The ‘developing agile talent’ model

Nine driving factors

Based on the latest research, there are nine primary factors which drive an agile talent approach. Eight segments plus a guiding philosophy – the 4Es. All nine factors interact and reinforce each other, and of course, evolve over time.

Our ‘developing agile talent’ model is a wheel – clearly illustrating the iterative and incremental nature of this approach. It is relevant for any business, in any sector.

At the centre, is your definition of 'agile talent’ - your vision, your north star. Being outcome and goal focused is key to being agile, as is noticing when it is time to revisit and adapt your direction.

By focusing initially on ‘why’, you ensure your strategy delivers for all your stakeholders. Planning is adaptive and goal-oriented.

You make informed choices about what you do – prioritising future-oriented needs, and investing in current as well as new talent.

Data drives choices about how learning works best. Learning from and with others is maximised.

Traditional boundaries are challenged, pushed, and reset. Talent development actively champions inclusion, belonging, accessibility and hybrid working. Support is no longer enough.

Agile learning products and services are agile by design. Rigid programmes are replaced by learning journeys that excite, engage, embed and evolve. Technology is leveraged in service of human-centred design – not the other way around.

This approach is very different to traditional talent development approaches so, before we go any further, let’s unpack some of the insight that underpins the factors in the model.

The nine factors – getting to know them better

An agile approach doesn’t mean not planning. The first step is to define, and then refine, what your organisation means by agile talent. In practice, this means developing an initial vision/direction and then testing it as you work through the other factors. Revisiting it, testing it, clarifying it, strengthening it.

To help you better understand each of the nine factors, we have summarised key insights for each of them.

1. Driven by business and human needs

2. Adaptive, purposeful planning

3. Building future-oriented capabilities

4. Upskilling, reskilling, broadskilling

5. Evidence-driven innovation

6. Powered by ‘team’ learning

7. Embracing true hybrid learning

8. Inclusive, boundaryless

9. The 4Es – excite, engage, embed, evolve

Individually, the nine factors in the ‘developing agile talent’ model are powerful. But together, in a cohesive strategy, they can drive real change for your organisation and your people.