Valuing Talent

Here’s an interesting initiative, Valuing Your Talentlaunched by a consortium including the RSA, the UK Commission on Employment and Skills and several major personnel/management bodies such as the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development.

It’s interesting in part because of the crowdsourcing approach, aiming to amass a host of ideas and opinions but also offering something back in the way of a £10K prize to help develop the best idea.  An Insights phase has just started, to be followed by an Innovations phase which will explore how the ideas might be put into practice.

Substantively it’s a challenge to all those who say ‘people are our biggest asset’ to come forward and say how they can show that they mean it;  and to all those who genuinely think this is or should be the case to get hard-nosed about it.  The rationale is that unless we develop a stronger framework for measuringing skills and the investments made in skilled people,  the rhetoric about valuing them will remain just that.

The arguments in favour of such an initiative are not altogether straightforward.  I’ve been dimly aware of the debate for a couple of decades, since OECD started trying to encourage what it characteristically called Human Capital Accounting.   Some people object on ethical/ideological grounds to this ‘commodifying’ approach, as it sets out to turn people and skills into numbers.  Others object on much more technical grounds – indeed there’s already been quite a detailed critique of the VyT initiative from an HR consultant called Jon Ingham.

So it’s definitely an area where one’s critical antennae need to be waving.  But from the PP viewpoint I see this as a real opportunity to add weight and depth to the argument that women’s competences are being under-utilised.   At this stage I’m simply flagging it up as something to keep tabs on, and which may well be worth contributing to actively.


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