Talent development

Summary of Week 5 of Human Capital Strategy for Social Enterprises (Novoed – Acumen / Hitachi Foundation)

It can pay off to establish a culture of learning and development early on because it will sow the seeds of a company’s future success, even survival. If implemented effectively, a learning and development program can optimise the performance of the team and prepare the ‘next generation’ of leaders for the organisation, reinforce values and culture, and increase employee engagement.

The reading recommended the 70-20-10 framework of talent development, where 70% comprises experiential learning or on-the-job experiences, 20% informal training and coaching, and 10% formal training. The good news is that early-stage, resource-constrained organisations often have plenty ‘stretch assignments’ to choose from

70-20-10 framework

Only 10%  is spent on formal training. According to Molly Alexander, Head of Talent Development at Acumen, formal training is not a magical fix for talent development needs. The real key to success is setting up a culture where new skills are embedded into everyday routines.

Key areas for employee skill development in the social enterprise sector are:

  • Core competencies which are the skills that define how people get things done.
  • Technical skills necessary for employees to develop in service of ultimately tackling more sophisticated challenges within their functional area
  • Understanding of the sector and organisation in order to see the big picture.



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