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What is a talent-powered bank? It is one that sees workforce talent as the engine for sustained, competitive advantage—and excels at attracting, developing, engaging and retaining its best people.
Most banks still have highly siloed career models in which tenure typically drives promotions. With the industry becoming more dynamic and competitive, attitudes toward effective talent development and management must follow.
A talent-powered bank takes methodical, relentless steps to translate business strategy into talent strategy, define its core competencies, and then buy, develop or outsource the skills needed to embody those competencies. This article explains some of the challenges, opportunities and approaches for banks to retool their talent management capabilities and become a talent-powered bank.
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For the most part, banks have not recalibrated their talent management practices to reflect new competitive realities and the changing demands of a multi-polar world—one where both developed and developing regions of the world will increasingly compete on a level playing field. The task of finding and managing talent has become more complex, turbulent and contradictory than ever before. Once-familiar talent pools are drying up as new ones are rapidly opening.
Consider that Accenture research found that only 11 percent of banking executives believe that the overall skill level of their workforce is “industry leading.” Furthermore, study participants indicated they are not faring well in building the organizational capabilities—such as leadership development, change management, stakeholder engagement and capacity to change—that deliver competitive advantage.
Now, and in the future, the most successful companies will be the ones that provide people with ample opportunity to gain exposure to new business challenges, keeping them engaged and interested in their work.
A recent Accenture study examined the characteristics of high performance in the banking industry and found that high-performance banks excel in three categories:
Workforce talent plays a key role for each of these three dimensions. Based on Accenture research and experience, we have developed a comprehensive framework for understanding the varied dimensions of a strategic talent management approach in the banking industry—one that creates a distinctive workforce capability to drive high performance.
The framework encompasses three interrelated aspects:
Shaping an overall approach to talent management begins with a workforce talent strategy—a clear articulation of how talent will enable the business to achieve its objectives. Specific activities leaders should undertake include:
Identifying components of the business strategy that depend on particular talent.
Understanding the distinctive competencies that need to be nurtured in the organization.
Defining the extent to which existing talent is aligned and engaged behind the organization’s strategic goals.
Identifying current talent gaps.
Understanding the opportunities and challenges in the workforce environment.
Next, leaders must identify talent needs:
Armed with two things—an agreement about which workforces are most important to overall business performance and insight into what constitutes performance excellence within each of those workforces—bank executives can more effectively discover and source the talent they need to help them achieve high performance.
November 7, 2008
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