How to Create a Talent Plan

How to Create a Talent Plan

What’s the most crucial plan in your life?  What plan do you have that brings you the most significant ROI? Is it your financial plan? Health/fitness plan? Retirement plan?

What about for your business? Is it your sales or marketing plan?

I can say with almost 100% certainty that no plan will bring more ROI in your business than a Talent Plan. That’s because it enables you to proactively solve your number one challenge limiting growth: people issues.

Your Talent Plan is the bridge that gets you from your current structure/team to your Talent Vision which includes your 3-year functional structure.

Once you’ve defined your Strategic Plan and your Talent Vision (future functional structure), you are ready to complete your Talent Plan to ensure you have the right people in the right positions. If you have a 3-year vision, you develop a 3-year talent plan for your Leadership Team, and a 3-year talent plan for each department.

There are eight components in your Talent Plan:

1. Talent strengths – What are the strengths of the Leadership Team? What strengths does your team bring that enable you to deliver your differentiation and stay ahead of your competition?

2. Talent/Team weaknesses and blind spotsWhat are weaknesses and blind spots of the team? This is a critical item, as your talent plan will resolve these weaknesses.

3. High potentials we need to retainWho are the high potentials we need to retain? Without them, accelerating growth becomes significantly more difficult. You then focus on engaging and retaining these team members through several techniques like feeding their primary Driving Forces/Motivators.

4. Skill set gaps we need to fill through development or hire What skillset gaps do we need to fill to achieve our vision? They become obvious as you develop your 3-year Talent Plan to move toward your 3-year functional structure/Talent Vision.

Once you identify the skillset gaps, you fill them in two ways: (1) developing current team members or (2) hiring new team members. Without skillset gaps, you can achieve rapid growth toward your vision.

5. Leadership Development priorities for each direct reportWhat are development priorities for each Leadership Team direct report to fill the skillset gaps? The preferred approach is to fill those gaps through development of your current team members. For each direct report: (1) focus on leveraging their strengths: (2) identify the 2-3 areas of development each team member to focus on that will have the greatest impact on their professional and personal life. Leadership Develop for the total person. 

6. Prioritized promotions and/or new hires with timetable – Create a list of the prioritized new hires and internal promotions you need to make to ensure your vision becomes a reality. 

7. Succession plansWhat roles will need a succession plan by the end of your vision? Whether it is someone near retirement or someone who no longer fits your Talent Vision, proactively creating a succession plan for them will benefit both you–the organization–and the team member.

8. Action plans in next sprint to execute talent planWhat action plans need to be completed in the next sprint to carry out this Talent Plan? Make sure each action plan has an owner and due date to ensure it gets completed.

The leader should complete the first draft of the talent plan, using resources like behavioral science assessments, a 9-box or the organizational structure.  Then the leader meets with each team member individually and has a candid discussion around the following:

  • Where their style and strengths bring the greatest value to the organization and themselves.
  • Their career goals and aspirations
  • Discuss and document their top 2-3 leadership development priorities
  • Discuss the Talent Vision and Talent Plan and get any input they have on it

After completing this for every leadership team member, you should have the information to build out your Talent Plan and finalize your current organizational structure.

As a leader this is a significant opportunity to accelerate growth by becoming proactive in solving your people issues through a Talent Plan. That is why a talent plan brings you more value than any other plan in your business and life. Because when you have a successful business, that will fund all your other plans.

Always remember, those who Talent Plan—PROFIT!