DEVELOPMENT AND TALENT MANAGEMENT
Chan and Dr. Kevin Vince Fernando
The outcomes of
human capital development are capability to perform, excellence in execution and a culture of continuous
learning. The purpose of talent management is to attract, keep, develop and engage talented people, i.e. human
capital. Thus, human capital development and talent management is the ultimate sustainable competitive advantage
of any organization.
In essence, human capital is recognition and respect for people, in organizations and
businesses, who contribute to development and growth, in a similar way as physical assets. The collective
attitudes, skills and knowledge combine to create the abilities of people within organizations that enable the
achievement of organizational performance and productivity goals. Expenditures in training, development, health
and support is an investment, not just an expense. Right investment in human capital will appreciate with
Human capital development strategy needs to be driven by the business strategy and the
capabilities required. Next is identifying the right people to be trained and developed. Effectiveness of
training and development can be measured / experienced by the improvements made / observed during the
performance of work/projects. See Figure 1. People with the right attitude, practice results-driven leadership
displaying good potential, assume full accountability for decisions, etc. should be promoted through a fast
track into roles of increased responsibility and scope.
Structured training, development and career advancement actions will attract a consistent flow
of the best talent. Continuous talent and leadership potential assessment is important. Leaders need to
supplement training, development and career advancement of their talent with coaching and mentoring support,
providing feedback on their strengths and weaknesses; giving them stretch assignments/targets and getting them
to cross functions and geographic borders.
The Assessment Centre provides a structured mechanism to conduct competency profiling
test on the human capital, capture his/her performance scores before and after training and development
programs, chart out career plans and manage the transition of his/her successor. It ensures human capital
investment is only made on talents that can be developed.
The Centre of Excellence is to measure the outcome of the investments in talented staff. At
any time organizations have multiple ongoing projects. These projects may be classified as light-weight,
medium-weight and heavy-weight in terms of project complexity and their contribution to improved business
performance and results. Light-weight, medium-weight and heavy-weight projects are used as a barometer to
measure the different levels of leadership competencies of a manager. The sum of these talents managing
different types and complexities of projects contribute to the organization’s execution
The Learning and Innovation Development Centre ensure that the building blocks of competence
training is aligned with the needs of the customer and remain customer-centric. The different types of
competencies drive continuous learning and development to higher levels of competence and capability to perform
and cope with constant changes in business requirements.
Assessment Centre is to identify the right people and the right development needs; Learning
and Innovation Development Centre to equip the people with the right attitude and the right competence; Centre
of Excellence drives successful execution of different types and complexities of projects as the school for
leadership development to inculcate the sense of full accountability and results-driven
Human capital development and talent management myopia and myth must be eradicated.
Organizations that focus on improving individual competence alone is not good enough. Companies that focus on
improving project team leadership to become a high performance organization is inadequate. Organizations that
enhance human capital competence and expose these talented project managers to hone their leadership skills from
light-weight through to heavy-weight projects will improve the execution capability of the organization. Only
when the organization transition change management progresses from Ad Hoc to Planned to Managed to Integrated
and Optimized stage then the organization has attained a homogenous culture of supreme
Human capital development and talent management is easier said than done. It cannot be
developed overnight. It requires top management conscientious efforts, whole-hearted commitment and long-term
conviction to invest in people, not just strategy.