Talent Management Software

Organisational Development and Talent Management

Organisational Development and Talent Management probably fall neatly into the category of HR Jargon! Let’s try and understand more in this blog!

Linking Organisational Development and Talent Management

The key to remember is that O.D. and Talent Management should both be seen as strategic HR processes that align with business strategy and enable the business to achieve key people, change or organisational outcomes.

It is really helpful if HR leaders are mindful of this and make strategic links overt when communicating with the organisation. This has a key benefit; it means that any initiatives are much more likely to get buy-in from key stakeholders. If they understand the business purpose of any developmental activities, they are more likely to fully engage. In turn this should lead to greater impact and success.

The concepts of HR,O.D. Talent and L&D strategies are all linked and may be seen as subsets of each other although a venn diagram may be a better visualisation. All four of them should align with business strategy but there are some subtle differences between them. So, what is the difference between O.D. and HR? Between talent management and L&D? Between the four of them? How are they different and how do they overlap? Does your job encompass just one of these strategies or does it overlap?

What are the subtle differences?Difference between O.D. and Talent Management

For O.D. differences, we know we’re in the minority here, but our view is that O.D. is potentially broader than HR and HR could be a subset of O.D. It isn’t how it tends to sit in organisations but if we look at things more classically, you tend to think if you’re involved in something that’s to do with organisational improvements, systems change, culture or skill development, then that is often O.D. Now, that might be all very well in your job remit if you’re in L&D, HR or Talent Management but generally speaking, if it is something to do with longer term improvements or change then you are leaning more into O.D.

The other thing that means that O.D. can sometimes span a broader space is the fact that it is often about broader business structures and processes. So that might include things like lean engineering or business process re-engineering or Six Sigma, some of those other business improvement type processes, so those might fit into O.D. and those typically would sit out of HR, L&D and Talent. So that is the subtle difference that we draw on O.D.

If we think about it, HR can differ from O.D., talent, and L&D to an extent in that HR has still got to manage the day-to-day. There is no doubt that if you are building a HR strategy you might need to focus on how to optimise transactional processes, whether it’s turning recruitment online, improving onboarding processes or it could be about enhancing your disciplinary and grievance process or embedding it, or it could by compliance. There are lots of transactional business-driven activities that must sit in an HR strategy quite often. Now the difference with those is, an HR strategy might also encompass something like a performance management process.

The Overlap between Organisational Development and Talent Management

So again, we have an area for overlap. If we then move into Talent Management strategy and where we think Talent Management and L&D differ because very often in Talent Management, it would be a different term for L&D or someone who sits within the learning and development space. For us, the Talent Management strategy is a narrower, but possibly longer development focus.

What we mean by that is it may go across the employee lifecycle so it could include recruitment then development and the performance management and upskilling and career paths of people which are a narrower population than would apply to L&D. So, L&D is a broader role, it’s more holistic, it might be more learner-centric. It is still business-oriented, but they may look at both learner-driven requirements and business-driven requirements for people to develop.

Whereas the talent strategy might be aimed at specific populations of people and it’s about the development and retention of key skills that are seen to be key to the business strategy. So, development would sit in there, possibly recruitment as well. This may be because it’s about that end-to-end management of those individuals. Of course, that then brings us into the umbrella of ‘what do we mean by Talent Management?’ and ‘how do we define talent in our organisation?’. Why not watch our webinar on ‘Talent Management and Succession Planning strategies‘ for more guidance?

O.D. and Talent Management

Remote Performance Management Resources

Part of our ethos is to help build a better workplace for people, whatever their location. We achieve this through great performance management software, the HR Uprising Podcast, and a variety of free thought leadership resources. Therefore, if you would like to learn more about this topic, you can find some additional resources below.

White paper: How to develop a Talent Management Strategy

Blog: 5 Talent Management Dilemmas 

Listen to the related HR Uprising Podcast

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