As baseball enters its all star break, it is time to think about developing all stars from a talent management perspective. It is interesting to note that many people become stars in one organization only to become low performers in another. The reverse of that is also true. There are many people who are considered low performers in one organization only to become all stars somewhere else. Like Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays who went from “journeyman” center fielder to the largest vote getter in all star history, there are people who become top performers even though the ‘tag’ on them was mediocrity. So, what is the difference?
The difference is culture. There is a culture in sports. Some organizations win no matter who they have playing the game while another organization goes out, buys the best talent for top money and still ends up losing. Culture is made up of a number of elements. Each element interacts with the other. The main ones we put together for the Tetrahedron Culture Instrument are leadership, attitudes and behaviors, rewards and compensation and process and procedures. For instance, if a player is given a number of incentives for performance – they will perform. If the unwritten attitude of the organization is that they cannot win and are losers – they will lose. There are always external factors that can limit performance (i.e. injury, personal situation, etc.). However, the way the organization deals with those situations has a tremendous bearing as well on performance. Fpr instance, is there succession planning in place so that when somebody is injured somebody else can quickly take their place? Is there an effective ‘minor league’ program where people are allowed to develop their skills and given the best coaching and mentoring to ensure that they fulfill their promise? This has as much of an effect on an organization as simply trying to bring in the superstars.