WorkKeys Works – Talent Development Cycle

By on April 4, 2013
WorkKeys Works – Talent Development Cycle

How many times do we question our approach in regards to communicating to others what we do? Hopefully, if we want to keep our approach fresh, we should do this quite regularly. Recently I sat down to look at how WorkKeys can address the needs of companies with whom I work. This thought process evolved into how WorkKeys can better fit into the Workforce Solution Group’s comprehensive performance improvement and talent development operation. Of course, now the thought process wouldn’t stop. How would WorkKeys and all the Workforce Solution Group services address the needs of our customers?

In Talent Development, we sometimes lose sight of the second word in the phrase. Development generally means looking at all aspects of something and determining if and how it can be improved. In Talent Development, we need to take a full 360-degree look at the process. This could include a Needs Analysis/Workforce Plan all the way to Succession Planning, and all points in between.

It appeared we needed to have some common defined ideas around which we could communicate. With that in mind, I researched different concepts around the idea of Talent Development. Regretfully, I couldn’t find exactly what I needed.

So I took my 35 years of workforce development experience, sat in a dark room, turned on the music and cultivated an idea in my mind as to what a Talent Development Cycle could look like. After outlining the main categories, I thought it would be good to start an input process for the further development of this concept. We have a number of business content experts in the Workforce Solution Group. So my next step was to meet with a subject matter expert group and see how we could incorporate this idea into our operation. It was agreed that this idea of a Talent Development Cycle would be a good graphical way to demonstrate what we do and a way to start a conversation that establishes a company’s need(s). Our next step will be to develop definitions and design a permanent graphical representation our approach.

To build acceptance of this idea, we also need comments from outside “our box.” What do you think about this model and approach?

If you are interested in contributing to the next step, please respond to this blog or contact me directly at

Talent Development Cycle

About Jim Duane

Jim has more than 30 years of experience in the workforce development field. At St. Louis Community College’s Workforce Solutions Group, Jim is the manager and lead WorkKeys job task and skill profiler for the WorkKeys Solution Center. Throughout his 10 plus years as a WorkKeys Job Profiler, Jim has worked with numerous large, medium and small size companies in the aerospace/defense, beverage, cement manufacturing, construction, drug manufacturing, electric utility, healthcare, hospital, petroleum-chemical processing, and sporting goods industries. His team has conducted approximately 50,000 WorkKeys assessments for companies, organized labor, schools, and organizations. He has also presented at national and regional conferences, chaired regional workforce resource committees, and conducted numerous local, statewide and national focus groups around workforce development. He has received the Missouri Governor's Award for Excellence in Leadership in workforce development. This award was based on the Malcolm Baldridge quality management criteria.