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done agrtnst 6nn guidellna. The top 25% and top S% are identlhed as #re the bottom 1096. Th& performance Is alrsased igafnu t h r e maln areas: performance u a buslncv operator; performance as a value opratar; and performance u a people developer. At the end of the year an Individual's contrlbutlon across aii their projects is brought together and a process of calibration across peen glves a final end of year performance rating. The p n x e u of end of year calibration is managed by a number of Independent assuson from the service line who are raponslble for maklng sure that the information agalnst each indivldual is fair and rigorous. All the assessors then come together to produce a final f o r d distribution for each job grade. The implication of this final year grade is threefold. It is linked to remuneration, feed,into promotion decisions, and forms the basls of a development discussion with the individuals' career counsellor. Career counreUon When Indlvlduals join Accenture they are awlgned a career counsellor. This is seen as a key relationship in the indivldual's career. These are not always senior executives but are experienced managen and they will be at least one grade, and usually two grade, above the Indlvldual. Their role is seen as twofold: to help ensure that an individual is fairly represent4 In the performance management proccss, and to be a sounding board to talk through career developlnenl o p p r t unil lcs anti whicll rolrs might provlde r d q w t e stretch and development. The role of the counsellor Is seen as hugely supportive by consultants particularly In an envlronrnent which Is so hlghly driven and srresful. They wen described by some as being 'a constant amongst a sea of change'. However they don't have a formal part in the performance management process and in some situations q y not be able to provide Some of the hard evidence or tough feedback that is required. They are positland as being challenge and sounding board. Ultimately it i!up to the india suppo~t, vldual to make their own career choices. Pcoph r d v o u b r In each major organiutional strand within*~ccenture there is a 'People Advocate' who is responsible for ensuring, along with HR that the rnechanics are In place for driving perfdrmance bo h at an Individual arid an organisational level. Part of theobjective o thls role Is to mak sure that the people pmcesm are f well attuned to make sure that they produ an appropriate level of attrition whtlst at thesame timeensuring that there Is a satisfaction within the talent pool. The 'People Advocate' is raponsibie f r rapondingt o the people s and making sum that those people in the rganisation who can Influence a variety of people pollda do so. In practice t is means paying attentian to the



Personal development The development of people is seen as a key factor of Accenture's success. One o the key criteria for an individual's success is their willingness to f learn and develop. Everybody has the same access to development and coaching with the exception of access to the most senior development programme which is by invitation only. This is seen as an indication of potential to move into the most senior level and is regarded as a huge privilege and fs hlghly valued. The other key point in an individual's development is at the key promohon points when they can attend core milestone x h o o l r These core milestone xhoois are taught centrally and give individuals a mixture of technical skills as well u m a g u n e n t sldlls which become more of a feature as they go u p the job ladder. The approach tq development is to ensure that t h a e is a h ~ g h Icvel o consistency amongst its people. As much as 50-6096 of the train~ng f that an individual can expect in their career is common.
Section 2 The talent dimensions :

hygiene faaon of w u r d n g , reaultrnent and rcwud. A lot of emphul, b put on the nontore activities such u corporate dtizauhlp, autlng and n u . turing the community of practice wlthln the organisation and arsurhg that i n d M d r S arc aware and have access to development l ~ h e d e v e l o ~ m eof ta community is regarded as particularly Important n s" cc the working environment, for some, b preuurd and can k Isolating. ere a n regular seminars arranged to encourage peopie to m e t , share i eas and build connections.

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Defining talent Dimension 1 Size of talent pool : Everyone In Accenture is defined as talent. The label of 'talented' is seen as unhelpful In an environment where meritocracy is valued. Within the organUation the use of the word 'talent' as attributed to individuals b very limited. However, it is worth remembering that 1036 of the organisation is counsellCd out every year. Everybody has access to the same opportunities In terms of careers, coaching a n d counselling. It is difficult to be a stable contributor within the organintion since its performance management process drives individuals to grow and develop; falling into a stable contributor category will ultimately lead to being managed out of the organlsation. Oimursion 2 Entry uitena Besaw cvayone b defined as talent and the subdivision of this d e n t pool is done byW r d , entry is through promotion. b already dacrfbed the critga e erta for prwnotion w dearly undefstood There is an annual promotion cycle


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where those people who are eligible for promotion are conddacd against their pem. They are considered in relation to their readiness for the next grade as well as the business need for new entrants within the next job grdde. There Is a lot of support for individuals to reach the next job grade. This is particularly provided through the counsellor retatiomhip, the training and development as well as the access to stretching client work. The process of 'laddering' whereby people are ranked against their pem is described as rigorous, time consuming and at the heart of ensudng that the system is, and is seen to be, open and fair. s The ease of entry into the most senior positions in the company i more difficult. The promotion from senlor manager to senior executive is seen as less transparent than promotion to the more junior grades. There arc a l~rgcr number of people at the senior levels waiting for potential proinotion. i t is unclear to some where they sit within this taient pool and what needs to be done to break through to the most senior levels. Dimension 3: Decision process Accenture is aware that in their world which needs to eruure that evtryone in a consulttng capacity is sufficiently talented them is no use for the labelling of people as talented, or not. In this respect the word taient is unhelpful. At junior levels the decision to promote taient is very c l e ~ and r sits with the collective project leaders, whilst calibration is ensurcdlby the HR and independent assessors. It is less clear within Accenture how the I luture leaden of the business are selected and develoy&. Dimension 4: Permanency of definition Because the talent pooi is defined as everybody, the definition of taient is relatively permanent. it is unusual for people to be demoted to lower grades they are normally managed o h . This docs not, however, mean that everyone in the talent pooi is expected to be a future leader of the organisation. Howwer the success of the organisation is wry much defined by its ability to provide its clients with a 'ht for purpose' intervention. In this respect those individuals that are successful will have to be able to Bex according to changing client rquirements. Therefore the definition d talent is very much influenced by the client rquirements.

Dimension 6 f r s n s k : as belngextmnely transTalent mafugcmmt i t Amnture could k f m how well the parent. Often thb transparency and procwcs of performance management are opaated n t h a thrn utplldt conversations about how p b l c are seen. tn m y what this means Is U that people oftcn infer more about how they a n seen than t h y ace actually told. This manifests i W f in t h s of the projects that they get m o u m d on and the rrguladty with which they arc laddercd in the top, or bottom quanlle. The requirements for performance are well articulated and understood throughout the organisation. T h m was no sense that people didn't undastand this or 111 fact that the orsaniwtion needed to do more. of the process was seen as W n g a little At senior levels the individuals and what they n e e d 4 to more opaque. What The process of arplalnlng why some do more o was f is p o r e of 8 mystery and Is in people have been the m t of the organlsation. marked contrast to

I Developing talent Dimension 7 &elopment path : The c a r e r path foreach individual is clearly laid out and structured. Each iob grade is accompanied with guidelines in tenns of time expected in grade, and what people can cbpect to remain within this g n d e fbr this period of tlme if they are in relation to t h d r pctrs. Some indipccn f o a h o ~ t l perspective rm c viduals that tonsislcntly can be accelerated through thk p d although thls flex is still within as

Dimension 8 Developmentfocus : Acccnture openly says that one of its vital areas of focus Is to ensure that client projects M d that the only way of t h y h a w the b e t pc6ple for to pu~onrl development and doing this is to have a factor not only for hdlviduab make It dear that deSQlk the opporapproprhte iewl o informrtlon to do Qeir job. f In attnccing people to work Accent- an aMllty ro I a n Is one of the key a r e a offand its dn.lop/nmt activities support Ullr

Dimension 5: Recruitment as'a source oftalent This i a highly dynamic organlsation where pcopie arc expected and mcouraged o move through the promotion grades. if an indivlduai remains too long at a grade they a eventually managed out of the business. Thcreforc t there is a constant procas of spotting the right talml both internally and externally. In addition to practice ieadcn W n g responsible for spotting talent the Accenture website is a s o u m of talent it is an acmslble and focussed way of providing potential new recruits with a sense o what f in Accenturc may be like.

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T h e r e h a~ support for individuals, howf ~ ~ they arc crpctcd to and to w k mat oppomrnitia :. make .theif .OM III the o way Ty arc expect4 t o make the h .:. both in t&m+f pmjectsmd . .. .
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D i r n m h I& Use of t t c h n o I ~ Tshnology Is lucd wldely as a tool for amsrlng dcvtiopmmt. E m y m i vidual has atFCIS to which Is an onlhe 41 for M o p fnmt options. Thls a l ~providcr a m to the variety of tmh, systems and l mct hodologl- that form the basis oi the consulling parttet.
Dimension f 7 S~tmsflw'bilip :
The Human Performance practlce i s engaged in a constant rcvlcw p m s of Its approach to Its own talent. Through the support and chrlttngt of toburr Ihr, HR and pcople a d v x a t t s , the Issue a m a t c d with orgarlisatlonal and Individual performance are regularly Hcmd. Dimension 1& Dmnnhip of talent

m m n r p n m q of w h t b trrpcetcd o hdid f dn f v ~ d in ttmrrpf pcrformrnct Wthln a g d e m a b k m m p d e . s d ~ A 'people advoeatc' whose mponrlblUcy It i s ro hold the mlmw up on -hlrnce k t performanee and ~lrlshction. indivldurl Drvt!opopmtn i n g r FDIC value of the orgiinhtlon m d tk cricuungcdrnd a bm*kc the mon o thdr opporhlnltk f A mitun-whlchcncowages opm and honnt k b a t k to enhance perf m a n k md dmlopmait. The rppolntmtnt of am coundlon w h w abjtcdwe Is to provide a' sounding bostd md mnmt p m c e to enewngt grWh *nd
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Reward system that -Is iinkd to puformanm and supporn the mKcnger of skills mrl kmprtcnrtcr to be valurd. A Lalor exccunre dcvelopmcnr programme thrt proddcs m c h and chrl1cngt to potential h u leader% t k

Ownmhlp o l talent 1s dfshfbutcd throughout the organhtion. Thm b no formal process of f r #terming or hlgh potential programme that is u owned cenmlly. Therefore the ownmhip o talent is largely drvolrrd to f the rigour of the p m ; I pnrtirular the chdty with whkh m e undern ~cand thdr performance In relation to their peers and thtn secondly the, support they get fromtheh c a m counscUor. he prof performance management is operatd by pmjm leadcis i who have the re~ponribility ensure that the apprcptiate IcveI of data Is to gather4 In rnpm to cach individual. For cach perfcrmanct cycle there Is a t h m month window ofgathering data this 1s held as king one o the f key tnpnslbilikin o project leaden and they arc held accountable fdt f ensuring this Ir done rigorously. Individuals are aware that thb p m 1s ongoing and are encouraged to make sure that they arc mll r e p m ~ n t c d . As a c h ~ to the ptoctu, indtpendcnt assessors atso rrvlm the qua11 k and consistency of the ladderfng to make sure that the f a l m a and t d parmcy is upheld. In addltion to thlr, HR have r strong role in o w i n g the prtxcu and ~c th*mrelvcs as k i n g not only the guardians of fairness but 1/10 .Me to bring challenge to ensure that due pmcen Is king

Stction 4: &as

fw further #~mtdrratlon .

The following I*rucs m y br Fcdmed upon hrrtha to p m n t thm kmmmg lnutr In the future:
Retention of g& pople. While thcrc,ls dfon wlthln Accenture 10 crertlbg a community ihrt 1.1 able to bind the virtual nature of consultin^ together, then s al* a hlgh Iwel o turnover that-may bt coni f sld=.rcd to k #bod..Hovmer them Is the porJLMlitythrt good p p l e BR also l ~ v l r i gThcit~my mmt h c b t In -ding . be r U W t mort nructur*to-art~culatln~wbrt tonpr-tern car& p r o s p ~ t s the might h md what,the m y i d s d t e d with ! h c ~ arc. t Flebtllty o p m . One of the fcatumof Aseentute nhlch b simllu f to: other -$mFnibtul w vmotgmhtlonr 1s that eodtmts a a rl ' n to them rrpulrrr a strict rdhcrBurlble reKnuct m d to k&p en& to a pmct# I -tuiy;&t n perfomun~* m r g a m t p r m i~ ~ m s *dl vnd+ood and kxhted. barrr u r mqumce there b I p Ibiiity that the pr& p r m n b sirZBdent fltxiMNty to cope with outmdlng W t . mk'myk A ahrlltng~ fot,thttuture. Clmr path -fbr.cxptts.The isp~frlht expertise o ~omt f Indlvldnab cydc. -&ay n ~ i ' bfully mmpiwd wi hln r highly dynamic e




W o n 3:

of gmd practice

me following polnu can bt highllghttd a$ particuktly good practice -in A m n t d rpprolch to d e n t mnagmmt:

A rigorow approach to performance management that I undemkcn s a m the organiraHon on a six month cycla A high d q p of acccptnnct that doing performance managanent e l l I s not only in the k t tntmt of the IndIvldual but also conMbutcr to the cffmivcnm oftht organlatlon I cllcnt work. n

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mmrgunmt wlthln is strong and IndIvidurts u well as the mwemmt and growth

Succeuion planning of senior roles. l process of succession planThereis the potential for this ning at the most senior l e y l s is lrss this talent pool. This block is lack of clarity to demotivate peop e be impornnt as they make also visible to more junior levels career decislons. . kadcrship devclopmeat for junior ievek The senior lradership develop ment programme is viewed as being extremely positive within junior levels. The introduction of a similar opportunity may be an additional vehicle to attracting and developing outstanding talent.



Section 5: Fictitious nrnative

Before I loined Actenture three years ago I had spent four years as a HR manager with a large multinatlonai food group. Before that I left the University of Westminster having gained a merlt In Strategic Human Resource management as part of my first class Business Studies degree. The time in the frontline of HR really q u i p p e d me to deal with some very reai people issua in a n organistion that was going through a period of huge transformational change. This was a hugely complex company that had been built up through the acquisition of a number of global brands. Each brand up until then had h n run as separate businesses, with all the associatrd overheads. Will1 s new CEO it became ciear that it was untcnablc to rwr a busilicss t i n l I~atl such duplication of activity in areas such as HR, marketing, W D etc. So we started a massive programme of eliminating dupiicatlon such that on a national basis there was just one company servicing ail the brands. it was a complex project involving not just r a t ~ c t u d n but also a transformalion g in whkh the various divisions worked together. I was thrown right into the thick of it. I had to recruit a new team for the country 1 was responsible for. I had to work closely with the business to reduce headcount by a third. l When this was d done we then had to start the reai business of getting the new organlsatlon t work together. o We made some mistakes but togethu we made a huge difference and the organisation has returned to growth which is exceeding the sector average. This gave me a huge b u r r 0 ce the businus settled down I found myself doing more of the &y-today R work which frankly I now found leu than interesting. At this stage in my career I thought it was time to make a move. I was attracted ta consulting because I wanted to get an immersion In a variety of sectors Internationally and quickly. From what I knew o the Consulting f world it would give me the opportunity ta repeat aspects of the work which I hnd interesting. I started by looking at various websites and war struck by the thoroughness with which Accenture had paid attention to creating a proposition which seemed to glve me everything I wanted. tl looked like a

company that had values, that was prepared to develop and h.zln its people. Bdng a global organisation It also had acccs to the most interesting rulgnm m t s on a global basts. It was also very performance focused and I liked the emphasis on Individual career progression. Just from the webdte I could see what I could expect from my career and how long it would take. I applied to the Human Performance practice in the U and went K through a thorough recruitment process which gave me the opportunity to make sure that I was the right ht as well as them doing the same. Withln days of me joining Accenture I was assigned a career counsellor who I was told would be me guide and coach throughout my career. Even from these first few weeks A m n t u r e demonstrated its commltrnent to my development. I had almost four days just devoted to my orlentation. It was a great experience because I got to meet a group of people who whlbt came from very diverse backgrounds would also be my peer group. It felt like a cdmmunity all ready. This feeling of belonging to a community is very Important at Accenture. There are so many groups and seminars that you can join not j u t for development but also to create a network The consulting world is very different from corporate life and I quickly valued the effort the company placed In me having a support network I find myself working in very different projects most of which last about 3-4 months, but I can find myself one minute working in Dublin, the next In Germany and then liaving time in London waiting for the next assignmenl. But as a consultant I find myself working as part of a client project group thal puts me in the frontiine of work, doing what I most enjoy. I t became ciear to me that to succeed in this environment you have l o s w certain characteristics: conhdence - in yourself and your abil~t~es. gfmd people skills - build~ng and maintaining client relationships is one of the most important aspects of the job; good communication skills and adaptattilily to be flexible in the type of work you d o and the location you arc working in. I am made to feel that I am q u l l l y mponsible for finding a role that suits my personal development, and that provldes maximiun value to the client. For the first time In my life I fcel 1 have joined a company that will allow me to have a career, rather than just a series of roles. I feel able to plan my devdopment to enable me to work up the ranks, gaining skills and friends as I d o so. I see myself becoming a mentor to those starting out their n and a manager to those striving to achieve their next levels. 1 am loo ng forward to whatever challenge is thrown at me. We are very focussed on performance. At the end of every project I s ~ t down with the project leader and we go through a falrly s t ~ c t u r e d process of feedback and m 4 e w against my objectives. Whilst t h b Is a tough process it is very fair and I know where I am in relation to my pcen. It also gives me a sense of what I can expect in terms of promotion. I make it a priority

to slt down with my counsellor as often as mcin to nvkrr tht feedbad that I have had over the I n six months. Up to now I haw hid great feeda back and I am hoplng that I will be up for promotion at thelkxt promotion cycle. I seem to be doing well compared to my pccn u 1 get regularly a s e s d L the top 25% within my peer group. I am not told n exactly that I am regarded as talent or what my long-term prospects , but thls Is not too mbch of a problem dnce I have seen what happens to people around me and they sum to take every opponunlty to I am also very a m r c that I am developing for the Future and who kno s whew t h l n g may go. All that Is cenaln b that Accmtwe consultants re in demand and we arc supported, developed and although It's tou'gh I know that If I put in the hard work J wlll get the chance. mroughout my time with Accenture, I have had a huge range o training f resources made available. I have a training budget and ~ . c e s , a training to intranet where 1 can monitor my progress and c r a t e my own pemnal curriculum and development plan. I mn also acces~ the Accenture Knowledge Exchange. This is like an online encydopredh; the Exchange Is a mlne of Information that is relevant to my work and my clients' businesses.