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Talent Management

Taking a strategic, planful, and thoughtful approach to talent management has never been more important.

Talent Management, as a term, first entered the business world in the late 90s stemming from seminal work published by McKinsey & Company entitled “The War for Talent.” Since that time, the talent management arena has grown in its sophistication and in the value that it holds when practiced strategically.

While there are many definitions of the term, talent management is commonly thought of as the strategic business process used to get the right people into the organization, placed in the right seats, at the right time, with a focus on developing their capabilities in alignment with the organization’s key objectives.

Taking a strategic, planful, and thoughtful approach to talent management has never been more important. Today’s Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment leaves organizations in the dust on a daily basis. The speed of decision making has increased, the complexity of data points under consideration has expanded, and the “war for talent” is indeed in full swing. These factors highlight the value of having the right talent management strategy in place to increase the probability of thriving.

These factors also drove our authors to scan the current talent tools in the marketplace, decades of talent management research, and the environments in which we all compete. These types of scans, combined with their 100 years of talent management experience and 50 years of research, resulted in the creation of the KSA Suite of Tools™ to solve today’s pressing talent challenges.

The KSA Suite of Tools™ aims to solve today’s pressing talent issues in many new and distinct ways. Five of the top ways in which this is accomplished include the following;

  1. Our tools are line friendly, level specific, and behaviorally focused. Research shows substantial evidence that the behaviors associated with effectiveness differ by three organizational levels: Leaders, Managers and Supervisors, and Individual Contributors (Kaiser & Craig, 2011). However, solutions to date have not been designed to fully address these unique needs, until now.
  2. Our tools are infused with up-to-date neuroscience. Rapid advancements have been made in the past decade in the neuroscience arena, and we now know more about its impact on our effectiveness. Our tools include these insights in a way that doesn’t steal the spotlight, yet they can be understood and applied in practice by all.
  3. Our tools leverage best practice processes. Our up-to-date content can be leveraged in a best-practice process that has been implemented for decades in organizations across the world. Through leveraging card sorting methodologies, 360 assessments, placemats, and development and interview guides, our intellectual property comes to life in a manner you know and trust.
  4. Our tools have cracked the code on High Potential identification and development. Through our KSAP (Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes of High Potential), you can use science to identify the Drivers, Markers and Practices of High Potential so that you develop and retain them. The result? A stronger bench and better use of your resources.
  5. Our tools highlight the unique importance of Teams. To accomplish great things in today’s world, you must rely on Teams that exist in a variety of sizes, shapes, geographies, compositions and more. Our Teams suite of tools rounds out our suite in order to care for the entire talent system.


KSAI – Knowledge, Skills and Attributes of Individual Contributors

KSAM – Knowledge, Skills and Attributes of Managers or Supervisors

KSAL – Knowledge, Skills and Attributes of Leaders

KSAP – Knowledge, Skills and Attributes of High Potentials

KSAT – Knowledge, Skills and Attributes of Teams

Talent Management. Right People. Right Seats. Right Development. Right Time. What does this look like in practice? Here are few ways in which our talent tools come to life in a comprehensive approach.

Assessment: Benefit from the targeted 360 tool for the level in the organization where there is a development focus. With highly specialized reports, you get to select the data presented in the way that works for your audience.

High Potential Identification: You have two broad high potential strategies to use in the KSA Suite. Our Career Path Report is highly specialized for use by talent management directors or a special Career Development Report using a traditional 360 data-gathering process.

Coaching and Feedback: Create a coaching culture using our DIY (Develop It Yourself) to improve development planning for your team or leverage the questions and probes in Hello! to improve your coaching conversations.

Team Building: Using our KSAT performance library, Teams can be formed in a strategic manner considering the practices that will drive success in your environment. Create a team profile for success, build your team, and then leverage the profile to coach the team to new levels of effectiveness.

Interviewing and Hiring: Increase your probability of making great hiring decisions by leveraging Hello! questions and probes. By focusing on the Roles and Practices that will drive success in your organization, and by leveraging behavioral-based questions and scorecards, you will gain confidence in hiring top talent.

Succession Planning: How deep is your bench and who do you consider your high potential talent? How will you prepare employees to be ready in 1 year? 3 years? 5 years? Our tools help you to identify your high potentials, and then know how to accelerate their development so that they are ready when you need them.

Development at ALL Levels: To build a stronger talent system, we must develop talent in meaningful ways, where it sits today. Our talent philosophy is differentiated through focusing on level-specific, research-driven tools that meet employees where they are at. LeadersManagers and SupervisorsIndividual ContributorsHigh Potentials, and Teams can all develop using our talent management approach.

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