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  • Publication date: 2010
  • Date added: 8 March 2010



Rating: The Talent Lab of Nyenrode Business University and  Vitae

The Talent Lab of Nyenrode Business University and Vitae

2010 - The ‘Talent Lab’ was launched as a unique project of the ‘Powerhouse Competing for Talent’ of the Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands in collaboration with ‘Vitae - the network of the New Professional’. In this case description, the Talent Lab is explained from a workplace innovation perspective.

A Talent Lab
In the Talent Lab 20 professionals (max.) of one organization are guided in their work- and learning process. As part of this process there are experiments with interventions in the talent development of individuals. Vitae was the first organization to use this lab. Before, during, and after the project measurements were done of the talent profile, the learning potential of the individual and of the environment and performance indicators.

Why this is workplace innovation
The Talent Lab is based on talent management. Talent management is risk management and performance management for the human capital of organizations. The aim is optimizing the return on invested human capital; that is to show, exploit and develop the capabilities and qualities of employees for the benefit of the organization. Talent utilization is one of the focal points of workplace innovation, when it contributes to achieving higher productivity ánd job satisfaction.

The goal of the Talent Lab is to optimize the efficiency of professionals in their work by focusing on the two pillars of work-related learning and performing. Firstly, the talent profile of the individual, and secondly the opportunities for talent development that are offered by the organization.
The goal for 2010 is to exploit Talent Lab on a broader scale in such a way that other organizations have the opportunity to let take part 20 talents.

For participating in the Vitae Talent Lab more than 50 professionals of Vitae have submitted. Of these, 20 are selected based on their motivation to participate. Prior to the project, they are asked about (by qualitative research) their current development opportunities, learning needs and abilities and these were measured as well (by quantitative research). Then there were committed interventions in their workplace, in their learning potential and in their learning opportunities at their workplace; all based on scientific knowledge about talent development. In this way it could be recorded how the people from Vitae respond to interventions in their learning process and their talent development. This insight was then tested against the theory of learning interventions. On this basis, the project provided insights into best practices and best fits with respect to talent development in professional organizations such as Vitae. In the category best fits it became evident what individual characteristics of professionals were most suitable to certain features of talent-driven organizations.

The program has proved an effective tool for development through practical embedding of individual learning, the tailoring of interventions, and continuous individual supervision, monitoring, reflection, and evaluation that characterize the project.
During the Talent Lab participants were asked to complete various surveys, including the so-called Talent Scan and Environmental Scan. In this way data were collected showing that the participants have acquired a better understanding of their own talent profile and their own learning environment and that in both areas changes have occurred that led to more effective behavior and better performance:

Talent Lab has contributed to:

  • a better understanding of the own (potential) talents;
  • a better understanding of the learning opportunities and obstacles in the working environment;
  • the development of the talent profile. The experiment has contributed to an improvement of the quality map of the participants with which they enter the labor market. This increases the self-perception of their employability and thus contributes to their labor market participation, mobility, and effectiveness.

Participants said to have acquired more insight in their talents, aspirations, motivations, and learning and learning barriers. This has given them more self-confidence. To their own admission, the Talent Lab also has resulted in a pro-active use and exploitation of their talents. In addition, they are now more active in looking for work situations that fit their talent profile and ambitions.

One size fits one instead of one size fits all; This way of talent management works because it is customized; tailored to the individual professional.
Talent development starts with self-knowledge, followed by awareness and the emergence of a learning need. Professionals feel personally responsible for their talent value and its development in the labor market. They feel steward about their talent.
Organizations and leaders who offer jobs or a work environment in which professionals can show stewardship and personal responsibility for their talent development, are attractive places for talent development and so favorite employers. From the collective interest they engage the professionals, thereby facilitating those individuals who want to improve their talent value and efficiency.

There is a special project site designed for Vitae Talent Lab. During the project this site is filled with information about the talents, evaluations, a film of a coaching day in the lab and experiences of the participants.
For questions about the Talent Lab in general, Talent Management, and the Powerhouse Competing for Talent of Nyenrode Business University, please contact Prof. Lidewey van der Sluis, T. +31 346 29 1274.
For questions about the Vitae Talent Lab please contact Marije Koets, director of marketing and communications, T. +31 6 5512 8578.