James Mayes

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Blog: Channel 4’s Global Talent Drain debate

In Conference, Recruitment on October 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Channel 4 have long taken Talent to be a serious matter, both at a macro and global level.  Last night’s event was focussed very much on the latter and I was delighted to attend.  As is often my habit, I live-tweeted some highlights under the #4TGTD stream.  I’d also like to share a few thoughts here.

First up, the opening keynote – a data heavy piece from Denis McCauley of the Economist Intelligence Unit.  Based on a significant survey of 60 countries globally, key points included:

  • For both now and on 2015 forecast, the USA is the best equipped country in Talent terms.  Denis rooted this largely with the great University system in place in the US, though was later challenged on whether High School / College standards were slipping
  • The UK is reasonably placed at 12th for 2011 and 14th for 2015 (of the total 60) – but China shows the biggest overall improvement in it’s score.
  • The business concern warranting most attention was that of soft skills – particularly creative minds and problem solving.

Channe4 Talent

From here, the panel took on the challenge – Rachel Denning of Time Warner, Frank Douglas of Misys, Veera Johnson of Templewood, Stephen Barden (exec coach) and Annabel Parsons of Heidrick & Struggles. Chair was Robin Bew, Chief Economist at EIU. Among the many topics covered, some of my personal favourites:
  • Attitude is more important than skills, especially if creative minds are your target
  • Bringing in Talent by acquiring whole companies. A growing phenomena, most recently demonstrated in Facebook’s acquisition of Friend.ly – details here – sometimes called acqHiring
  • While soft skills is the biggest concern, it’s also one of the hardest to address.  The understanding of soft skills is a largely westernised thing, but pan-Asian education systems are starting to recognise this and produce far more rounded candidates. Netherlands versus Philippines given as extremes. Changing population dynamics, particularly in China, may start to reduce the available raw talent entering the education system.
  • The panel gaving universal recognition of under achievement in the areas of internal development (grow your own) and internal mobility.
  • Couple of the panel mentioned they were seeing more HRD’s coming from a pure Talent background.  Its a sentiment I’ve heard mentioned before by Matthew Jeffery around reversing the responsibilities, so maybe the revolution is gathering pace!
I’ll sign off by thanking Channel 4 Talent for hosting a great event!  I should also disclose they’re a client of ours, piloting a Talent Community here.

Infographic: The Google Brain

In Google+, Infographic, Personal on October 11, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I’ve been conscious recently that my memory is changing.  Not in some “old guy” kind of way (though that might also be happening!) but in terms of what I remember and how.  I’ve always associated particular keywords with topics very easily – and when someone mentions a topic on which I’ve previously read a relevant article, even if it was years ago I’ll be able to find that article in seconds.

Conversely, I no longer remember phone numbers, email addresses or dates – everything lives on my shiny little Android helper.  I was delighted then, when I found someone had done a decent job of piecing the various aspects of this into Google to see the complete picture. Rather fascinating.  The opener is below, the link to the full graphic follows. Enjoy!

How Google thinks

Full infograhic can be found here. Thanks to onlinecolleges.net

Blog: No, I’m not “telling you a story”

In Blogging, Personal, Social Media, Twitter on October 10, 2011 at 8:09 pm

So one of the folk I follow on Twitter is Chris Brogan. Many of you will know Chris, if only by his prolific output.  I take an interest in the stuff he puts out and he’s inspired me to write previously. Oft-times, I agree with him. On this one, I’m not so sure though.  It started with this:

Chris Brogan story telling

I think I disagree.  I’m not completely decided on this point (hence this post!), but for me, Twitter is both personal and fleeting. Telling a story over twenty tweets? How often have you looked at the last twenty tweets of a person. Maybe when you first followed them, or maybe just before you meet someone you don’t know that well.  I tweeted as much, and was greeted by a responsive from another of my favourite tweeters, Steve Ward, taking an opposing position:

Steve Ward tweet

I guess my point is that I love the real-time transparency of Social. The people I engage with, the immediate responses.  I love it when somebody shares content with a comment that’s insightful, especially if it’s a train of thought I wouldn’t normally associate with that person.  I hope I’m guilty of those things.

The stuff I write, the things I share, the responses I give are quick, rarely proof-read and honest.  Put that in the context of story-telling and the first word that enters my mind is “contrived“. That feels somehow wrong on these platforms.

Feel free to disagree – comments are, as always, unmoderated!



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