To continue with this month’s topic, Managing Operations Talent, this week we are focusing on talent development. Last week we discussed the key role middle managers play in improving employee performance and retention. This week we focus on one company’s comprehensive approach to understanding their current talent pool and opportunities for growth.

A company we call Alexandria Capital discovered that they focused development on top-performing talent yet overlooked opportunities to develop managers. To address these challenges, Alexandria Capital implemented a comprehensive talent development system to broaden career offerings and develop the right mix of talent to sustain long-term growth.

Alexandria Capital’s talent development system is composed of three main components.

  1. First, executives participate in talent mapping sessions at least three times a year to discuss people issues, talent development planning and succession planning. This is an opportunity for the firm’s leadership to map out plans to develop the next generation of leaders.
  2. Alexandria Capital creates a talent development matrix, which helps facilitate constructive discussion on employee’s strengths and strategic development areas. The matrix’s two axes represent general performance contribution and specialist capabilities, and each employee is placed somewhere on the matrix. At any time, the firm’s leadership can use this matrix to get a snapshot of their best performing specialists and generalists.
  3. Depending on the skills employees needs to cultivate, staff are placed into strategic project groups to foster additional skill development.