Talent and knowledge management come together in a collection of readings in Charles Vance’s new book Smart Talent Management: Building Knowledge Assets for Competitive Advantage. In the first chapter, Vance, a management professor in the College of Business Administration, introduces a new approach on an old classic by relating concepts from the entertainment industry to managers’ important people management responsibility.
This book takes a fresh look at human talent in organizations, focusing on employees at all levels who represent key agents of knowledge management in acquiring, transferring and applying important knowledge for competitive advantage.
Vance and co-editor Vlad Vaiman will release the book by Edward Elgar Publishing in July 2008. Vance claims managers can productively alter their perspective on their employees by viewing themselves as “talent managers.” The employees’ talent is critical to the success of an organization. By viewing employees as the talent, managers will take more responsibility and be more invested in their employees’ development and success.
Vance believes the importance placed on actors in the film industry should be carried out to each employee within every business. “Managers and their organizations today would greatly benefit if they considered their employees consistent with the entertainment industry metaphor of ‘talent’—skilled actors and performers who can really make or break a major production and who therefore merit investment in clear and effective communications and feedback, clear role design, training and individualized attention,” Vance said.
The overarching aim of the book is to identify, define and explore the implementation of talent management strategies aimed at facilitating effective knowledge management in an organization.
Vance hopes that those in management positions recognize the importance and effectiveness of harnessing and fostering employees’ knowledge to better serve the organization. “The talent and knowledge that each employee possesses and can develop are worthy of the management’s attention, care and investment,” said Vance.
“Knowledge is power, and if companies want to be more powerful, their employees’ knowledge must be effectively managed through appropriate human resource practices,” said Vance.