Archive for Talent Management

Coaching – development boost for talents

I have written earlier on the importance of Talent Management processes and how to get up to the speed fast: Talent Management not only for large corporates  and Strategic Talent Management – get started and fast.

Increased interest in talent development

At AIMS International Sweden we witness an increasing interest and focus on different talent development initiatives among our clients. The common nominator being more and more often the need for individual to receive support in her or his development. I’m going to describe a typical leadership situation below and illustrate the benefits of coaching.

Team management challenges

Many leaders work in a very demanding VUCA-environment (read more about VUCA). The demands and expectations are set high, and the work is currently mostly performed from home due to Covid-19, making team management a challenge. When entering a new and more demanding leadership role they are often expected to establish a more strategic way-of-working for the new responsibility area, secure the engagement in the team and among stakeholders and ensure an implementation of the transformation agenda.

Quite often leaders struggle with the described leadership transition. Based on my experience I see a number of reasons why transitioning to more strategic roles is challenging and why coaching is an excellent tool to boost the individual development.

  1. Many leaders repeat the previous leadership style and ways-of-working to ensure their success also in the future. Even if it certainly helps if they have faced similar situations before they will face a high risk of failure if they are not willing to challenge their thinking, reflect on the current situation and seek for support. Coaching will help leaders to think in new ways, challenging the old leadership behaviors and analyzing needed decisions. The coach will not alone solve your challenges but she or he can boost your creativity and openness to find new perspectives.
  2. Leaders´ work pace is extremely high, full of stress, and difficult tasks to manage. The problem is that working strategically takes time and effort and will not work unless the leaders prioritize their daily routines and work with their personal goals. Coaching has a great benefit of focusing on actions which needs to be executed. A coach can help the leader to prioritize and ensure things get done in optimal order. The essential part of each coaching sessions is the focus on action.
  3. Developing as a leader requires that a leader receives feedback, reflects constructively around it, defines how to shape his or her leadership and takes actions to close any potential leadership gaps. The issue is that many organizations are ineffective in managing individual feedback, support, and creating an environment for permanent change. Coaching provides a neutral, forward looking, and positive environment to foster new leadership behaviors which are based on self-reflection, innovation and concrete daily situations.

How to meet the unexpected

The benefits of coaching for the employees are obvious. It also helps companies to develop their talents, increase employee engagement and strengthens talent retention. During times of uncertainty, as in current situation with Covid-19, it also increases company´s proactiveness and readiness to meet the unexpected.

We at AIMS International Sweden are specialized in supporting companies broadly when working with Talent Management issues including building new way-of-working and providing Coaching, Leadership Assessments and Executive Search. Please contact us in AIMS International Sweden in case you want to hear more about the solutions we can provide.

Mikko Taipale

Mikko works as Executive Search and Talent Management Consultant in AIMS International Sweden. He is also a Certified Coach by International Coaching Federation (ACC).  Before starting in AIMS International Sweden he worked close to 20 years in large corporates as a HR leader with a focus on Talent Management practices.

Coaching - development boost for talents

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Strategic talent management – Get started and fast (part 2)

I have previously written on why also smaller companies would benefit for implementing an agenda for strategic talent management. In this article I look further at the quick and easy-to-implement solutions to get up to speed with Talent Management.

Strategic talent management

Strategic talent management is all about the implementation of business strategy and business plan. It includes assessing current competences, both leadership and functional, and defining the future needs. The business value is generated through increased transparency, people related risk mitigation and executing agreed development actions.

The impact of the pandemic

Today we witness an increasing interest to build up a coherent strategic agenda for people related issues. The ongoing pandemic has made it concrete for many of business leaders that succession and risk mitigation plans must be in place. At the same time, we see that employment market for the top talents in number of areas is still booming.

Our 5 step process

When working with our clients who lack previous experience in building talent management agenda, we put lots of focus on setting up a process and delivery which creates short benefits and a good basis for the future development. The clients want the process to be easy to implement, easy to understand and quickly in place. So how to make this happen:

The typical process could look like the following:

  1. Understanding the company specific expectations and requirements (CEO, HR and/or Management Team discussion). Usually, the clients want to assess the most critical competences, both leadership and functional, and defining the future needs and at the same time mitigate and evaluate the risks the Client might face if losing the critical people.
  2. We evaluate our AIMS International standard process and decide on the scope and necessary adjustments. Our Talent Management approach includes templates, processes, instructions, analytics, follow-up/actions plans and summary presentations which can be modified to meet the specific needs of the client.
  3. We Support in implementation of TM process – we agree in each case on what kind of support the client needs. We can train and coach managers (sometimes also HR) to run the process smoothly. Usually, we facilitate critical management team discussions to keep the discussion focused and relevant.
  4. We help the client to prepare an action plan and, sometimes, we participate the follow-up actions such as identifying a mentor or coach, building up a talent pool or supporting managers in development actions.
  5. We prepare a report to BoD/CEO/Management team and, if needed, can support in presenting the outcome of TM process.

We believe, by applying our methods we can reach a high-quality result within a short timeframe. Also, most of the Clients can apply the way-of-working in coming years and run the process in the future by themselves.

We at AIMS International Sweden are specialized in supporting companies broadly when working with talent management issues including building new way-of-working and providing coaching, leadership assessments and executive search. Please contact us in AIMS International Sweden in case you want to hear more from the solutions we can provide.

Mikko Taipale works as Executive Search and Talent Management Consultant in AIMS International Sweden. He is a member of Talent Management and Automotive & Mobility Global Practice Teams. Mikko works and is a certified leadership coach (ACC). Before starting in AIMS International Sweden he worked close to 20 years in large corporates as a HR leader with a focus on talent management practices.

Strategic talent management

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Strategic talent management – not only for large corporates

I have sometimes faced the question if Talent Management processes are only for large corporates or could all companies benefit from Talent Management processes. I believe the question is highly relevant and needs to be put into the context of your business needs and how Talent Management can add value for your company.

Implemention of business strategy and business plan

In short, the purpose of Strategic Talent Management is to secure the implementation of business strategy and business plan.  Strategic Talent Management is about assessing current competences, both leadership – and functional wise, and defining the future needs.  The business value is generated through agreeing on actions to secure that the competency gaps will be closed.

Large corporates have established routines and are often used to work with Strategic Talent Management to identify leadership related risks, creating plans for key executive succession. They have also established work routines on how to follow up performance and future talent development in the company. It is a common practice within large and usually publicly listed companies to have annual strategic discussions at the Board level where talent strategy becomes a part of the business strategy.

However, I believe that all companies can benefit from having a more structured approach on how to manage and develop their critical talents. For the company, the established Talent Management process gives the framework and future roadmap how to develop its workforce and ensure the execution and performance. Successful Strategic Talent Management helps companies to outperform their competitors and, therefore, creates shareholder value by delivering higher Total Return to Shareholders (TRS) than the competitors.

The benefits of Strategic Talent Management for the employees are obvious. It helps companies to attract the best talents, increases employee engagement and strengthens talent retention. During times of uncertainty, as in current situation with Covid-19, it also increases company´s proactiveness and readiness to meet the unexpected.

Strategic Talent Management is usually driven by CEO and the Board and supported by Human Resources function. We have seen that these solutions vary a lot between the companies and successful outcome can be reached in different ways depending on the company size, ownership, IT environment, management readiness and HR function capabilities. For example, in a start-up company where the CEO is a major owner together with some other key people the process can be designed to meet their specific challenges.Today many of these companies struggle because talent related issues are handled as short-term challenges and leading to reactive firefighting and finally risking the execution of company targets.

I have been working many years both strategically and operationally within Talent Management and have implemented different solutions to develop talent and to increase the performance. The feedback I have received during the years relate to complexity, process orientation and lack of execution and follow-up. My experience is that the requested improvements can usually be implemented without losing the quality of Talent Management solution.

We at AIMS International Sweden are specialized to support companies broadly when working with Talent Management issues including building new way-of-working and providing Coaching, Leadership Assessments and Executive Search. Please contact us in AIMS International Sweden in case you want to hear more from the solutions we can provide.

MikkoMikko Taipale works as Executive Search and Talent Management Consultant in AIMS International Sweden. Before starting in AIMS International Sweden he worked close to 20 years in large corporates as a HR leader with a focus on Talent Management practices.

Talent Management

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