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The importance of learning, development and talent management in today’s business environment

This section looks at talent and what this means in the business environment.

A tailored, organisation-wide talent management strategy provides a focus for investment in people and puts managing talent high on the corporate agenda. It can also contribute to other strategic objectives, including:

  • Creating meaningful work and growth opportunities for staff.
  • Building a high-performance workplace.
  • Contributing to inclusion and diversity.
  • Encouraging continuous learning.
  • Adding value to the ‘employee value proposition‘.
  • Accessing people analytics for better business decision making.
  • Increasing productivity.

Talent and talent management defined

A talent refers to someone who possesses specific abilities and aptitudes which enable them to perform effectively and add value to the team or organisation.

A talent is defined by the CIPD (2007) as:

“those individuals who can make a difference to organizational performance, either through their immediate contribution or in the longer term by demonstrating the highest levels of potential”.
Talent management is the ability to identify talents and leverage them in a way that sustains their contribution to the organisation performance.
Armstrong (2006) defines Talent management as:
“the use of an integrated set of activities to ensure that the organization attracts, retains, motivates and develops the talented people it needs now and in the future”.
The aim is to secure the flow of talent, bearing in mind that talent is a major corporate resource.
Talent management assumes that everyone in an organisation has talent, even if some members have more talent than others. Leaders should make sure that the talent management efforts are not limited to those who are considered as high potentials or top performers.
To create a sustainable competitive advantage, leaders must develop and maintain a talent pool consisting of competent, engaged and committed employees and getting them ready for potential changes in the future.

Reflect & Reply

Please reflect upon the key question below and respond using the comments section below.
What talent means in your organisation or team?


Armstrong, M. (2006). A handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers.

CIPD (2007) Talent Management Fact Sheet, CIPD, London.

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Leadership Skills: How to Nurture and Develop Talent

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