In 1898 there was the first international urban planning conference in New York. This conference was the first of its kind as it looked to address the challenges of the world’s fast growing cities. It’s hard to contemplate today but the main topic on the attendees’ lips was ---horse dung! That’s right, the concern was that in 50 years time cities such as London would ‘disappear’ due to nine feet of manure being generated by the horses used to transport people around the city. Well, we all know that did not happen and I am happily sitting in the comfort of Forrester’s London office –dung free. Our savior was the automobile and experts did not account for this technological innovation.
Ok, John, so what has this got to do with the future of I&O executive skills?
Last month, I published an update to my 2011 Forrester Wave™ on talent management because the human resource management (HRM) market has experienced tremendous consolidation and many top-rated vendors have become part of other very large organizations. I defined “talent management” as encompassing performance, learning, succession planning, and career development. When I published my current Wave in March 2013, I continued to call it the “Talent Management Wave.” This has caused confusion, because in the past two years, the word “talent management” has morphed to include recruiting, which also has seen incredible growth and change. As the Wave is a deep dive into more than criteria and focuses on 10 vendors, I could not include recruiting within the parameters of the Wave. Recruiting is also very different, with many integrations with small boutique vendors that provide important services. But the questions kept coming: “Where is recruiting?”
I decided that the title, not the content, was the problem. Therefore, this Wave has a new, more representative, title: “The Forrester Wave: Learning And Talent Development, Q1 2013.” This title better describes my effort to showcase the suite vendors that own both performance (often including succession and career development) and learning applications and have devoted tremendous energy and resources to unify the two applications (with various degrees of success). Ideally, this means that a manager can identify an employee knowledge gap and, right from the performance app, select the best learning opportunity that will address the gap, and the activity or course appears on the employee’s individual learning plan. These applications look and feel like one application.