Posted by Kerry Gird on 20th September 2013.

In a decade where we have seen the good times go bad, you would think we would be able to appreciate whatever is in front of us, but life seems constantly to be about the next big thing, being ahead of the curve and making sure you get in early. For instance, this should really be a vlog. The fact that ‘vlog’ comes up in spell check as an unknown word is a good sign. But I’m not quite ready to be videoed and I’m having a bad hair day.

So what’s the next big thing in HR? In a constantly evolving employment landscape, how do organisations successfully look at succession planning for example? And while you may be able to predict the need, how do you accurately predict, measure and plan for your organisation’s ability to retain top talent for succession?

We have seen a large number of organisations focus their attention on talent retention, rather than just talent acquisition, which in itself is an encouraging sign that organisations value and understand the importance and impact talent can have on the organisation and its success.

Accurately defining and identifying talent internally or externally can be challenging. There are numerous variables, opinions and human factors that come into play. Some organisations turn to psychometrics for talent selection and ‘learning agility,’ for example, is seen as the most in-demand skills of the 21st century. See: Huffington Post Article.

SIOP define learning agility as ‘a person’s desire and ability to learn from experience, and to then apply their learning to other situations’. Bersin describes it as ‘a competency or capability which describes a person’s speed to learn. In most businesses, this skill is considered one of the most important factors in great leadership’.

Singularly, psychometrics focuses on probabilities, profiling and data which lends itself very nicely with the technology age we live in. Technology is also advancing at such a rate that it’s hard to predict the level of which it will impact our working lives in 12 months or 12 years. Significantly I would say! At some point technology will completely change the face of what psychometrics offer. But what if we rebel and revert to good old human instinct? Both of my grandfathers worked for a large conglomerate almost all of their entire careers. It’s easy to say that it was ‘jobs for life’ back then but what if managers had done something right…without technology?

We celebrate diversity and take pride in establishing individual organisational cultures. Culture is made up of people, working for and with other people. However, we also heavily rely on technology in all parts of our lives. We know there are always exceptions to the rules and we have blogged previously about ‘mavericks’ and how important they can be for innovation and challenging the norm. Let’s hope if ‘learning agility’ is the next big thing it allows for the odd maverick!

Kerry Gird is a Senior Consultant in London and this is her first blog.

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