Dec 11, 2007

Talent Management is a fad?

So says Professor and Organizational Psychologist Rob Briner from the University of London in an interview in People Management this month called "Tried and Attested."

(link via Bob Sutton's blog)

"Management fads are attractive, as they promise to deliver a lot and do it fast. The alternative approach of a careful, sober, systematic consideration of the problem, potential solutions and the evidence can seem, in contrast, both boring and too slow. From the snake-oil salesman or quack to sub-prime loans and fad diets, we show a strong preference for the quick fix. On the other hand, if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Empowerment, TQM, excellence, downsizing, emotional intelligence, business process re-engineering and, my current personal favourite, talent management, are just some of the fads that have been rapidly adopted and, as many observers have argued, probably done more harm than good. Fads and fashions are also confusing to managers because they offer completely contradictory advice."

And Prof. Sutton adds

The comment from March (plus my unfortunate experience in academia and business where mediocre scholars and business gurus are constantly claiming that they deserve credit for ideas that have been around for decades) led me to propose Sutton’s Law: “If you think that you have a new idea, you are wrong. Someone probably already had it. This idea isn’t original either; I stole it from someone else.”

That makes me feel better about my ignorance about Talent Management !