Jim is a seasoned professional with over 36 years of experience in learning and development. He holds an MBA in Digital Transformation and an MSc in Learning Technology.

Talent Management in the Age of AI: What You Need to Know

What can AI do in Talent Management?


Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a new concept, but it has become more prevalent and powerful in recent years. AI refers to advanced data analysis procedures that allow us to study not just the clean, organized, numerical data that traditional regressions can handle, but also messy, unstructured, non-numerical data too. AI can help us make sense of large and complex datasets, uncover hidden patterns and insights, and automate tedious and repetitive tasks.

AI and Talent Management

One of the areas where AI can have a significant impact is talent management. Talent management is the process of attracting, developing, and retaining the best people for an organization. It involves various functions such as recruitment, performance management, learning and development, succession planning, and employee engagement. Talent management is crucial for organizational success, as it can enhance productivity, innovation, customer satisfaction, and competitive advantage.
However, talent management is also challenging, especially in the current context of the 2022-2023 Great Resignation, where millions of people are voluntarily quitting their jobs and looking for new opportunities. Traditional approaches to winning and keeping talented workers may not be enough in this fiercely competitive market. Moreover, talent management involves dealing with human complexities, such as emotions, motivations, preferences, and biases, which are not easy to measure and understand.

Where can AI help?

This is where AI can help. AI can assist talent management in various ways, such as:

  • Optimizing the recruitment process by comparing employers’ hiring profiles and prospective employees’ skills, qualifications, and personality traits. AI can also help reduce bias and increase diversity in hiring decisions by screening candidates based on objective criteria and removing irrelevant information from resumes. LinkedIn has found that an AI-assisted job search is at least 50% more efficient.
  • Enhancing the development process by providing personalized and adaptive learning experiences for employees. AI can also help identify skill gaps and career aspirations and recommend suitable courses, mentors, and projects for employees to grow and advance. AI-based talent intelligence tools can help HR teams demonstrate their commitment to career management by mapping employee careers within the company based on data from resumes and historical data about skills needed in certain roles.
  • Improving the retention process by monitoring employee engagement, satisfaction, and well-being. AI can also help predict employee turnover and attrition and suggest interventions to prevent or reduce them. AI can further help create a culture of recognition and feedback by enabling timely and meaningful rewards and appraisals for employees.

What you need to know

AI can offer many benefits for talent management, but it is not a silver bullet. There are also some risks and drawbacks that need to be considered, such as:

  • Low trust in AI decision-making. Employees may not trust or accept the outcomes of AI systems, especially if they are not transparent or explainable. Employees may also feel threatened or dehumanized by AI, especially if they perceive it as a replacement or a competitor. Therefore, it is important to involve employees in the design and implementation of AI systems and to ensure that they have a voice and a choice in the process.
  • Bias and ethical concerns. AI systems are not immune to bias, as they may reflect the data and assumptions that are fed into them. Bias can lead to unfair and discriminatory outcomes for employees, such as being overlooked for a promotion or a training opportunity. Therefore, it is important to audit and monitor AI systems regularly, and to ensure that they adhere to ethical principles and standards.
  • Legal risk. AI systems may pose legal challenges, such as who is responsible and accountable for the decisions and actions of AI, and what are the rights and obligations of employees and employers in relation to AI. Therefore, it is important to consult with legal experts and regulators and to establish clear and consistent policies and guidelines for the use of AI in talent management.


AI will transform talent management further in 2024. However, AI is not a substitute for human judgment and interaction. AI should be seen as a partner and a tool that can augment and complement human capabilities and efforts. Talent management is about people, and AI can help us understand and serve them quicker, not perse better.

  • HBR. Where AI Can — and Can’t — Help Talent Management, see link
  • Forbes. Rethinking Talent Management Through AI, see link
  • Gartner. AI in HR: A Guide to Implementing AI in Your HR Organization, see link
  • Cangrade. Artificial Intelligence in Talent Management and the Future of Work, see link

The Triple Threat: Juggling Teaching, Entrepreneurship and Management

Balancing roles


I have always been passionate about learning and development. This blog is about juggling the three roles I now have.  I am a full-time ad interim manager for a Talent and Development team, a teacher for two classes on educational design and lastly an entrepreneur. In this blog I want to share some of the challenges and rewards of balancing these roles, and how I work from the heart and the head.

Role: Interim Manager

As an ad interim manager, I am responsible for leading a team of professionals who design and deliver learning solutions for internal business clients. I have to oversee e.g. project management, budgeting, quality assurance, and stakeholder communication. This role requires me to work with the head, meaning I have to use my analytical, strategic, and problem-solving skills to ensure the success of these projects.

Role: Teacher

As a teacher, I am responsible for facilitating the learning of around 20 students who are pursuing a degree in educational design. I have to design and deliver engaging and interactive lessons, provide feedback and guidance, and assess their learning outcomes. This role requires me to work from the heart, meaning I have to use my emotional, creative, and interpersonal skills to inspire and motivate my students.

The key to balancing these roles is finding the harmony between working from the heart and working with the head. Both roles require me to use both sets of skills but in different ways and degrees. By being aware of my strengths and weaknesses, my preferences and biases, and my goals and values, I can adjust my approach and attitude accordingly. By being flexible and adaptable, I can cope with the changes and challenges that come with each role.

Role Entrepreneur

I am also an entrepreneur who runs my own consultancy business, Jignite. I am fortunate to have clients who trust me with their needs and who offer me projects. This adds another dimension to my professional life, but also another challenge.

As an entrepreneur, I have to manage all aspects of my business: from marketing and sales to accounting and legal matters, to customer service and quality control. I have to be proactive, innovative, and competitive in a fast-changing market. I have to balance my own interests with those of my clients and business partners. Being an entrepreneur requires me to work with both the heart and the head as well. I have to be passionate about what I do, but also rational about how I do it. I have to be creative in finding solutions, but also analytical in evaluating them. I have to be empathetic with my clients, but also assertive with my expectations. Being an entrepreneur is not easy either. Sometimes I encounter problems in delivering projects or meeting deadlines. Sometimes I struggle with managing my team or complying with stakeholders. But being an entrepreneur is also rewarding. I get to pursue my vision and mission in learning and development and am able to create value for myself and others.

The key to being an entrepreneur is finding the balance between working with passion and working with purpose. Passion is what drives me to do what I love, but purpose is what guides me to do what matters. Passion is what fuels my energy, but purpose is what directs my actions. Passion is what makes me happy, but purpose is what makes me fulfilled.


Balancing roles as an ad interim manager and a teacher, while being an entrepreneur at the same time, is not easy. It requires me to work from the heart and work with the head in different ways and degrees. It also requires me to find the balance between passion and purpose in everything that I do.

But balancing these roles is also the most rewarding. It allows me to learn from different experiences and apply them to each other. It allows me to experience the diversity and complexity of learning and development in different contexts and settings. It allows me to challenge myself and grow as a professional and as a person.

I hope that by sharing my story, I can inspire others who are in similar situations or who are considering taking on multiple roles. I hope that they can find the harmony between working from the heart and working with the head, and between working with passion and working with purpose. I hope that they can live, just like me, a rich and fulfilling professional life.





Talent Development & Learning Development. How to identify the differences.

Is it different or more of the same?


I am currently working as ad interim manager for an organization that switched the department’s name from Learning and Development to Talent and Development. I received many questions on what the difference between the two is. This was the inspiration to write this blog post.

What is Talent Management?

Talent management is key to organizational success in today’s fast-changing and competitive business environment. Talent management is attracting, identifying, developing, and retaining high-potential individuals who can help the organization achieve its objectives and sustain its competitive advantage. However, talent management is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It consists of different elements that address different aspects of employee development. Two of the most important elements are learning and development (L&D) and talent development (TD). These terms are often used interchangeably but are not the same. I will explain the difference between L&D and TD in this article and why it matters for your organization.

What is Learning and Development?

L&D is a specific area within talent management that focuses on enhancing employee knowledge, skills, and competencies through targeted learning initiatives. L&D can include formal training programs, workshops, e-learning courses, coaching, mentoring, and self-directed learning. The main objective of L&D is to equip employees with the skills they need to perform their current job roles effectively and efficiently. L&D can also help employees prepare for future career opportunities by developing their potential and expanding their capabilities.
According to Josh Bersin, a leading expert on L&D, the future of learning and development in the workplace is shaped by four major trends: digital transformation, personalization, continuous learning, and business alignment. These trends require L&D professionals to adopt a more agile, flexible, and innovative approach to designing and delivering learning solutions that meet the needs of both learners and organizations.

What is Talent Development?

TD is a broader term encompassing all aspects of attracting, identifying, developing, and retaining high-potential individuals in an organization. TD is a strategic approach that aligns with the organization’s vision, mission, values, and goals. TD involves creating a learning, growth, and innovation culture that fosters employee engagement, motivation, and loyalty. TD also includes designing career paths, providing feedback, offering recognition, and facilitating succession planning. The main objective of TD is to create a strong and agile workforce that can help the organization achieve its objectives and sustain its competitive advantage.
According to Marc Effron and Miriam Ort, two renowned consultants on TD, the talent development framework consists of four elements: context, content, process, and outcomes. These elements provide a comprehensive and systematic way to plan, execute, and evaluate talent development programs that align with organizational goals and individual needs.

How are L&D and TD Different?

L&D and TD are important elements of talent management, but they differ in scope, focus, duration, and outcomes.

Below is a table that summarizes some of the key differences between L&D and TD:

Learning & Development
Talent & Development
Narrower scope
Broader scope
Focuses on specific job-related skills.
Focuses on general competencies and capabilities
Short-term or medium-term duration
Long-term or continuous duration
Outcomes are measurable and observable
Outcomes are intangible and qualitative.
Addresses current skill gaps
Anticipates future skill needs.
Supports individual performance
Supports organizational performance.

Why Does the Difference Matter?

Understanding the difference between L&D and TD can help you design more effective talent management strategies that suit your organisation’s needs. Here are some of the benefits of implementing L&D and TD strategies in your organisation:

  • L&D can increase employee performance and productivity by improving efficiency, effectiveness, quality, and innovation.
  • L&D can reduce employee turnover by increasing satisfaction, commitment, and retention.
  • L&D can enhance employee compliance by following the organisation’s standards, policies, and regulations.
  • TD can attract high-potential candidates by showcasing the organisation’s culture, values, and opportunities.
  • TD can develop future leaders by nurturing their potential, expanding their capabilities, and preparing them for succession.
  • TD can foster employee engagement by creating a sense of purpose, belonging, and recognition.


L&D and TD are both essential for the success of your organisation. However, they are not the same thing. L&D focuses on building specific job-related skills, while TD focuses on building competencies beyond the current job role. L&D addresses current skill gaps, while TD anticipates future skill needs. L&D supports individual performance, while TD supports organisational performance. Understanding the difference between L&D and TD allows you to design more effective talent management strategies that suit your organisation’s needs.


The Future Of Learning & Development In The Workplace. – Forbes.

A talent development framework: tackling the puzzle. – Emerald

How Organizational Learning Can Create Competitive Advantage – BCG.

Training VS Development: Training And Development Difference. – BlueDolphin.

Talent Management Versus Learning And Development.- People managing people.

What’s Next For Learning And Development? The Past, Present, And Future. – Forbes

What’s the future of workforce development? – Blog – FutureLearn.

The Future of Workplace Learning – MIT Sloan Management Review.

The Future Of Learning And Development: A New Paradigm Or? – Forbes.

A New Approach To Talent Management – Forbes.

Taking a skills-based approach to building the future workforce. – McKinsey

Why Learning And Development Is Now A Competitive Differentiator – Forbes.–development-is-now-a-competitive-differentiator-and-how-to-get-on-board/.

7 Ways Learning & Development Creates Competitive Advantage. -Employmenthero

Difference Between Training and Development (with Comparison Chart ….

Training vs Development: Difference and Comparison.- Askany

The Future of Talent Management: 4 Shifts Urgently Needed – AIHR.

Future Of Talent Management: Are We Ready To Give Up Full Control? – Forbes.

The Future of Talent Development – IEDP.

The Future of Talent Development | Creative Business Services.

The future of the workforce: Investing in talent to prepare for uncertainty. – McKinsey

Talent management vs. learning and development: Understanding the ….

Talent management vs learning and development: Unveiling the … – Risely.


Identifying your talents and How to Coach them Unbiasedly.

How to Identify and coach your talents in an unbiased way.


Talent management is a term coined by McKinsey in the late 1990s to describe attracting, developing, and retaining the best people for an organization. It was made famous by the phrase “The War for Talent” and the subsequent book by Michaels.

Talent management is closely linked with effective performance management, which involves setting clear goals, providing feedback, and rewarding achievements. According to a McKinsey survey, organizations with effective talent-management programs have a better chance of outperforming their competitors and generating higher shareholder returns.

Bias and Talent Management

Talent management requires focusing on the right traits, such as potential, learning agility, curiosity, and motivation, rather than relying on past performance or complex skills. These traits are more likely to help employees adapt to changing environments and future challenges (see my earlier articles on this topic). Talent management also involves identifying and developing talent unbiasedly, avoiding common biases affecting hiring and promotion decisions, such as similarity bias, confirmation bias, halo effect, or stereotyping. Organizations can use technology and analytics to mitigate performance management and feedback bias. Let me give you three examples:

  1. One example is to use artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the language and tone of employee feedback. AI can detect if there are differences in the nature and quality of feedback provided to different groups of employees, such as by gender, race, or age. AI can also suggest alternative words or phrases that are more objective, constructive, and inclusive. This can help managers and employees avoid bias in their communication and feedback. Also, look at the words describing your talent positions, e.g., recruitment.
  2. Another example is to use data visualization to display the distribution and trends of performance ratings, promotions, and rewards across the organization. Data visualization can help managers and employees see patterns or anomalies that indicate bias or favoritism in performance management. Data visualization can also help managers and employees compare their performance and outcomes with their peers and benchmarks. This can help managers and employees identify and address any gaps or discrepancies in performance management.
  3. A third example is calibration to ensure consistency and accuracy in performance evaluation and feedback. Calibration is the process of making data-informed and fact-driven decisions instead of making decisions driven by groupthink or gut instinct. This may be the easiest way to execute if you work in a smaller company. It can be used in any decision-making context, especially in performance reviews and multisource feedback with real-time data to provide continuous developmental and coaching feedback throughout the year. Calibration can help managers and employees reduce bias and increase fairness in performance management.

Talent Management and unbiased Coaching

Coaching talents are one of any leader’s most essential and challenging tasks. You want to help your employees grow and achieve their potential while avoiding bias and favoritism. How can you do that effectively and efficiently?  Coaching can enhance employee engagement, productivity, creativity, and retention. However, coaching is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Different employees may have different needs, preferences, and styles of learning. Therefore, coaches need to tailor their coaching methods to suit each individual. One way to do that is to use the One Page Talent Management (OPTM) framework developed by Marc Effron and Miriam Ort.

OPTM is a simple, powerful, scientifically proven approach to increase your ability to develop better leaders faster. It involves eliminating frustrating complexity, focusing only on those components that add value, and building transparency and accountability into every practice. OPTM consists of two brief statements: one describing where the employee is today (from) and one describing their next big (not ultimate) destination (to). Then it creates a personal experience map that shows which experiences the employee wants to acquire in the next two to five years.

How to use OPTM?

For example, let’s say you have an employee who is a senior analyst now (from) and wants to become a future manager (to). You can use OPTM to help them identify the skills and behaviours they need to develop, such as communication, delegation, feedback, and decision-making. Then you can help them plan how to acquire those experiences, such as taking on a project, leading a team, mentoring a junior colleague, or attending a dedicated training course.

By using OPTM, you can coach your talents in an unbiased way because:

  • You base your assessment and feedback on objective data and criteria, not subjective impressions or opinions.
  • You align your expectations and goals with the employee’s aspirations and motivations, not with your own preferences or assumptions.
  • You provide clear, specific guidance and support for the employee’s development, not vague or generic advice or suggestions.

Why work on this?

In today’s fast-changing and competitive world, talent management is essential for achieving organizational excellence. Talent management is not only about finding and developing the best people for your organization, but also about unleashing their full potential and helping them thrive. By mastering the skills of identifying talent in an unbiased way and coaching highly talented employees effectively, you can boost your own performance as well as your team’s performance. You can learn more about these skills from the scientific references and online resources that I share with you in this article. They will help you improve your own talent management practices and thus enhance the capabilities of your organization.



High Potential Talents and Their Needs

How to recognize your high potentials

I am currently working on a long-term assignment for a client as an ad-interim manager. One of the topics we cover in this role is managing high potential talent.

What is High Potential Talent?

High-potential talent are those employees with the ability and motivation to grow and take on future leadership roles in your organization. They are not necessarily the same as high performers, who excel in their current tasks but may not have the skills or desire to lead others. High-potential talent needs to be identified and developed differently from high performers, as they have different needs and expectations.

One of the key needs of high-potential talent is to have challenging and meaningful work that allows them to stretch their capabilities and learn new skills. They also need feedback and coaching from their managers and mentors, who can help them navigate the complexities and ambiguities of leadership. High-potential talent needs a clear career path, opportunities to advance within the organization, and exposure to senior leaders and cross-functional teams ¹³.

Organizations need to have a robust and systematic process for identifying and developing high-potential talent to meet these needs. This process should include:

  • A common language and criteria for defining performance, potential, and readiness.
  • A fair and objective assessment of high-potential talent based on observable behaviours and psychological markers.
  • A differentiated development plan that aligns with the individual’s strengths, gaps, and aspirations.
  • A supportive culture that fosters learning, innovation, and diversity.

By investing in high-potential talent, organizations can build a strong leadership pipeline that can drive growth and success in the future.

What psychological markers can help you spot and develop high-potential talent?

According to research, three main dimensions predict an individual’s ability to handle increased complexity and grow into future leadership roles: cognitive quotient (CQ), drive quotient (DQ), and emotional quotient (EQ).

What is CQ?

Emotional quotient (EQ) refers to how an individual interacts with those around them and manages their own emotions. High-potential talent have a high EQ, which means they can:

  • Build trust and rapport with diverse people.
  • Collaborate well with others and leverage their strengths.
  • Manage their emotions and impulses.
  • Show empathy and compassion for others

The cognitive quotient (CQ) refers to how individuals leverage their intellect to solve problems, learn from feedback, and adapt to changing situations.

High-potential talent has a high CQ, which means they can:

  • Think critically and creatively
  • Analyze data and synthesize information
  • Learn from mistakes and failures
  • Adjust their strategies and actions based on feedback.

For example, a high-potential employee with a high CQ might propose a new way of improving efficiency or quality, or they might seek feedback from others to improve their performance or skills.

What is DQ?

Drive quotient (DQ) refers to what motivates an individual and how they apply their energy to achieve their goals. High-potential talent has a high DQ, which means they can:

  • Set challenging and realistic goals for themselves and others.
  • Take initiative and show ownership of their work.
  • Seek out opportunities for growth and development.
  • Demonstrate resilience and optimism in the face of obstacles.

For example, a high-potential employee with a high DQ might volunteer for a stretch assignment requiring them to learn new skills or work with different people. Alternatively, they might overcome a setback by finding alternative ways to reach their goal.

What is EQ?

Emotional quotient (EQ) refers to how an individual interacts with those around them and manages their own emotions. High-potential talent have a high EQ, which means they can:

  • Build trust and rapport with diverse people.
  • Collaborate well with others and leverage their strengths.
  • Manage their emotions and impulses.
  • Show empathy and compassion for others.

For example, a high-potential employee with a high EQ might establish a positive relationship with a difficult stakeholder or customer, or they might handle a stressful situation calmly and constructively.

Can these markers be developed?

These three psychological markers are not fixed traits that one either has or doesn’t have. They can be developed over time through feedback, coaching, training, mentoring, and experience. By identifying the areas where your high-potential talent excel or need improvement, you can tailor your development interventions accordingly. For instance, you can provide them with challenging assignments that require them to use their CQ, DQ, or EQ skills; you can pair them with mentors who can model these skills; or you can enroll them in training programs that can enhance these skills.
High-potential talent are your organization’s future leaders. By understanding their needs and their psychological markers, you can help them reach their full potential and prepare them for the challenges ahead.


  1. How to Spot — and Develop — High-Potential Talent in Your Organization. .
  2. What Science Says About Identifying High-Potential Employees. .

Online articles:


How to implement a Talent Strategy?

How to Start?

What is Talent Development?

Talent development is a term that encompasses a wide range of practices and strategies to foster learning, engagement, and performance among employees. It is about providing training or compliance courses and identifying and developing new skills and opportunities that align with organizational goals. Talent development is essential for any organization that wants to thrive in the new digital economy and remain competitive in the ever-changing global market.

Where to start with Talent Development?

How can you design and implement a talent development program that meets the needs of your organization and your employees? Here are some best practices to guide you:

  1. Assess your current state and your desired state. Before you can plan any talent development initiative, you need to clearly understand where you are and where you want to be. This means conducting a skills gap analysis to identify the current and future skills that your organization needs and the strengths and weaknesses of your existing workforce. You also need to align your talent development strategy with your business strategy and objectives so that you can prioritize the most critical areas for improvement and measure the impact of your efforts.
  2. Define your talent development goals and metrics. Based on your assessment, you must set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your talent development program. These goals should reflect the outcomes that you want to achieve, such as increasing employee retention, productivity, innovation, customer satisfaction, or revenue. You must also define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you track and evaluate your progress and success.
    Design your talent development solutions. Once you have your goals and metrics, you can start designing the learning and development solutions to help you achieve them. These solutions can include formal training programs, coaching, mentoring, job rotations, stretch assignments, career paths, succession planning, and more. You should use various methods and formats to deliver your solutions, such as online courses, webinars, podcasts, videos, simulations, games, etc. You should also consider the preferences and needs of your learners, such as their learning styles, motivations, interests, and challenges.
  3. Implement and support your talent development solutions. After designing your answers, you need to implement them effectively and efficiently. This means ensuring you have the resources, infrastructure, and processes to deliver your solutions to your target audience. You also need to provide ongoing support and guidance to your learners, such as feedback, recognition, incentives, and opportunities to apply their learning. You should also create a culture of learning in your organization, where employees are encouraged and empowered to learn and grow continuously.
  4. Evaluate and improve your talent development solutions. Finally, you need to monitor and measure the results of your talent development program. This means collecting and analyzing data on your KPIs, such as learner satisfaction, engagement, completion, retention, performance, and business impact. You should also solicit feedback from your learners, managers, stakeholders, and customers on the strengths and weaknesses of your solutions. Based on your findings, you should adjust and improve your solutions as needed.

    Talent development is not a one-time event or a one-size-fits-all approach. It is a dynamic and ongoing process that requires constant evaluation and improvement. By following these best practices, you can create a talent development program that will help you unleash the potential of your employees and achieve your organizational goals.


1 8 Talent Development 8 Best Practices for Your Organization – AIHR 

2 What is Talent Development? | ATD

3  Reimagining people development to overcome talent challenges – McKinsey & Company 

4 Winning with your talent-management strategy | McKinsey Best practices for effective talent management – HRForecast

5 The Most Effective Talent Development Strategies | Upwork

Other articles