Best-Practices-Chapter-Microsoft

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Essential resources for training and HR professionals

BEST PRACTICES
in

TALENT
MANAGEMENT
H OW T H E WO R L D ’ S L E A D I N G C O R P O R AT I O N S M A N AG E , D E V E L O P, A N D R E TA I N TO P TA L E N T EDITED BY

MARSHALL GOLDSMITH

AND

L O U I S C A RT E R

A P U B LI C ATI O N O F TH E B E ST P R A C TI C E I N STITUTE

CHAPTER

10
MICROSOFT CORPORATION
SHANNON WALLIS, BRIAN O. UNDERHILL, AND CARTER MCNAMARA Leaders Building Leaders—transforming Microsoft’s high-potential development experience that integrates assessment, coaching, mentoring, learning circles, action learning, and business conferences. ■ ■ ■

Introduction What Led Microsoft SMSG to Make the Change Expo Leaders Building Leaders—The New High-Potential Development Experience ■ ■ ■ ■

High-Potential Identification ExPo Tiers Five Drivers of Accelerated Development for High-Potentials Five Development Components Key Steps and Timeline Research Activities



The Process of Redesigning the High-Potential Development Experience ■ ■

177
(c) 2010 by John Wiley and Sons. All Rights Reserved.

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Best Practices in Talent Management

■ ■ ■

Team Structure and Thought Leaders Transition Management Activities

Coaching as a Primary Development Component for HiPo Development in SMSG Learning Circles as a Primary Development Component for HiPo Development in SMSG ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■



Circles Process Mirrors How Today’s Leaders Work and Learn Unique Principles of Learning Behind Learning Circles Learning Circles Compared to Traditional Forms of Training Life of a Circle Coaching Goals Actions Between Meetings Circle Termination and Renewal How Circles Are Organized Results and Benefits for Circle Members



Conclusion

INTRODUCTION
The opportunity for ongoing learning and development is a commitment Microsoft makes to all employees. Microsoft invests more than $375 million annually in formal education programs directed at the employee, manager, and leader, offered by the Corporate Learning and Development groups and other profession-specific learning groups throughout the company. In addition to the development offered to all employees, Microsoft invests in a smaller group of employees who have the potential for, and strong interest in, taking on more senior, critical roles as individual contributors or managers. These individuals are identified and considered for more focused career development, which may include participation in one of several professional development experiences known as highpotential development programs. In identifying employees as high-potential, it is important to appreciate that natural “gifts” are not sufficient. For an employee, reaching his or her full potential depends on a combination of natural gifts, what he or she does with that talent (hard work, perseverance, courage, etc.), the experiences he or she is given, the support of others along the way, and the context/culture within which he or she operates (McCall & Hollenbeck, 2002; McCall, Lombardo, & Morrison, 1998). At Microsoft, high-potential development goes beyond traditional management or leadership development. Instead, it focuses on accelerating the development of these individuals to advance to the next career stage. The remainder of this chapter will

(c) 2010 by John Wiley and Sons. All Rights Reserved.

Microsoft Corporation

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present Microsoft’s case for making a significant shift in high-potential development within the Sales Marketing and Services Group (SMSG).

WHAT LED MICROSOFT SMSG TO MAKE THE CHANGE
The Sales Marketing and Services Group is more than 45,000 employees responsible for Microsoft sales, marketing, and service initiatives; customer and partner programs; and product support and consulting services worldwide. Its field sales and marketing professionals delivered $53B in billed revenue in fiscal year 2008 and $34.8B in profit. Additionally, the group is responsible for corporate...
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