Make Talent Your Business by Wendy Axelrod & Jeannie Coyle - Book review

Make Talent Your Business

How Exceptional Managers Develop People While Getting Results

By: Wendy Axelrod, Jeannie Coyle

Published: June 6, 2011
Format: Paperback, 210 pages
ISBN-10: 1605099317
ISBN-13: 978-1605099316
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

"Wouldn't it be heavenly if the people you manage were developing new skills while they delivered results every day? They would be more productive, happier, and less likely to leave", write Managing Partners of Talent Savvy Manager, Wendy Axelrod and Jeannie Coyle, in their very practical and results oriented book Make Talent Your Business: How Exceptional Managers Develop People While Getting Results. The authors describe why it's important to develop staff and help them learn new skills, and provide the hands on tools for improving employee performance and transforming a company culture to one of ongoing employee development.

Wendy Axelrod (photo left) and Jeannie Coyle understand the value of employees to the overall growth and productivity of a company. While most executives and managers will say that their employees are the key to their organizational success, those same managers will point out that they lack the time, skills, or resources to ensure continual staff development.

The authors point out that while many managers are unable to provide their desired level of employee development, other managers are succeeding in that personal building and learning area very well. Wendy Axelrod and Jeannie Coyle highlight the common traits and techniques, these successful development managers have in common, and demonstrate how these same practices can be utilized in any organization to enhance peak performance.

Jeannie Coyle (photo left) and Wendy Axelrod recognize that managers want to develop their employee skill levels, and that staff people want to learn new skills to better perform their jobs as well. The authors emphasize that huge amounts of time and money are spent in development programs that are ineffective and fail to achieve the desired results. For the authors, those programs fail because they are treated as separate, compartmentalized events from the daily work assignments.

Instead of isolating development from actual tasks and assignments, the authors propose an integrated approach to staff development that combines work duties with additional training and coaching that stretches the employee's abilities and adds fresh skills to their knowledge base.

To create this unified approach to staff development, Wendy Axelrod and Jeannie Coyle share the five practices shared by managers who excel at staff development. The five practices are:

* Make every day a development day
* Tap the psychological side of development
* Connect people with development partners
* Teach skills to navigate organizational politics
* Shape your environment to drive development

For me, the power of the book is how Jeannie Coyle and Wendy Axelrod combine the importance of staff development with a holistic and effective process fro enhancing the skill levels of employees. The authors describe how the recommended practices have worked effectively for managers in a wide range of companies and industries. With the positive, real world data and experiences of effective development managers as support, the authors provide those proven practices for other managers. Not only do managers find their own jobs more effective, but the employees discover and learn new skills while working on their own assignments. The company benefits as well, through better performance, a more engaged workforce, and higher productivity.

I highly recommend the research based and pragmatic idea filled book Make Talent Your Business: How Exceptional Managers Develop People While Getting Results by Wendy Axelrod and Jeannie Coyle, to any business leaders, executives, managers, and business owners who seek a useful and hands on guide to developing their employees, and increasing their overall skill levels. This book will help companies engage both managers and employees as they develop their skill levels and boost the overall productivity of the company.

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