Coulson-Thomas, author of Talent Management 2, Transforming Public Services, Winning Companies; Winning People and Developing Directors, has received international recognition for his work as a change agent and transformation leader.
"Many widely adopted approaches to improving corporate performance are time consuming, expensive and disruptive,” says Coulson-Thomas. “By the time many initiatives are implemented requirements and priorities may have changed, while opportunities are often missed during transformation journeys.”
After a five-year investigation of various corporate practices, the report sets out a more affordable approach to creating high performance organisations.
"We need to shift the emphasis from recruiting and developing high fliers for an unknown future to helping people to excel at activities that are crucial today and to handle challenges as, when and wherever they arise.
"Talent wars to attract ‘the best people’ can push up salary costs, be distracting and involve collateral damage. Talented people can also be difficult to manage and retain. A person who is exceptional in one area may be average in another. It may be cheaper to work with the people one has and put the right support environment in place to enable them to succeed.
"Large amounts are spent on expensive people who are not engaged, effectively used, or appropriately supported. Views of what represents ‘top talent’ can also quickly become outdated. We need more flexible ways of making it easier for affordable people to understand complex issues, and helping them to do important, difficult and stressful jobs.”
The report recommends assessing the roles and tasks that contribute most to priority objectives and ensuring that the personnel in these jobs are helped to succeed by putting relevant critical success factors, and appropriate performance support in place.
"Paying for talented people may make little sense for organisations that cannot harness, or capture and share, what they do differently,” says Coulson-Thomas. “We need to move on from single-issue initiatives such as preparing a few ‘high fliers’ for an unknown future to boosting the performance of today’s key workgroups and quickly delivering multiple benefits for both people and organisations.
"We also need an affordable approach which can achieve improved results by taking people as they are, rather than as we would like them to be. Performance support offers a way of achieving a high performance organisation and multiple objectives with the people one has - average people who do not cost an arm and a leg to recruit and retain - and an existing corporate culture.”
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016