise between 10% to 20% in one year realized by the 10% highly talented employees.

This leads to HR models that put all focus on finding and developing the strengths in every person. This includes taking responsibility for one’s own growth with the support of the company.

Three Development Models

The Gallup model.

Aimed at finding the strong activities of an individual. A person is strong in an activity when he can perform that activity consistently at a high level of perfection. One can develop talents easily and quickly. The Clifton Strengthsfinder identifies 34 talents.

The development model has four steps:

  • Identifying talents.

  • All actions focused on developing the talents.

  • Integrating one’s life in one’s talents and compensating for weak areas.

  • Developing what can be changed, no focus on the weaknesses.

Go to the Cliftonstrengthsfinder

The Values In Action classification

based on the research of Peterson and Seligman. One can measure these strengths with the

VIA (Value In Action) questionnaire.

Personality strengths.

A strength is an existing competence in action, thinking and experience which is authentic for that person and energizes the person to optimal function, development and performance. In the other two models only positive strengths are taken into account, Linley also integrates destructive competences in his model.

Several questionnaires are available at ...

The Developmental Approach.

Human Resources strategy

it implies changing from an exclusive talent approach (selecting the 10%) to an inclusive approach. (Meyers).Three advantages of the inclusive approach:

  • Focus on personal strengths leads to higher self trust, higher positive attitude towards the future and more capability of adjusting to challenges.

  • Focus on continual development leads to greater motivation.

  • Focus on talent development of everyone based on strengths creates a workforce much more adaptable to creating change.

HR departments offer a broad range of educational/development oriented interventions in all areas, either by organizing it within the company, or by opening up the possibility for employees to search and find what is best for each of them.

Because the focus is on development of talents and not on mastering a specific prescribed action pattern, coaching is a method that is appropriate here.

Development coaching

A model in six steps:

  • Describe in detail what is going both within an outside yourself. ‘What is going on?’

  • Reflect on the ideal. ‘What was it you wanted to achieve?’

  • Reflect on strengths. ‘What strengths do you recognize ?’

  • Reflect on the barriers. ‘What actions, opinions, images block you from breaking through?’

  • Use your strengths. ‘How can you use your strengths to blow up the barriers?’

  • Try new actions.

  • and renew the circle: Describe in detail.......

Ton Voogt

February 2016


Meyers, M.C., From Essence to Excellence, 2015

J.K. Harter and others, Business-unit-level Relationship Between Employee Satisfaction, Employee Engagement and Business Outcome, Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 2002

A.P. Linley and others, Using Signature Strengths in Pursuit of Goals, International Coaching Psychology Review, 5.

Christopher Peterson and Martin E.P. Seligman, Character Strengths and Virtues, 2004

Jan Walburg, Sterke Kanten, in: Tijdschrift Positieve Psychologie, 01, 2015

© 2019 TonVoogtConsultancy ~ Recent Update 24-08-2017
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