Last month we wrapped up our series on the three sections of the PSE One Page, so this month we’ll turn our attention to the next tool in the PSE toolbox, the Talent Plan. Put simply, a Talent Plan is a future-focused look at your Key Accountabilities Chart. It is a tool designed to help you be more intentional about how you plan to grow. It will help you be proactive about hiring and getting the Right People into the Right Seats.
The Talent Plan is a long term plan for your people.
Centered around understanding your future talent needs, it answers the question: How will your Key Accountabilities Chart change as you grow? What seats do you need to add in the next year? In the next two years? In the next three? If you know what your structure should look like in three years, you can be more intentional now about how you plan to get there.
As a reminder, the Key Accountabilities Chart is a beefed-up organizational chart. The Key Accountabilities Chart makes sure you have the right structure for your company. You create the seats or structure first. Then add in the 5 most important responsibilities for each seat, also known as their Key Accountabilities. And then, and only then, you’ll put people in each of the seats. The goal is to create the right and best structure for your company to be most effective. Regardless of who is currently on your staff.
And just like the Key Accountabilities Chart, the Talent Plan is a structure first approach. You’re creating the Right Seats and then putting the Right People in them. Which of your current employees can grow into new roles? Which of your current employees need to grow somewhere else? You can start planning now to get the Right People into these seats so that you can be focused and deliberate about recruitment.
This Talent Plan is a great way to be proactive about any Right People Right Seat issues that you currently have.
Throughout your initial three PSE Days you’ll have captured all the problems your company is facing. Including any Right People or Right Seat issues. When creating your Talent Plan you must take those issues into consideration. Who is in the wrong seat? What is the Right Seat for them? How can you help set them up for success in their work? Who is the wrong person? Can they become a Right Person? If not, how can you help them find a better fit elsewhere?
One thing to keep in mind before creating your Talent Plan is to park your optimism at the door. Many managers want to believe that others can change, or that they just need one more chance. More often than not, that is not the case. The disclaimer with people is the exact opposite of the investing disclaimer. For investing, past performance does not indicate future success. For people, past performance is the only indicator of future success. So remember to remain as objective as possible.
Yes, there are always exceptions to the rule.
And yes, you do need to ensure that you have given everyone ample opportunity to meet your expectations. But in general, a leopard doesn’t change its spots.
The goal is to help people find roles where the value that they naturally bring can be fully utilized. Sometimes that has already happened and they are in the exact right seat for them. Sometimes it hasn’t though. Your job as a leader and a manager is to get to know your employees, understand their talents and strengths, and help them capitalize on them. No one wants to be in a position that they are floundering in.
It could be a matter of training. It could be a matter of motivation. Or it could be a matter of ability. Whatever the reason, your job is to solve the Right People Right Seat issues at your company in order to help everyone be successful.
Getting started is simple.
To build your Talent Plan, you just need to look at your current Key Accountabilities Chart and brainstorm how you think it needs to change over the next year. What are your current growth plans? How many people will you need to help get you there? Which departments might need another person? Which departments might need to shrink? Will there need to be a new layer of leadership?
There are no right or wrong answers here. This is simply a brainstorm. And the farther into the future you move, the less clarity you’ll have about what the company will need to look like. You won’t know exactly how many people the marketing department will need in three years, but you can have a general idea of whether it will need to grow or not. So you can start preparing for that change now.
This futuristic thinking will help you and your entire team get on the same page about where the growth priorities are. You’ll be able to talk through the process of growth and understand the obstacles and constraints that you’ll face as you move towards those goals. Where do you need to place your focus in order to reach the size you want? Where do you need to allocate your resources to make that happen? What buy-in will you need to get to make those plans a reality?
This is an ever-evolving document.
Don’t feel pressured to get it 100% correct. Creating a perfect Talent Plan that reflects exactly what your company will look like in three years is not the goal. The goal is to get you thinking about these longer term people decisions so that you will be ready to make more informed people decisions when the time comes.
Taking time to create your Talent Plan will help ensure that you are ready to grow in a purposeful and well-thought-out way. You won’t just be adding bodies to your payroll, you’ll be adding the Right People into the Right Seats. So that they can help take your company to the next level.