By Philippe Cavat
On October 6th I chaired the fifth meeting of the Club des Talents (in French, or view the English description), a French Club for HR professionals to share, enrich and develop an innovative approach to talent management.
The Club now brings together 45 heads of talent management from multinational organizations (such as Accor, Axa, Gdfsuez, EADS, Lafarge, Renault, SNCF, Total). Each event offers the opportunity to ‘Think Outside the Box’ and re-think talent management from an artistic, political, sociological, economic or philosophic point of view and allows members the time to challenge, reflect and consider their talent management strategies from an alternative perspective.
From the setting to the speakers, everything was coordinated to disconnect members from their daily reality and take them out of their comfort zone. We met in the movie theater of the French civilization museum, “Le Quai Branly”, and listened to storytellers from different continents. Questions were put to anthropologist, Marc Abélès, well known for his work on globalization, in an effort to explore and understand unusual cultures and mythologies.
I then asked the club to think about the impact of ‘cultural imagination’ on the way we think and its effect on individual and collective performance within our own organizations. This sparked some energized conversations and members were able to break-away from the constrained European centric ways of thinking and look at cultural diversity in a more creative way.
Valérie Languille (BPCE Head of Talent Management) said: “I am in an organization which is currently in the middle of a merger. Listening to storytellers from African or Inuit communities, shows us the importance of story-telling. To illustrate what we are doing together, what we want to be together, and also reminisce together about our past to imagine a common future together.”
Please share--how have you examined culture in your talent programs?