André Blom, Jorge Martínez, Maria del Pilar Martinez, Peter Tuybens, Andreas Fritsch

Talent Management: The True Asset In An Organization With André Blom, Jorge Martínez, Maria del Pilar Martinez, Peter Tuybens, And Andreas Fritsch

The true asset of an organization is talent. To succeed, nailing talent management is essential. Sam Reeve’s guests in this episode are:



Join in the International Talent Management Workshop to discover how to manage and develop talent in your organization. There is no organizational development without personal development. So learning how to respect individual diversity is essential. When individuals feel they’re giving something of value to the team, they’re inspired to be loyal and to go the extra mile. You wouldn’t want to miss this episode. Tune in!

Talent Management: The True Asset In An Organization With André Blom, Jorge Martínez, Maria del Pilar Martinez, Peter Tuybens, And Andreas Fritsch

For over the past few years, I’ve worked with companies like yours to better attract, retain and motivate high-performing people and implementing effective talent and reward strategies. In my consulting practice and working with many growth companies, biotech financial companies and technology companies, I’ve come to find that the traditional command and control type of mindset that we see in a lot of American leadership with that hire and fire mentality is something outdated. I spent years looking for something better and developing that approach.

In my search, I found the TMA Method. It’s a talent motivation amplification type process. This is an approach that was developed in the Netherlands and is used widely across the globe. I wondered why this approach was not used more readily in the US. In my research, I found André Blom. He is the Cofounder of the TMA International Group. I wanted to learn more so I soon found myself in a TMA workshop in Paris and convinced that this method is going to lead to strategic advantages to all companies that employ this.

There is no organizational development if there is no personal development. Click To Tweet

The TMA method is used by hundreds of global companies, including Oracle, Vodafone, Philips and Toshiba, among others. It’s recognized globally. We need to bring a little bit more awareness to this in the United States. As part of this international forum, we have participants from all across the globe and we have our international speakers. Our main purpose is to introduce you to the TMA Method, which is a more holistic approach to talent management. It identifies the talent that is right for your company. It helps you engage and motivate them in ways that inspire and foster happiness so that your company can better benefit from a high-performance environment and have greater prosperity.

We’re going to learn from those top talent experts across the globe. We’re going to see how they’re going to be using the TMA Method in their daily practice. With that being said, let me go to our agenda here of our speakers and introduce our speakers. In our discussion, we’re first going to learn from André Blom. He is the Cofounder and Head of TMA International located in Portugal. André is going to talk to us about the benefits of integral talent management.

Next, we’re going to learn from Jorge and Pily Martinez that have joined forces at Arancione in Mexico. They’re going to tell us about how the TMA Method can optimize talent acquisition and onboarding. We’re going to learn from Peter Tuybens. He’s a Senior Coach and Facilitator at TICkA in Belgium. He’s going to talk about crafting, teaming, and development to the individual. André is going to come back and join us again and talk about succession and retention. Finally, we’re going to have Andreas Fritsch. He’s the Executive Coach and Trainer at the Fritsch Consulting Group in Austria. He’s going to talk about leadership in the VUCA World.

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to André Blom, our Cofounder at TMA International. He started his career at the Dutch Royal Marine Corps. He studied Social Science and Pedagogy, which is an approach to teaching and practice of learning and how we process those influences and how it impacts the social, political and psychological development of learners. André has also spent twelve years with the Dutch police force and training these methods. He’s developed a unique perspective on leadership and total talent management, which he shares with the TMA Method. Thanks, André. Would you like to get us kicked off here?

PSF 10 | Talent Management

Talent Management: We need to help the individual and deliver an expert system so that the experts can talk with people instead of about people.


Thank you for the introduction. We have pretty much a holistic approach to talent management. Let me share a little bit about where we are coming from. We’re coming from the world of assessment. What we did to make a change is to develop a system and a methodology that helps the individual instead of helping the professional per se as the key points. We believe that if we help the individual, we then deliver an expert system so that the experts can talk with people instead about people. That is the principle of our methodology. It is bringing talent management to the level where it should be.

To give you a little bit of an idea of how we look at this holistic approach that Sam was talking about, we brought it down to a couple of steps that is normally recognizable in a normal HR cycle. If you think about what’s going on in the world, I will not bother you with all disruptive elements, COVID, new technology, geopolitics and all those things. We are all aware of that.

What we are aware of most likely is that if you look at the true capital, the true essence of an organization, we come to realize that is time and talents. They add value to an organization and thriving an organization forward but also to sustain the position and even to get them into a competitive edge. It sounds a little bit irrational but, in this sense, money doesn’t make sense. What can you do with the resources you have, the material resources? It’s all about how people are working together. It is a transition from a mode of operation into a future-proof mode of cooperation. Individuals need to contribute in the context of their role, in the context of purpose, etc.

To give you a little bit of an idea, the topics that we are handling comes from quite a conventional HR cycle where it’s all about how do I acquire the right talent and the right people for the right job? There I said, “Stop, you’re forgetting something. This is your perspective.” It is about the right people for the right job but it’s also in the right context. What I mean by context is how can an individual contribute to his environment in the best appropriate way?

For us, a match is not only the individual match on the job profile but it’s also the individual match on the cultural aspects of the team. It’s a more holistic approach than what you would normally see in conventional systems. Jorge will tell you a lot about that and a lot about the benefits of it. The onboarding process is related to the selection of the final applicant.

If you want to land a new hire, it is also shown that a lot of new hires are saying, “This is not meeting my expectations.” A survey showed that more than 37% of new hires decided in the first three months if they stay on board or not. It doesn’t mean that they will leave because they have their challenges when it comes to salary, paying the mortgage, etc.

The onboarding process is extremely important. It also doesn’t handle about, “Where do I find the coffee machine? Do I use Salesforce or another CRM package?” It’s more about, “How do I align with my team in the context? Do I get the support that I can get onto performance?” As a performance, it’s not an individual result of your activities but it is a joint effort. Therefore, I’m making the step to teaming. We can see that onboarding and teaming are also related to each other.

I come from a military background. What I’ve learned there is that they have the opportunity to do a lot about teaming. They always are practicing all scenarios so that as a team unit, you become more resilient, more agile and more flexible to deal with the day-to-day cases even when things are unexpected. This teaming process is something that is not particularly done in business life as I know.

I travel around the world. I meet many customers and many partners. You’ll hardly see that teaming is on the program of an organization. They never go through the scenarios. If you don’t do that, how can you get the best out of your performers as a team or as an individual? How can you learn from each other? How can you be more agile and resilient if you don’t train these scenarios? Teaming is not about having a nice barbecue once a year but it is getting into the business.

Create a community that wants to work for each other, lift each other, and make something valuable. Click To Tweet

The key to our system is development. One of my phrases is if there is no individual development, how can there be organizational development? As I said before, time and talents are your true valuable assets that can make a difference. If you don’t develop people, if you don’t offer them the opportunity for personal development, if you don’t engage, contribute and pay attention to personal development, how can you grow as an organization?

One of the statements that I want to make strongly here is there is no organizational development if there is no personal development. If there’s no personal development, you as an organization are taking the responsibility and you’re accountable for heading for a lock-in. That is not a lockdown like COVID. At some point, you cannot move anymore because the distance to the market needs is too big. No development even leads to a total meltdown. You have to constantly invest in people to make sure that you are sustainable and have a future together.

Another element that is related is succession. Succession is the successor in place. There are two scenarios. Are you planning that in a long term? Are you then clear about what the roles for the future will be? Can you identify the talents and the potential of the people in your workforce to make that promise? There’s also something like an emergency. What if one of your key players or members is falling out by finding another job or even more in a bigger disaster, an accident or death? How do you prevent that there is a brain drain and knowledge drain? How can you make sure that succession is in place? That is pretty much related to development.

There’s the element of retention. Facing all their customers and partners, in many cases, I’m asking, “What is the big challenge of an organization?” They always talk about the retention of talents. I’m asking, “What are you doing to retain your talents? Do you give them the opportunity? What is the individual perspective? What is the organizational perspective in retaining people? Is it okay to let people go or can you go to the right placement?” This is what I will elaborate on later on, that key. My dear friend, Andreas, will help you with that.

The key of the whole is what I call integral talent management. It means integral leadership. It’s a holistic approach. If you see the role and position of HR, the most common title is HR business. That means that the leaders or managers and the HR should be aligned. Also, they should join forces to make sure that all of these elements from acquisition to onboarding until outplacement or right-placement are done together.

For me, the experts, the HR people can help with identifying the talents and frame the right working conditions as to where the leaders are doing it into day-to-day business. They are engaging with their staff and need to practice the development of competencies. This is the whole holistic approach where leaders are engaged, involved, and committed to all these elements. That is our conventional approach for a holistic talent management approach.

PSF 10 | Talent Management

Talent Management: We need a better way to interact with the hiring manager on how to explain the job itself.


I will give you a little bit of an idea of what strategic integral talent management includes. As my dear friend, Andreas, said kindly, “It takes a mindset before you can choose a toolset.” The TMA is delivering a wide range of tools, insights and content. We deliver a whole infrastructure. What it is about is the mindset. The mindset starts with the purpose. Is there a meaningful existence for shareholders but also for the stakeholders? Many times, you think as an organization, “I have to please my shareholders.”

Many people are working. There are many stakeholders who want to have a meaningful existence and meaningful contribution. For that, as an organization, you are obligated to have a clear value-driven process. When I go to my customers, I’m not talking about, “I’m going to create value.” I’m going to say, “Realize the value from the value creation you already have in an organization.” It is a process. Unlock that treasure, open up the box and work on it to realize and to make your failures blessed.

On the next level, when you think about what are we doing? We have purpose and values. There are three key elements that a holistic approach needs. The first thing you have to do is to make sure that your workforce is cognizant. In other words, are they capable of taking the future with you? Are their talents lined with the business objectives? That is the first thing you have to do as an organization.

Secondly and not less important, it is about individual welfare. Sam is a specialist in compensation and benefits and how to align that and shaping a common framework and a reference for all the employees. You’re paid for the job and your contribution. We’re taking care of you with health benefits and all kinds of elements. It is also about the immaterial benefits that somebody is getting.

I’m thinking about, “Are you recognized? Are you rewarded? Are you appreciated?” You feel comfortable that as an individual, you feel like, “I matter. I don’t want to stay home because I have a headache and take aspirin but I will go because I feel that I am not replaceable. I am valuable.” That is what I mean by individual welfare.

If you look at an organization, an organization has different populations. Think about professional populations. You have accountants, account managers, product managers and etc. Your whole front-end, your back-end and different people working with different profiles coming together. That’s creating a community that wants to work for each other and that lives for each other. That makes something valuable in the role to create value into realization.

The community takes part in an ecosystem. As an organization, you are having a local position. You can do something with societal welfare. Think about what happens with COVID where people are constrained, have to work from home stressed, feeling isolated and excluded. To give you an idea, here in Europe, we think about the impact on society when it comes to abundancy, stress, violence, domestic violence and child abuse. It’s because people have to work from home and they feel disconnected, sad and disturbed. As an organization, you should also be aware that you have an impact on your micro-society around it. Social welfare is a strong element to keep people together.

If I come to the next layer, what is important is that there should be a culture that is opening up for talents. We look at the potential of the culture where we are working together where there’s social cohesion, professional cohesion and room for failure as far as learning. I oftentimes say, “FAIL is an acronym, First Attempt In Learning.” That is a culture that we should have. We should not say, “You have done bad. Let’s try to improve your weaknesses.” Let’s create a culture where we say, “We will improve your strength. We will rise and thrive all together.” That’s says something about leadership.

The amount of money doesn't make the difference. Time and talents are more important assets than capital. Click To Tweet

There’s another thing. In this world, we cannot live with data. Data is the business of every employee. Without data, you are lost. You cannot get any direction. You have to have a look at trends. You have to have a look at forecasts. Also, when it comes to what have we done, can we learn from that? That data is extremely important. Also, when it comes to succession planning or resource planning, we need to understand how our population is thinking and what we can do with them.

It comes to innovation. Innovation is also related to development and even personal development. You can talk about social innovation but you can also talk about the innovation of your product and services. That doesn’t mean that you have to make a game change. You have to be aware that there are certain levels of innovation. Even fine-tuning a little bit of the process or a little bit of product is also a form of innovation. That can be done if you listen and open up to the people you are working with. They have brilliant ideas. A lot of brilliant ideas are brilliant failures. If you don’t try innovation, you will not get there.

As a total mindset, I want to say that strategic integral talent management is all about inclusion. If you look at the behavior of people, as soon as you feel excluded, you’re not in anymore. You will become obsolete. You will become an anarchist. You will not go the extra mile. It’s also about active participation. Don’t talk over people about people but talk with people and work with them and be an active participant. It doesn’t matter what role. If you’re a leader or an employee, it doesn’t matter. We have to unite. It’s all about inclusion and active participation that will create a culture that will thrive forward.

In the time that we are living, these are buzzwords, working agile and being resilient. We also learned that in the last couple of years with so much disruption, we have to work differently. We cannot work blue ocean anymore. We have to reinvent ourselves. We have to be flexible and adaptive. If things don’t work, sometimes you need to have a hands-on approach.

If you are creating new programs or developing new technologies, you cannot say, “I have a roadmap. We will develop and deliver.” You have to make these little sprints. You have to be together. You have to open up and have these momentums where you sit together and say, “Can we have a retrospection? What have we done? What are we going to do in the next two weeks? How can we be more resilient and be adaptive to the needs of the market so that we have a sustainable future?”

The last introduction is money. We live in an economy that is driven by money. Currency has always been important. What I would say is that the amount of money doesn’t make the difference at all. Talents and time are more scarce than capital. We should focus on how can we be most effective by focusing on the talents and let people do what they are good at and looking at their strengths? That will give a lot more performance than trying to stretch the time, put in more money, go to more courses, and more expensive consultancy.

Try to look from the inside and then people will engage and will give you a jumpstart and maybe even a better competitive edge. This is what we understand from strategic integral talent management. As I and all of my partners are saying, it’s not about the toolset. It is about a mindset. If you have the right mindset, you can go forward. This was my short introduction. I’m gladly handing over the mic back to Sam. Thank you, Sam.

Thanks, André, for getting us started on this. I would like to introduce you to Jorge Martinez. Jorge has more than twenty years of experience in companies such as JPMorgan, Nextel, Chubb, and so forth. He’s developed a lot of coaching methodologies to help companies better onboard and source people with the right talents to bring them on board. I’d like to introduce you to Jorge.

PSF 10 | Talent Management

Talent Management: The biggest mistake in the acquisition process is to try to make our ideas of a person with just one look at them.


Sam, thank you very much for inviting us to this webinar. I want to talk about talent acquisition in the first part. I want to begin with the idea that most of the HR practices that a lot of companies are currently using were designed for a time in which the changes were not as often as we do now. What we have is that a lot of people in the business world are dealing with uncertainty and a lot of doubts regarding how we can manage or allocate people in our organization to get the most out of them. The first thing that we inherit from the past is how we consider the job or how we would describe the job for the organization.

One of the first things that we do is that we encourage people is to consider the job differently. This cartoon explains in a specific way how I think about the job description. This cartoon we see is Snoopy. “Snoopy, why did you choose to be a dog?” “Because I was fooled by the job description.” The way in which traditional describe jobs are obsolete because they don’t reflect the changes that we need to reflect and to make a decision about the people. Also, to involve candidates about the scope of the position.

The traditional job description, in general terms, describes the experience, activities and goals. When we go for competencies, we’re talking about a good wish that maybe we don’t know how to evaluate. I don’t know if these things that we describe in the job description are attached to the success of the position. We’re using an old method to make decisions about people. In many ways, the traditional job description is obsolete.

Let me share a bit of an example. When you have in your mind that you want to incorporate someone new into your team, you want to recruit someone or you want to maybe move one person from an organization to another position, what you have in your mind on a subconscious level is 1 of 2 things. First, you want to solve a problem. Second, you want to achieve a certain result. In many cases, they’re a mix of both.

In many cases, the traditional job description only describes the job itself. My first question would be, why would anyone be interested in your job if you’re describing the same activities that someone qualified is already doing? When people see that, the only thing their mind says is, “How much? What is the economic impact that I’m going to have to get this job?” It is an incomplete way.

What we do in many companies is we have a meeting with a hiring manager. We have an hour in which he describes the things that he is aware of in the present moment. He needs to fill a position. He’s describing the things that he brought to his mind at this moment. When the HR people or the headhunter goes and makes the search, in many cases, we act as an order taker, “The client asked me for this and this.” We need a better way in which we can interact with the hiring manager to explain the job itself.

What we recommended to use is something that we created called Work Role Canvas. Our Work Role Canvas is a map in which you can connect your hiring manager with the left and right side of your brain in which they can both experiment. They can see the implications that this position will have over the future. This model is made of four major pillars.

One is to understand the business model of the company and the world of the hiring manager, “Before explaining what the job or the position, help me, hiring manager, to understand what the success might look like for you as a hiring manager.” Start there. You want to understand that the success of the boss, the position of the hiring manager and then you can go back and understand.

The most important thing about development is feedback. Click To Tweet

The second part would be to understand the context of the position. In this context, you have a framework in which you can ask a lot of questions in which you can back go back and understand a lot of questions about the position and also its success. You now have two major elements. Once you have understood what the success might look like for the hiring manager as a boss and you help them to guide your hiring manager to understand and express the context of the position, you can go back to help your client to discuss the composition and the process that you might need to look at when you’re working in the recruitment part.

Once you understand those three pillars, then you can go back. In an easy way, you can use the competency. TMA has a fabulous tool, which is the Competency Library. It’s completely free. You can do it online at You can see 53 competencies examples of behaviors in four major areas. One thing that is extremely important for these competencies is that most of the examples that this Competency Library provides are examples of behaviors. There’s a little room for interpretation from either the boss or maybe the person in the position. It’s a good Competency Library.

To close this recruitment part in the talent acquisition, what if we consider a better in how we can work with your hiring managers to help them to succeed? My recommendation is to have 2 instead of 1 meeting in which only one person is expressing what he wants. We have two meetings. First, we’re going to have one meeting in which we’re going to ask you a lot of questions. In my second meeting, which is a short one, I want to explain to you how this Work Role Canvas works.

The third slide is an example. It is a visual way in which people can connect the two sides of a brain, the creative part and also the logical part. In this part, there’s a black one, a blue one and a yellow one. This is an example of how to work with the Work Role Canvas in which you can explain to them the context and completely align with your hiring manager on how the job is.

This exercise is also helpful not only in the recruitment part but is extremely viable when we go into the onboarding section. Instead of providing a long Word document in which there’s a lot of text and we never use it. We provide it there. We made the document, then went back and never use it. This is a living document that can help organizations to realize the scope of the position and help those people to succeed in the position.

Thanks for taking us through how to identify and select the right talent. What I’d like to do is introduce everyone to Pily Martinez. She’s the Master Trainer of Talent Management and Methodologies at Arancione. She has over twenty years of experience as a leader. Pily is passionate about talent management. She’s achieved success and results across supply chain operations, marketing, sales, organizations, and so forth. She has a wide set of skills. She’s also recognized as an International Master Trainer of Talent and Leadership Methodologies. Pily, welcome to the discussion.

PSF 10 | Talent Management

Talent Management: The biggest issue during an onboarding process is failing to engage the employees on the first day.


Thank you very much, Sam. I’m happy to be here. Thank you very much for the introduction. I’m saying hello to everyone from Mexico City. I was listening to what André and Jorge were talking about regarding all of the talent management cycles. What I would like to talk about is the second phase of onboarding, which goes exactly after what Jorge explained to us, which is acquisition.

Before going to that, when we’re looking for someone, it is quite difficult to understand what the best match is of a person with a profile or the position or with what Jorge was sharing with us as the Work Role Canvas. TMA has helped us a lot working with this part, understanding the potential of a person scientifically. It is common that in human resources processes, we talk about perception. It’s what we see of a person but not exactly what it is. We try to make our ideas of a person with one look at that person. That is the biggest mistake in the acquisition process.

Aligned to what Jorge has been sharing with us, our great experience with TMA is to reduce this gap that we usually have. What we have seen in our process in Mexico and we have seen it all over the world as well is that when you hire someone, recruiters mostly say, “The position is filled. That’s it. My work is already done.” The biggest issue of the success in our position is regarding the onboarding process. If there is a problem with a candidate that has been hired, the failure goes to the hiring manager or probably to the recruitment team. Why? It’s because you didn’t get the best match for this position.

I would like to share some of the realities that we find in an onboarding process. In most cases, it doesn’t happen. There is no onboarding process. First of all, the challenges of a new hire. For every person that covers a new position, it doesn’t matter if the person comes from outside of the organization or probably from the inside of the organization a person that has been promoted.

The first challenge that they have is the new hire doesn’t know anyone from the team. “Probably I am covering a new position. I don’t know the team. This is a huge challenge because I have to go in a cycle of knowing the person and working with my manager or probably my own team. I have to understand the best way of communicating with them.”

The second one is people want to be successful in their new role. When you’re not successful in the first month, your confidence and the engagement that you’re having go down. Normally, you want to do your best. If there is no recognition of doing that, it goes down. Working with people that also applied to your job is common. There are three people that are applying and one gets the job. The other people are going to be part of your team, either colleagues or your subordinates. That is a challenge as well because you have to engage them with you in that role.

It's crucial to respect individual diversity. Click To Tweet

Another one is inheriting some other problems. I am using an example of a budget crisis but there are some other problems with any knowledge of any solution. People are expecting you to be successful at the beginning. That is a huge challenge that you have in any position. Finding credibility and qualifications.

The recruitment process was done by certain people, the hiring manager or the boss of the hiring manager and the recruitment team. The rest of the team is not quite sure who you are. Are you qualified or not? Your confidence is a little bit stuck in there. In the end, the expectation is for you to do everything well in three months. Whatever has been done in three years badly, you need to solve everything in three months.

Those are some of the challenges that a new hire goes through and the biggest issues or mistakes that happen in an onboarding process is, first of all, failing to engage the employees on the first day. That is awful because you leave them by themselves, “This is your new job and that is your problem. Thank you very much.”

The second one is expectations are not clarified. We define the process, our Work Role Canvas in which we try to understand what we are expecting of the person but we never shared it with the hiring candidate. He doesn’t know what you’re expecting from him. That also includes the cultural fit. You have never talked to him about the cultural fit and how I see you doing that cultural fit. In the end, regular feedback.

I would like to talk about my three steps. Honestly, they are not mine, they’re TMA’s. The first one is aligning expectations with the employee. TMA has helped us to define a competency profile in which expectations are clearly defined. As Jorge said, the Competency Library has clear behavioral examples that help us to define what we’re expecting. We not only define that but if we share it with the candidate, it is great because he is not only knowing the goal but how to get to the goal and that is crucial.

Also, define or understand the communication style. With TMA, we have been able to understand what is the best way to communicate with people. If the new hire needs a better way to communicate with him and I know it as a leader or as a manager, it is great because I don’t have to go through the experience of failing with my new hire. I already know how to motivate with my communication to him or her.

The second step that I recommend is to encouraged networks in the organization. This means that to get success in a new position in the onboarding is the clue to engage the candidate or the hiring candidate. The thing is if we don’t help him to understand the network in the organization, it is going to be tough. What happens if the person has experienced a difficult time doing this network due to his talents? We need to help him to understand what are the best tips or the best way for him to get to this network. That is going to be a clue. TMA helps us to do that.

The third one is to develop from day one. One of the most important things of development is feedback. I have seen many tools in the market. I have experienced with several tools of different types. I have never seen a tool that helps us to get feedback every day. Feedback is a gift. If we don’t get something to make the feedback easier for me as an employee or for me as a manager, I don’t do it. TMA offers this supervised feedback, which is a tool that helps us to give feedback or to receive feedback whenever we want. These are my three steps of onboarding. From my side, it is what I wanted to share. Sam, thank you very much.

PSF 10 | Talent Management

Talent Management: You have no organization development without teaming development.


Thank you, Pily. That’s great. I’d like to introduce you to Peter Tuybens. He is a Senior Coach and Facilitator at TICkA, Tick Your Talent. It is a consulting company that has worked with companies like Deloitte Consulting, Danone and among some sports organizations such as the Olympic team of Belgium.

Peter is passionate about guiding management teams and strategic workshops. He has provided talent center coaching for high-potential people in their leadership and advises organizations, especially their people on change management. Peter coaches and facilitates in Dutch, French and English on a global basis. We’re fortunate to have him. Thank you, Peter. Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you very much, Sam. I’m happy to join all of you and share some experiences. Let me focus first on the teaming aspect. André was saying that you have no organizational development without individual development. I should add you have no organization development without teaming development.

I invite all of you to reflect on your own team and ask yourself the next question, “To what extent is your team more self-reflecting or full of self-confidence?” When your team is more self-reflecting, probably you will have a lot of long meetings and rich discussions. When you have a team that’s full of self-confidence, the tricky situation could be that you want based upon your self-confidence to launch a lot of different projects with a lot of pushbacks from the rest of your organization.

The second question is, is your team giving space to each other or taking space? It’s important. Imagine you’re a C-level team. This is a present for the environment. When you have a C-level team that’s taking space, be careful. It can be good because you’re positioning yourself but it can take some space from the people in your organization.

The third one, is your team patient or more enterprising? It’s interesting because being enterprising, you will tend to launch a lot of things at the same moment without any prioritization. When you’re patient, you will probably have a natural feeling of temporization and choosing the right priorities at the right time. The fourth one, is your team easily satisfied or more competitive? For instance, when you discuss performance reviews, it’s interesting to note the drivers of your team members and your team as a whole.

The essential element of personal development within a professional context is to start with self-knowledge. Click To Tweet

The last one, is your team more compliant or relieving? A C-level team, for instance, that’s too compliant, probably the other stakeholders will not be too happy. When you have a leading team with natural energy based upon their own drivers, this gives a lot of opportunities. The last one, is your team creative or practical? All of these questions, all of these dilemmas can be measured by the material that’s provided by the TMA Method.

What’s important is, and I confirm what André said in the beginning, you need to first have the mindset and then you can start with the toolset. Why is this important? Reflecting on this gives you the opportunity to make the best out of your team and within your team the best out of your individuals. The period we face is a challenging one for teams. We work long distances. We have all learned to work with video seminars and webinars including myself. It’s important to understand the importance of teaming. These are some questions that can be useful to talk with each other and not about each other within the teams.

My first recommendation is to please unplug your teams. For the music lovers here, you probably know the unplugged music versions of classical pieces of music. I always remember the Nirvana Unplugged Longplayer. The team unplugged has a double sense. The first sense is let’s go back to basics. Let’s go back to the core of your team by knowing the drivers of every individual. The second level is to unplug your team from the operational day-to-day business. Give them the opportunity to take some space. Give them the opportunity to do some mental thinking on the day-to-day reality. It’s professional quality time.

Another element I also face in day-to-day working with teams and C-level teams is it’s important to have respect for individual diversity. We are able to measure the team drivers, determine the talents, and determine the preferred attitude and consequences. When I’m working with teams, it’s always a fun activity and it’s a source of energy in itself. When you can do this with respect to individual diversity, you’re at a higher level than before.

You can see diversity in a very wide way. The classical society, the diversity descriptions but also diversity, drivers and talent zones. This is important. Sometimes you have team members who are doing things that cost them a lot of energy without knowing that another peer is getting energy from the same thing. This is important to map, discuss and share because it gives another level of cooperation.

In the next slide, there are a few last elements related to teaming. The basic thing and why I love TMA when I saw André the first time years ago is all the stuff and material are strength-based. I’m a big believer and I have always been that we are there to accept that when things are good and normal, it’s not enough. What is good is we should share it with the same passion when we share constructive feedback with each other.

The strengths-based dimension for me is key in teaming. In teaming, there are a lot of things happening to develop team-building, as it’s sometimes called. You can have a drink together, a walk together or whatever. This type of dimension is something that gives and adds value. I’m happy to confirm this in my day-to-day cooperation. The last thing is a short story about John. John is the CFO of a European company with about 4,000 people working there. They’re rather known in Europe.

PSF 10 | Talent Management

Talent Management: It should be clear that once somebody is identified as successful based on their talents, they should know it.


What happened during a team session I had with the company executive committee, at a certain moment, we were sharing feedback. Some people have, for instance, the needs of a lot of variety. Other people have the need for focus. I do not know anybody who gets the same level of energy from focus and the need for variety. People who like variety look more high level. They have difficulties closing cycles. For people who like to focus, everything should be correct. What’s typical with CFOs is a lot of CFOs are perceived as people who have a big need for focus. Why? It’s because they’re there to approve the right figures and present them to the board. They need to be precise in the legislation reporting, etc.

During a team session, at a certain moment, what did we see? We saw that John hated focus and details. All his colleagues from the executive committee were surprised because they knew John as a precise guy and everybody who had some questions on figures, details, etc., went to John and they were well helped but John hated it. Why is it important? This was shared at the moment. This was an a-ha. It’s what we say in German. Andreas knows that well.

It’s important to understand when you share this. The company made some decisions. What did they do? They hired somebody and they gave John more roles in mergers and acquisitions to a more strategic level. The guy has been as happy as he can be after that session. It’s a little example to show what it could be. On the next slide is a picture of the tooling behind all this. There are a lot of opportunities. This is about teams.

Another element and dimension you were asking me to share some thoughts on is personal development. It’s something where I could share for hours and hours together with you. Let me share some thoughts on that one. I work with three visuals here, You, We and Me. For me, the basic element in personal development within the professional context is to start with good self-knowledge.

It’s like a little bit of what Pily said, I streamed the market for years. Once I saw the opportunities of the TMA Methods, I was enthusiastic. For me, the TMA Method and using that material is a boost of self-knowledge. I had 7 or 8 coaching meetings with people on TMA, so I’m in the TMA flow. As you can see, the boost of self-knowledge is key. When you start in development, please help your people to strive to know themselves. You don’t always need to need the tooling but this tooling is fantastic to give it a boost. This is the first reflection.

Another reflection on the next slide is you’re probably convinced about it but please never stop learning. Never stop learning is too vague for me. I see a lot of people who spend a lot of energy in learning things where they have a lot of difficulties and spending energy to learn it. It’s far more interesting and effective to learn based upon your own drivers.

For instance, if you hate to be on the theater stage to explain, to convince, etc., and you have a colleague who can do that better than you, please give the floor to that colleague and develop other elements. It’s good to stretch and go out of your comfort zone but it has its limits. Knowing yourself and personal development gives you the opportunity to choose the topics that are suitable for you to develop. This is key. Knowing your own drivers is a big important element.

Another element I like to share is about how to learn. Should we learn drop-by-drop or should we learn by full buckets of water? Maybe you understand what I’m going to say. Let’s try to learn drop-by-drop. Let’s be patient. Let’s invest in our people in a sustainable way. Let’s take our time. I’m not a believer in one-shot interventions. One of the first things I always say when I share opinions with companies is to take these types of investments.

Drop by drop and take your time. Why? It’s because people do not only learn from the moments you’re sitting together with them but they learn from each other and give them the time to learn from each other. About talking about each other to talking with each other, I have a lot of examples that I can share one day if you’d like me to share that. People learn to talk with each other so it’s not something vague or not tangible. It’s tangible. You can observe it and this is key. You have a situation and the mindset where people have been developing themselves to get good organizational results.

This is what I wanted to share with you. The last slide shows the tooling that can be used. One of the tools that are good is the performance matrix because you can combine what you show in reality with what you’re talented for. That’s interesting because sometimes people show a lot of attitude without being talented, so it costs energy.

Other people are talented for some aspects of their attitude and they do not show it again. This is easier to develop. This is a little example. I hope I have inspired you a little bit in this short time. Thanks again for the invitation and good luck with all your investment in people and yourself. Thanks a lot, and I hope to see you later.

Be patient and invest in your people in a sustainable way. Click To Tweet

Thank you so much, Peter, for sharing all that wisdom. That was great. André is going to come back on and speak on a few things. We’re going to talk about succession and retention. André, back to you.

Thank you, Sam. Before I start, let me share how proud I am that my colleagues and partners around the world are sharing this in this setup. It gives me a feeling that we have a strong community and there is also something that we’re trying to accomplish with the method. I’m sure that Andreas is going to be amazing too like the other three performers.

Let’s talk about succession and retention. Things are interrelated with each other. It is a mindset. When you talk about succession planning, it’s a systematic approach to make sure that your future is set and secured when it comes to your workforce. There are some elements in it that I want to share with you coming from my experience with many companies.

One of the things that are staggering me the most is that we don’t have the courage to share with people that they are the intended successors. There are all kinds of systems behind the doors, a nine-point grid. If you’re an 8 or a 9, you might be the successor but let’s not share that with the individual because there might be some consequences or some claims on that. That is the wrong approach. You should be transparent and it should be clear that once somebody is identified as a successor based on his talents, he should know it.

This is also where personal development comes from. How can you develop yourself to become the next one in line to take over if you’re not aware that you are the successor? Another element in succession planning is also based on what profile. As we live in a dynamic, uncertain world, the VUCA World where Andreas will talk about, how can we make sure that we have the profile in three years? Are we agile enough? The profile is an element in identifying somebody who is fit to follow up but there’s also something else. There is a dynamic.

Let me share a nice experience that I had in Saudi Arabia with my father when we were working for the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. It was a newfound organization and we had senior leadership training, a two-day event. Remarkable as it was, all these leading managers and leaders had their successors next to them. They were already engaged. They were teaming up like buddy systems where they could exchange things for the handover later on. For nobody, it was clear whether they do that but they were identified. That is a nice way to go.

PSF 10 | Talent Management

Talent Management: Exploration is essential to succession planning.


Think about succession planning as an instrument where you prevent a brain drain. You don’t want to be confronted with the fact that one of your key players is all of a sudden leaving because a bigger company with better compensation, benefits or more career perspective offered him the job. That is what’s happening a lot of times. He comes to you saying, “I want to resign. By the way, I still have twenty holidays left. Can I resign by tomorrow and be paid off?” That is not something we want to be confronted with. Therefore, we also have to take in mind that succession planning also has something to do with contingency and with the long term.

We can plan for the long term but we also have to be aware that there can always be an emergency. Let’s call it an emergency. Somebody is leaving without any notice in advance or something terrible happens and is brought down by disease or whatever. We should be aware that in succession planning, there has to be somebody taking over the handover. The handover should be smooth. Why don’t we do that from the front and the start?

There’s another element that I want to share with you. How do we explore this? Do we give the successor enough space and the one who is in a position to collaborate and explore the opportunities? There’s also a learning element in it. If I take my own position, I have my wingman, Abdallah Hammad, and he is working with me. What I say to him is, “Abdallah, let me learn from you and explore your limitations.” One of my management styles is if I cannot add 20% more added value, then I shut up. I am living as somebody in a position in my own little paradigm, perhaps even what I would call my open dogma.

I have my own way of thinking and looking at something in retrospect or perspective. I am restricted in my own experience. I am biased. By asking Abdallah to go forward and to learn from both sides, my position gets better. I’m getting more broadly developed and I give him the opportunity to become my successor. That exploration is important when it comes to succession planning and that is not something doing it because HR is asking you who your successor is.

There’s also something about looking forward and when you get into a position, why don’t you address that with somebody? That takes some courage and some commitment. If I want to commit myself to my job and make sure there is no brain drain, then I should also talk and have a dialogue with my successor on how to do that. That’s not at the end of my position. When I start the position, I already know that I’m going to be here for 3 years, 5 years or whatever but I can still work on making sure that all the knowledge is not lost when I’m gone or when I fail out by a disaster or whatever traumatic experience. Those things can happen.

Another element in succession planning is also about experimenting. That means giving your successor a role. Let him experiment and don’t be afraid that he’s making a mistake. Even when he makes a mistake, and this is something I said before, it doesn’t matter. It’s the first attempt at learning. Learn fast and do that together. This experiment and making sure that the knowledge, experience, skills, understanding of the context of the role and the way to the future are done together. Therefore, you have to think about what are the roles that we are taking in this position to have a successor in place.

There’s another thing that I want to address. Why is it that we are only doing succession planning for the key roles? Please ask yourself that. If we talk about inclusion, everybody is unique and everybody contributes. Everybody has a specific skillset and preferred behavior. If we are only doing succession planning and framing it in one person or only succession planning in the frame of key roles, only for managers, we’re making a huge mistake. Every position is worth having a successor. Every position should have a lineup and say, “How can I collaborate?” Even a receptionist has somebody that says, “This is what I do. How can I learn from you and how can I transfer this?”

Develop yourself on your core drive and strength. Click To Tweet

To have good succession planning and to have an idea about how you can deal with that, it is important that you have data. If you have an overview of your workforce where the gifts and talents are, have an idea about the ambition of people knowing that they can develop themselves on their core drives on their strength. If you have that idea and you have that data, you are more objective and you will be more solid in doing your succession planning. It’s not about who has the best Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or who is the biggest expert and what is the most critical position. We are a community that consists of different populations and we have to unite. The key is tapping on the talents.

When I’m making the relation to retention, I think about how important succession planning is to sustain your future. My statement would be, “Think about it in your own position, is your successor in place? What can you do to help the organization? What is in it for you?” You, in a leadership role or a manager role, if you know that your successor is coming, what does that do to you when it comes to your career move or the mobility of the workforce in the organization. Also, the learning elements that you can grasp by having good succession planning for your organization. I hope I gave you some considerations and some inspiration to see that succession planning is much aligned with personal development and retention.

Let me step into the next level of retention. In many business cases that I have been involved with through my partners and on my international tours, retention is always an issue. They always say, “How do we retain our talents?” Why is that? We can talk about if you want to retain the people, maybe you should have had a better look at how you recruit them or onboard them.

What I also learned from Sam is if you want to have top people for a longer time, are you paying them the top dollar? In other words, it’s not only about money but it is also about the compensation and benefits. Do you provide a future for them? Why is it that we never have a retention dialog every year but only an appraisal every year? You’ve done well or you haven’t done well.

Let’s take a few perspectives on this. The first thing is we’re another philanthropic organization where everybody can do whatever you want and be paid for whatever you charge or want for that. Let’s look at the enterprise perspective. First of all, it is about acceptance and authenticity. Accepting that we have an individual and when this person can engage and be productive in an authentic way and we accept that, we have a good employee on board. This is also how loyalty starts to exist.

Another thing is camaraderie. Being well-appreciated and feeling that people want to take the extra mile for you. It’s showing that they are a solid and valuable member of the community. It’s the feeling that there is social cohesion. That is important. That comes from the culture to retain your talents. It’s psychologically tough if you feel that you are an important member of a community to step out. Let’s give an example in your family life. As Simon Sinek said, “How easy is it for you to get divorced or say goodbye to your family members?” “You’re not here. I don’t need you anymore. Let’s go.” You don’t let them go. This social cohesion, the feeling that you belong to something that is important.

There’s another thing with retention and that is fairness. How many times do people make promises or how many times do people think that they will get into a position and that they can stay on but the preference, legitimate or not legitimate, is going to somebody else? Be clear and fair in what you demount and what denounce but also it has to be coming from both ends. That is an enterprise perspective that I want to share with you when it comes to retention.

PSF 10 | Talent Management

Talent Management: The enterprise perspective is all about the acceptance and authenticity that we deal with an individual.


Also, there is the individual perspective and this is something we have to listen to. If you ask people to do things against their nature and their drives where they cannot be authentic. They have to shut up because there is no psychological safety. They cannot contribute. They don’t feel that they have a meaningful contribution because the manager is saying, “I’m sorry. Your ideas are great but the system doesn’t allow us.”

People feel that when they go to the job, they go behind the computer, they do some data entry the whole day, and they go home. Nobody’s interested in them. They don’t feel that they belong there. They have a headache and instead of taking aspirin and going to the job, they stay at home. This is an individual perspective. If you feel that you get attention and make a meaningful contribution that adds value, then you have an individual perspective that forms loyalty and forms the right setting to take the extra mile.

There’s also another perspective and that is coming a little bit between the two. Therefore, I use a symbol of the impossible triangle, which is possible if you look at it. It is the career perspective. The career perspective is not only important for the enterprise but also important for the individual. When it comes to retention, do we give people the right opportunity or are we framing them in this career path? It’s like, “You start here and you can grow horizontal or you can grow in the vertical but that’s it. You cannot swap.”

What is the opportunity we’re offering people? Do we give them the opportunity also to have an idea, maybe go on a little 1 day or 2 days internship to see if there was something else that they could contribute? There’s another element to it and that is what I call role and mandate. If you are going for a career, how far can you go and what role are you getting to take those gentle steps? Peter used the metaphor of little drops and not the buckets.

There’s the element of personal development. I have seen many times in many organizations and there are exceptions. If you have these Deliberately Developmental Organizations, the DDE Enterprises, where everything is about developing yourself in the right way with a strong, transparent, open and sometimes even blunt feedback. This is how it works. People learn and develop themselves in context.

If you want to offer people a career, that means that you have to give them that space. You have to give them that attention. It goes by little steps and stretching but also the safe environment where people are able to get the opportunity to chase after their career by personal development. That means how can I get all these flavors? How can I get all these experiments? How can I share this with my environment to take the right step? Can I be frank and open about it?

For me, retention is something that should be placed in the annual appraisal reviews. Maybe I’m a little bit blunt but I want to challenge you. An annual appraisal is utterly ridiculous. The candidate, an employee, knows what their performance has been and the manager too. Why have a dialogue about it? You’re way too late. After a year, you cannot do any interventions anymore. That component of appraisal should be on a day-to-day basis. Pily also referred to this as unsupervised feedback, instant feedback. This is what you do to ensure their performance.

When it comes to retention, you also have to have the idea, “What can I do to retain you. Can I offer you the position even in the same role but adjusted according to your personal development and career perspective?” If I cannot, then I should have a different retention dialogue and I should say, “What can I do to bring you to a new environment? Maybe even to a competitor or maybe even to a supplier? What can I do in all fairness when it comes to our placement? Do I dare to have that discussion with an individual every year? Will you stay or will you go?”

I can only ask these questions if I’m capable of saying, “I can give you a solid promise that next year, you can develop yourself in this perspective and we request for you to contribute by this performance.” Let me give you a practical example. When I was restarting a company that went bankrupt, it was a sales organization delivering on education for the IT market with Microsoft training, etc. The data that I had was that every account management sticks around three years in a contract. The first year he is exploring, finding his way to get onto his performance level and getting onto the target.

If you feel you can make a meaningful contribution, you have an individual perspective that forms loyalty and excellence. Click To Tweet

In the second year, they try to balance and they get restless because the third year, it’s repetitive for them. The figures showed that on average, they stay three years. Although they were asking me in the company to have an undetermined employment contract. I ask them, “If you only stay three years, why would I give you an undetermined employee contract? Why don’t we make an agreement? Let’s stay three years but we already have the dialogue after year two about your retention. Do you want to stay or should we use the last year to make sure that we can have a succession, to make sure that we can find you another job for outplacement?”

That is also giving workforce mobility. I have a workforce in place that is maybe skilled but not dedicated anymore to do the things. This is also how I can create mobility. The right way forward is to have a retention dialogue every year and replace it with your appraisal dialogue at the end of an HR cycle. That is also a mindset saying if you love people, it is also an element of love that you can say goodbye and that you can take a distance. If you do that, they might come back later on.

I have four daughters. As I say to my family, at one point, I have to let them go. I cannot hold them together because that is retention I cannot have. Helping them already with a perspective, at one point, you’re free to travel around the world. You’re free to explore but you will always have a solid place here. This is a way we can treat our talents in a far better way. They will always be the ambassador because you help them with their career and they will always talk positively about the way you treat them.

I’ve also heard the expression many times that people are hired for skills but they leave for their behavior. If you tap in a little bit deeper, why do they leave? Most likely, it’s because they don’t feel that they belong anymore. They don’t have a meaningful contribution and they’re sick and tired of the way management is treating them. I know this sounds blunt and harsh. There are a lot of exceptions but talk to people or look at the surveys that are shown by McKinsey or by the Boston Consulting Group. I’m sure you can find these things. People leave because they are made a promise that is not coming true. People will also leave because they don’t want to.

Retention is a major element of integral talent management and it takes a lot of courage and a lot of insights. As Peter said, the TMA is helping you to dive in a little bit deeper. It is giving you the mental capacity to understand yourself in a better and in a deeper way but also your employees. That is the way we communicate. This is how we understand each other. This is why families are successful.

I am successful with my wife. I’m not saying that we will be there for the rest of our life but so far, we are because we have a dialogue. We understand each other. We take the energy and we take the momentum to dive in deep in understanding each other. This is the basis of retaining my relationship. This is the basis of retaining my workforce. That takes a lot of courage and a lot of good comprehensive leadership. For that, I want to give the speaker and the platform to my dear friend, Andreas, to help you with that. Thank you, Sam.

Thank you so much, André. There’s a lot of good information and a lot of questions that we’re going to bring up during the Q&A part of the session. What I’d like to do is introduce you to Andreas Fritsch. He’s the Executive Coach and Trainer at Fritsch Consulting Group. He’s a recognized personal coach in Austria and Germany. He specializes in helping people become more engaged, fostering motivation and high performance and teams. He does this by using a modern diagnostic tool such as the TMA Method to understand how people tick so he can create teams with extraordinary impact. Andreas, it’s on to you.

PSF 10 | Talent Management

Talent Management: In almost every organization, we have people that could perform, but they are not doing it because they are not appreciated.


Sam, thank you for introducing my passion, which is developing people. We are doing that in a very different way. The ways we are approaching the change process is we are doing it differently. This is the reason why I want to directly plug-in into what Peter said. I will work unplugged for you. What we do is something extremely interesting because these guys, Viktor Frankl, Sigmund Freud, Paul Watzlawick, Raoul Schindler, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe have something in common.

You see that not everything is in common. This one is German and these guys are Austrian but they have one extremely important thing in common. They are all talking about this kind of world. They were talking about that because not a single one of them is still with us to explain what he thought about that and why he is coming up with these thoughts. I would love to share my thoughts with you guys.

I would love to show you one of the most important worlds that we know, which is our world, the VUCA World. What is that? André mentioned many of the aspects of VUCA World so far and why managing the VUCA World and why leadership in a VUCA World is important in our days. VUCA means we’re living in a volatile world. Everything is changing rapidly. Volatility is accompanying us. This makes people uncertain. They are not sure about what is going on.

Leadership is even more important in these times than it ever was. We have such incredible complexity around us because everything is growing in the form of an exponential function. We cannot be clear about so many things because they are ambivalent and ambiguous. There’s a lot of ambiguity in our world and this is what creates VUCA. To make that clear, this should not happen anymore.

This volatility, we cannot avoid. We cannot avoid that things are changing at such a dramatic speed. We can contribute a bit to avoid something like this Corona thing around us. I call it that. We cannot avoid VUCA because this is happening. This is our world welt, which is happening automatically, which is the VUCA World. To know how to manage it, I will give you a second world, which is VUCA 2.0. VUCA 2.0 is a conclusion out of everything my dear TMA friends and colleagues mentioned before. VUCA World 2.0 means and world. You learned that by heart. VUCA 2.0 means that to work with our people, we need to show them a reason why. We need to show them a vision.

Here comes TMA. We need to understand what is going on not only in the big VUCA environment but also on an individual level, how our people are ticking and clicking. We have to communicate even more. Exchange and communicate even in the home office situations where we are so far away from each other and often cannot connect and no mirror neurons are flying around. We cannot even drink a coffee together.

Last but not least, André mentioned that we have to stay agile. Agility is key to managing a VUCA World. Let me tell you something about that. Agility is everything around this VUCA 2.0 approach. It’s exactly this. It is a mindset, before you guys start using tools, before you start using TMA with your teams and work with that, out of my perspective, one of the best talent personality tools that we have worldwide I know a lot of these tools. You need the right mindset installed in yourself and installed in your teams before you can use tools.

Coming back to the VUCA World, I would like to be a little bit provocative. Provocative in terms of I tell you things that you might not want to hear. Nevertheless, I warned you before that we are doing things differently. To start that, I want to show you what mermaid management is. To understand mermaid management, we need to understand how people are ticking, clicking and why they are doing that. Before I dive right into the mermaid pool, there’s something extremely important. I want to give you that as a starter to understand one of the guys that I mentioned before.

If you treat people how they are, they will become worse. If you treat them like they could be, they will become better. This is what we see if we look at the personalities of people and if we understand how they are ticking and clicking in the VUCA World. Do you know who said that? He was not a management guru or something extremely experienced coming from a management consulting firm. This was from one of the guys I mentioned. This was from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

This is the basic of mermaid management. Why is this the basic? If I now start to open the pool where the mermaids are living, it could be a little bit harsh and maybe you will say, “No. It is not nice to put people into aquarium boxes,” or something like that. You will soon see that this is the way to understand management in a VUCA World. We have a wonderful and deep aquarium and this aquarium is your company. You have people and employees in your company who are maybe in a state of motivation, in the state of mind that they want to do their job. They have a high state of will and you have other people who are extremely skilled.

If you love people, you can say goodbye. Click To Tweet

Peter mentioned the performance matrix. I want to integrate that this is something you can exactly measure with TMA. We see in the will the behavior that people have and the skill is shown by the talents people have. Now we start. We have people and they will all be familiar to you who want to do things, be successful, reach specific goals and who want to contribute to your goals, to your company ideas, products, services or whatsoever. We have employees, co-workers and managers as well who already have all the skills they need as well.

These guys, I call the captains. This would be a development process to come from here to there. It’s easy to flip from one quadrant to the other. We have to be realistic that there are also people who are not willing to do and to perform and others who are neither skilled and talented nor do they want to perform. I would skip this quadrant because assuming they are not existing in your company. This would be maybe a little bit unrealistic, maybe they are. I assume they’re not there. Now it comes to one of the biggest challenges out of different reasons.

In almost every organization, we have people that could perform but they are not doing it because they are not appreciated or someone told them things that were not true. I remember this wonderful comic with Snoopy lying on his hat. It’s due to the wrong job description. I was fooled by that. Who survived different mergers and acquisitions? Who had the wrong bosses? Who had the wrong situation? What happens? They could behave like that.

We call this behavior mermaid behavior. Mermaids are beautiful, interesting and precious but they eat the young, talented, motivated, experienced sailors, not yet experienced sailors they want to grow. If we have a motivational curve where they are starting here from point number one, they have motivational lag because they see that sometimes reality is not exactly going along with what they were told. After that, they meet the mermaids and they probably get eaten in the belly of tears.

If you handle these situations and if you show them what their talents are and what they can do in situations where they’re not happy with their job, environment, colleagues and with what they do. If you as a manager can show that to them and it’s not the mermaid who shows them how terrible things are, you can bring these great young talents into the personal flow and make them skilled and motivated as well.

To make something clear, these mermaids are not there to be killed. This is something we often hear, “It’s great that you mentioned the mermaids. We have to kill them. They are disturbing us. They’re influencing all the others. They are killing our atmosphere and our culture in the company.” This is not the approach. This would be much too easy.

For the mermaids, there is one rule. Give them a chance to change. If you do so, these guys are the most valuable investments of your time because they are skilled, have talents and they underperforming for different reasons. If you can manage them, understand them and understand how they’re ticking and clicking, if you communicate in the right way and if you give them a vision. If you handle the situations with a very agile approach, you have this huge potential of bringing them upwards in this matrix. Sometimes this is hard. It’s easier for these guys. It’s a challenge if they are deep underwater in an iceberg picture.

This is mermaid management. Why am I showing you that? Before you start managing them, before you start using TMA, go into the mindset. Check TMA as a toolset. You guys are the mindset. Check two things, what potential is there? What can we do? Make 100% clear that you are not a mermaid yourself, which sometimes could happen.

Don’t get me wrong but this is something that we experienced often. This is the idea of leadership in the VUCA World and mermaid management. I hope I could make these things, these ideas behind that clear. If you want to measure behavior and talents, you can perfectly do that with TMA but don’t start with that before having the right mindset in place.

Thank you, André. That was outstanding. One thing before we start with Q&A, I want to talk about the benefits of those that are attending here. We do have the TMA Assessment and a glimpse of the TMA Tool that will be provided to each one of you. After this session, we’ll send you a TMA Assessment and you’ll be able to see what the participant portal looks like as your results filter in.

That’s always fun. What we’ll do is we’ll also join you and have a quick coaching session on how to utilize that portal in its best fashion and perhaps you’ll be able to have some more interaction with some of our experts here. André, is there anything that you would like to say in conclusion of our session before we get to questions?

As a conclusion, that maybe is a little bit too premature. First of all, let me thank you for all the contributions of my partners. It makes me proud to see this engagement and that our mindsets are aligned. Let’s spread it out and see it as a positive vibe that we can bring to the world. That is a game-changer on a different end. When I looked at the questions and the response, we had a nice session and interesting questions. I’m sure that my partners and I are willing to answer that.

We do have a few questions in the Q&A section. Nancy is asking, “To support development for everyone, how do flexible companies approach things that are flexible to accommodate everyone in the company?”

Thank you, Sam. In my experience, at least here in Mexico, companies are focused on their mini-mes. I don’t know if that concept is familiar to you regarding a famous movie in which you’re looking for someone exactly like you to cover a position. My focus here is I always try to explain to my clients that everyone is different and it is going to be impossible to find someone like you with your talents. Usually, I try to get them with some examples regarding my partner in me, which we are completely different. Although we are close, we’re completely different and we have opposite talents. If we use them correctly, then we will be able to get the best of the people.

When talking about flexibility in these characteristics of a profile, we need to understand first what they need to achieve at the end. The greatest challenge here is that they are focused on the characteristics of the person instead of the objective they’re trying to cover or to achieve. First of all, we need to understand what you want to do with that person or with the role. We then can help you gather all the characteristics. To do that, we use the CSA. I’m sure that Nancy already knows the CSA. She’s a certified professional here in Mexico. I’m sure that using that tool is going to be useful for her to make the companies more flexible.

Thank you.

I would like to add something to that. It also is something about courage. If you are in the field of HR or you’re a manager and you are in this protocol of having an annual appraisal where you combine it with a personal development plan, then you have to make a choice as a manager from a preset of courses or coaching sessions or whatever to have this annual dialogue with people. That means if you are only restricted to this limitation in terms of choice, then you cannot step in. It takes courage to step away from that.

There’s also another element to it and that is the mindset. People have to understand that through development, when you internalize the theory and the new knowledge that you have, you have to internalize that and that is what you have to experiment in day-to-day practice. If you want to develop your people, give them the space and have a dialogue about it. Drop the format that you already have but pay individual attention.

There is also a question that I have for those people who are in the field of HR. Why are you trying to create such a format? One does not fit all. The TMA is also helping you in identifying what is the preferred learning style of a candidate? Does he need a formal setting or an informal setting? Is it more practical or is it more theoretical? Is it more out or does it need support? Do realize that when it comes to learning as Peter said, it’s drop-by-drop, internalization and that we should never forget that.

If you treat people how they are, they will become worse. If you treat them like they could be, they will become better. Click To Tweet

Another question that we have here is from Harold. He mentions that the TMA Method has many pieces to it. How could we determine the return on investment, the investment that a company should make to go in this direction? Are there metrics or something that you’re aware of that you use, André, for the success of such a platform?

Yeah. We’ve done some research in our department. In our company, we have research and development. People are doing the right analytics. When you implement the TMA system in itself, it’s not something that you throw in a set of tools. It is also about how you manage it when it comes to business process modeling. You have to have an idea about what is the performance of what are the key indicators at this point and how does the TMA impact this. We have cases where we have proven to be effective in delivering 27% more productivity retaining 25%. All these cases are there.

Nonetheless, this is also what I believe. We cannot deliver the world by one fits all. There’s also a cultural aspect to it. There’s also a local color to it. “Couleur locale,” as the French say. What do we do to do this, to measure the return on investment? If we can frame it, what are we replacing? What are the numbers before? What are the numbers afterward?

If you think about it, let’s take the United States. The average wage is $40,000 a year. Let’s pick a number. How much do you want to invest? What is your IT investment on this for each individual? When I’m asking you for 0.5% or 1% as an annual fee, you look and you see that sick rate, short absent leaves are going down and productivity is going up, it’s a no-brainer. You have to make this investment. The same as what Peter was saying about personal development, you have to take it step-by-step.

It is too much to say we can fully integrate talent management within three months. Take it step-by-step and follow the results from that and you will have your benefits. How much do we invest? When it comes to personal development, the simple Excel course is easily between $250 and $350 if you attend. We’re not even charging that for offering people the mental capacity and all the development tools for that. Make your balance on that.

Andreas, when we look at companies in many countries, when we have an executive team that comes together, a lot of times they’re not quite meshing or there are some issues so forth. In your leadership development, how do you bring these teams together? Do you use a particular methodology that you would first employ?

One of the most important things is that people are experiencing themselves. This is in times like we have right now, it’s not that easy because we cannot even get in touch. What we try to do is integrate people in the early stage. If we go to TMA, we are working with something that is called Online Analysis where we can see the team talents and how the team members are ticking and clicking and make that visible to all of the other team members for example in an onboarding process. This is something that we can do online. I can recommend that to each manager, leader, or team member who is responsible for projects to apply this visibility to make things visible to the team and to communicate.

One important thing I want to add to the last question is measurability. How we can measure success? I want to give you one insight into our experience and learnings over twenty years that I’m doing executive coaching. If we have a look at this matrix, we know that people who want to do things will be successful at a rate of around 80%. This is our experience in teams. People who do not want to, will be successful at a rate of around 10%. They will be almost 100% clear that they will not be successful.

To see this disproportion, we understand how important talent management is to integrate these guys into the captain’s field, to bring them up and to understand how they are taking and clicking and what the problem is. It’s hard to measure but this is an approach where we can see the importance of doing that. This also has to do with the first question.

It’s super important to make sure you’re bringing on the right people, which is a question for Jorge here. Jorge, you mentioned identifying the right competencies to ensure that we’re bringing on and identifying the right candidates and their knowledge skills, abilities, their competencies, behaviors, and so forth. How do you determine the right competency set for a particular job?

The key element in which we understand or select the competencies that are attached to their position is how the manager measures success. To do this, I encourage people not to use the classic framework, which is the SMARTY goal. What I have realized is people try to express what the decision needs to do. Using this framework is complicated to articulate in one session in which the people are trying to express what they want. My advice to this is to tell me in your own words what this person needs to do to be a professional at this job. When I have a clear understanding of this, I try to repeat it in my own words while I’m understanding what the person or the hiring manager said. This is one key element.

The other key element is what is the context in which the position is surrounded? For example, what are the things that people need to improve if this is a replacement at that position? What is the support or the lack of support that this position is going to have to be professional in the role? Also, to understand not the activity itself but the whole process. For example, what is the input of the activity? What are the activity itself and the output of the activity? Who are the stakeholders that this person needs to influence or to work with?

Once I have understood this, I can go back to the TMA to select the competencies. TMA has a wonderful tool in which you can identify what the key area results are. It will help you to understand the suggested competencies that you can apply for this position. That would be my recommendation to understand or select the competencies for the position.

Thank you so much, Jorge. One quick question, if you wouldn’t mind, Peter. There’s a lot of small companies that are growing fast or not thinking about development and so forth. What are the top things we need to do to convince leadership that development is critical?

It’s a short question with an answer with 25 opportunities to share. I’ll repeat what Andreas and André said. It’s to start to learn to think with the right mindset. An example is sometimes a gift to them is by asking, “How many people in growing companies did you hire? After two years, how many people are still there?” In general, you get this figure of 50%. The 50% is a huge cost to replace. This has been mentioned.

What’s important is to have an overview. It’s a data analysis and it’s possible with this material and with this tooling to see what type of talent you have inside. This is the first step. Let’s try to know what we have inside our company. There are opportunities to simplify. You push on the button and you have the names of the guys and the girls that are related to a certain competency and drivers. This is one.

The second one is once you have all this, it’s important to calculate the investment needed from people internally compared to the hiring cost externally. Believe me, a lot of companies are quickly convinced once they compare these two elements. The main thing is, let’s not forget the internal talents before going outside.

Thank you so much, Peter. I want to make sure that we thank all of our panelists for dedicating their time and telling us a little bit about the TMA Method and how it’s used across the globe. Thank you so much. Once again, thank you, Abdallah, for putting together the wonderful presentation that we had. It was great.

It’s my pleasure.

I’d like to wish everyone a wonderful evening or morning, depending on where you are on the globe and thank you very much for your time.

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 About André Blom

Blom’s brand promise is sustainable adaptability by utilizing talent potential. With an easy to apply a set of instruments organizations are able to align their human capital with the organizations strategy, brand promise and core values by compiling accurate performance profiles for the individual employee.




About Jorge Martínez

I am a former finance executive who changed his financial career to become a recruiting consultant. Personally, I love helping people make better decisions and build their careers better.
For years I have studied the art of executive search and recruiting, over time I have become an expert in SOCIAL RECRUITMENT and EXECUTIVE ACQUISITION strategies.\
I am passionate about learning new sourcing techniques, following staff trends, and studying the dynamics of teamwork and the right cultural fit.
In 2010, I launched Arancione, providing full-cycle HEADHUNTING processes, and today we are proud to serve many of the top employers who come to us to find all levels of leadership talent.

About Maria del Pilar Martinez

She is passionate about talent management and has 20 years of experience as a leader working with the development of people in different positions.
She Specializes in developing leaders in different sectors such as consumption, logistics, manufacturing and technology.
She has a specialty working in and with the Sales, Marketing, Operations and Human Resources areas, forming High Performance teams.
She also has International Certifications in Talent Management, Leadership and Positive Psychology with extensive experience working with the TOP Management of organizations in the implementation of strategic organizational changes.
Certified as International Headhunter for Top Management positions.
Currently in charge of the operation of the Consulting team in Arancione for 6 years and International Premium Partner of TMA Method.
My main services are:
* Executive Headhunting
* International Certification in Talent Management
* Talent Management:
** Leadership Programs (Different levels)
** 360 ° evaluations
** Team Assessments
** Emotional Management
** Switchers program
** Agility Assessment

About Peter Tuybens

1981-1988 : Consultant study methods , responsible for PR and information, Vlekho-business school, Brussels
– 1988- 1993: Training Responsible communication skills , Royale Belge (insurance company):
creation, organisation and facilitation of seminars, since 1991: co-ordination of training projects
– 1993-1996 :marketing & communication manager, UAB ( Royale Belge group)
conception and co-ordination of client satisfaction programmes, external communication (corporate brochures, leaflets for prospects, below the line projects,..), co-ordination and coaching steering committees for product launches, management of sponsoring activities, PR sponsoring partners,
-1994-1995: Freelance Consultant for BCT/ CPM Coaching&Training: training courses and seminars on communication skills (interviewing skills, coaching and facilitating training programmes, ‘Train the trainer’…, customer service skills, leadership programmes
– since 1996: Managing Partner of BCT Coaching & Training NV, coaching of 8 BCT-collegues.
– Since 2008 (acquisition by Acerta) : Business Manager /Senior consultant /Coach
BCT Coaching & Training , member of Acerta Consult, same activities, more focus on facilitation top management teams, Coaching of 25 BCT – colleagues
– Since 2009: executive partner CORGO (coaching board members)
– Since May 2011: Director Consultancy & Development of Acerta Consult, supporting professionals in Organisation Development tools, training, facilitation, coaching (expertise brands BCT Coaching & Training and VOCA (social profit training and coaching) and talent development.
– Since 2014: ambassador for TMA(r) (,
– Since September 2020 partnership with TICka-tick your talent
learning tracks and facilitation of strategic (e-)workshops, executive (e-)coaching
-English (30%), French (30%) and Dutch (40%)
-Successful tracks in Europe, USA, Middle East Region, South-Africa, Singapore. Today mainly coaching teams and team managers

About Andreas Fritsch

Speaker, Trainer and Executive Coach
Master-Trainer for TMA: Offering License Trainings for TMA, the Talent- and Motivational Analysis
Spezialgebiete: Keynote Speech, Leadership Trainings, Sales Leadership Trainings, Coaching for Executives, Sales- and Relationship-Management-Trainings.
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