1st Edition

From Talent Management to Talent Liberation A Practical Guide for Professionals, Managers and Leaders

    174 Pages
    by Routledge

    174 Pages
    by Routledge

    As the pace of change increases and new business structures evolve, finding and harnessing people’s talent is becoming ever more important. From Talent Management to Talent Liberation presents a thoughtful and practical approach to talent. It provides compelling evidence for the limitations of talent management practice and offers talent liberation as an alternative approach.

    Talent Liberation is positioned through five premises that draw on the agile movement to provide a fundamental reappraisal of the talent agenda. These premises are then applied through a range of strategic and tactical tools such as the Talent Compass. By combining academic research, thought leadership and practical experience, this book will stimulate fresh thinking.

    Readers will be inspired to take action, using the simple tools to liberate more of the talent in their organisation and their teams. Leaders, HR professionals and individuals will benefit from the relevant insights shared here.


    Part 1 – The context for talent liberation

    Chapter one: Talent management – not fit for purpose

    Chapter two: The future of work – talent required

    Chapter three: Talent liberation – a new metaphor

    Part 2 – The practice of talent liberation

    Chapter four: The Talent compass – identifying risks and opportunities

    Chapter five: HR as liberators

    Chapter six: Leaders as liberators

    Chapter seven: Liberating your own talent

    Part 3 - Toolkit and resources

    A. Talent Compass questions

    B. Talent Compass sample risks and solutions

    C. When to borrow, buy or build

    D. Examples of everyday learning opportunities

    E. Completing your personal incident room

    F. Life wheel template

    G. Broadening your continued professional development



    Maggi Evans is an influential consultant with extensive international experience of strategy, senior leadership, change and talent. Focused on building competitive advantage, she is committed to translating academic insights into pragmatic business solutions.

    John Arnold is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, UK. John’s influential research, teaching and consultancy involve all areas of careers and their management from both individual and organizational perspectives.

    Andrew Rothwell is Director of MSc Human Resource Management programmes at Loughborough University, UK. Andrew has extensive experience of leadership, professional development and consultancy across a range of industries. He has research interests in CPD and employability.

    "In Talent Management to Talent Liberation Evans, Arnold and Rothwell challenge organisational leaders to reflect on the value of talent management strategies and step back from the process to the purpose of these strategies. They strike an excellent balance between insights from academic research and practical examples in identifying the key questions which should inform talent strategy. The result is a thoughtful analysis which will help any reflective practitioner to ensure that talent management can liberate the potential in their talent and deliver on the talent agenda in the new workplace. It is essential reading for any talent practitioner." - David G. Collings, Professor of HRM, Dublin City University Business School, Ireland.

    "What is in a word? The authors highlight the assumptions we make and prescriptions we follow when managing talent. They use the metaphor of talent liberation to show us how to link improvements in our practice to a challenging business context. This is the book for those who accept the need for critical thinking but are also looking for positive and practical ways forward." - Paul Sparrow, Emeritus Professor of International HRM, Lancaster University Management School, UK.

    "Peoples’ talents and learning flourish when liberated and, like the genie, they refuse to be put back in the bottle."Dr Peter Honey, Occupational Psychologist & Management Trainer, UK.

    This guide to ‘talent liberation’ is a fluent and nicely thought-provoking read, with a practical tone and a clear structure. It usefully pulls together a set of ideas that reflective practitioners have been moving towards, challenging the often lazy ‘war for talent’ rhetoric. The over-emphasis on formal HR procedures is called out and counter-balanced by advice for leaders on how to grow their teams. Useful models make the crucial links between talent management and workforce planning on the one hand and how individuals develop their own careers on the other." - Wendy Hirsh, Principal Associate, Institute for Employment Studies, UK.

    "This book offers a critical analysis of talent management. Adopting the metaphor of talent liberation, the authors offer a path forward for talent management better fitted to projected trends concerning the future of work. I found the use of cases and the explicit identification of practical implications for HR departments, leaders, and individual employees especially useful. In addition, the book sets out to help bridge the scientist-practitioner gap in talent management, another issue that is hindering the field from progressing forward. I applaud any and all effort to approach this topic area from a critical and bridging perspective, as this book does so well."Nicky Dries, Research Professor of Organizational Behavior, KU Leuven & BI Norwegian Business School, Norway.

    "The authors have done a remarkable job summarizing and extending ideas around talent liberation. Beyond simple solutions, they offer unique and relevant ways to liberate the skills and energy of people in organizations. They help leaders move beyond idealistic calls for talent to specific actions to get the most out of talent." - Dave Ulrich, Rensis Likert Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan Partner, USA.

    "Whilst carefully grounded in the literature, this is very much a practical book, offering useable tools and examples, based in part on the authors’ research and consulting work with clients. There is no simple "best practice" model on offer; instead the authors guide us through a set of questions designed to help develop a "talent liberation" approach appropriate to the context, strategy and culture of the organization. Specific guidance is also provided to help HR, leaders, and individuals themselves liberate talent. Engaging and useful, this book is a must have for those involved in the practice of talent management." - Ed Snape, Dean & Chair Professor in Management, School of Business, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong.

    "Steeped in significant research, thought leadership and current practical examples, From Talent Management to Talent Liberation provides new direction for understanding how we unleash talent for our age. These highly qualified authors propose a flexible 5-part framework, sets of questions, and tools that help you, your leaders, and your organization craft your best opportunities for uncovering and encouraging talent to thrive in today’s complex work environment. This is a breakthrough approach to the most important aspects of maximizing talent." - Wendy Axelrod, PhD, Executive Coach and Mentor, USA.