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How to Develop Top Talent

CEO C. Richard Panico, of the consulting group Integrated Project Management (IPM), says his team has a “hell of a lot of fun” pursuing excellence. But building an award-winning team doesn’t happen by chance: it takes a concentrated effort to hire, train and develop exceptional talent.

In this short video, part of the Return on Values research project, Panico and his team share four ways they develop exceptional talent.

How to use this video:  Watch this video with your senior leadership team, then use the questions below to launch a discussion on your own culture and profit model.  

Discussion Guide

To build a dream team, Panico identifies people-focused leaders: individuals who, when faced with a problem, think about people instead of formulas. Senior leaders at IPM devote time to one-on-one training for new hires. Once inside the organization, Panico gives employees the resources they need to grow as part of a behind-the-scenes planning process. And consistent regularly scheduled (typically weekly) feedback is provided to help team members understand the company’s priorities and see their own opportunities for growth.

With this in mind, discuss the video with your team:

  • Panico knows he needs people-focused leaders to be successful. What characteristics does it take to be “top talent” at your organization? How do you select for these characteristics as part of the hiring process?
  • What does training look like at your organization? How does it start, and how consistently does it continue? Is training done in groups, or one-on-one? Are there new or augmented opportunities for training your team members to excel?
  • Do you encourage your team members to stretch themselves, trying a new task or taking on a challenge? Think of a time when one of your employees has conquered a particularly difficult learning curve: what made this possible?
  • Timely, consistent, and caring performance reviews at IPM help colleagues understand the company’s priorities, so they can manage their time and energy more effectively. Are your team members clear on the company’s top priorities? Do their decisions – regarding budget, time, or other resources – reflect clarity?
  • Challenge each of your direct reports to create a development plan for two or three of their top performers. Discuss what this plan should include.

Share your stories: How do you develop top talent? We’d love to know. Leave a reply below.

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