Posted by on January 17, 2015

The Danish ‘djøfbladet’ (Jan 2015) brings an article about Talent Management (#Potentialeledelse) – a new book by Søren Barlebo Rasmussen (

A short summary and a few comments …

Three leadership tasks characterize #Potentialeledelse:

  1. Remind everyone about the reason to for the organisation to exist and why everyone is engaged in that
  2. Ensure common/shared play-rules and culture, so that everybody can see the reason in moving in the same direction
  3. Define a strategy to secure survival in the international competition in a way that employes follow without having their autonomy sacrificed.

The operating model offered is that of a ‘tennis club’. To run the club successfully everyone must be attached to the club and work aligned to secure it’s success. The ambition of the club is adapted to the ambition of the contributing members to secure their attachment and ensure the overall alignment. You serve the members and cannot just tell people what to do. This is the job of the modern leader, according to #Potentialeledelse [my understanding and translation]

The above is interesting, because I clearly see some common ground with the #GameChangingBeliefs. And also with the three agendas of Kanban as expressed by David J Anderson.

#GameChangingBeliefs are concerned with ‘freedom to perform’ for people and oganizations. The three agendas of Kanban talk about survivability for the organization and a sustainable working environment for people.

#Potentialeledelse seems to accept the fact that the person and how well the personLarge Blog Image is performing is the foundation of success in the modern, knowledge working organization.

According to the article, the modern organization is faced with a dilemma – a catch 22 – between the demand for individual autonomy and the need for stronger strategic leadership. This dilemma is not new, but perhaps more acute than before and therefore causing an increased sense of urgency. The need for strong strategic execution has been promoted since ‘Build to Last’, if not before. Also the need for ‘getting the right people on the bus’ aka build the right talent in the organization.

What is trending at the moment seems to be the question of how to free up the brainwaves of all these talented people and get everybody aligned and fully attach to the overall objectives of the organizations. People make the difference – despite this being a well-known fact, few organizations have yet explored this to it’s fullest potential (see also #Prison3DotZero).

My final reflection is that just as Toyota delivered Lean to the world with TPS, then perhaps now the software community has a chance to help the world understand how to manage complex knowledge work. This might well be the piece that many organizations right now are missing in their puzzle – and this piece has been developed in the software community for at least the past 20 years. Time to spread agile around? Yes, and it is already happening 🙂

I will definitely try to get hold of this book!

[Everything above is based on the article in Danish: Ledere bliver buddrenge i fremtiden, Djøfbladet, pp. 40-44, Januar 2015. Google brings you to other material quoted.]



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