Avon Study Case
532 – Talent Management
Provide a brief description of the status of the company that led to its determination that a change was necessary.
In 2005, Avon Products success story turned ugly. After six straights years of ten percent plus growth and a tripling of earnings under CEO Andrea Jung, the company suddenly began losing sales across the globe. The company found itself challenged by flattening revenues and declining operating profits. While the situation had many contributing causes one underlying issue was that Avon had grown faster than portions of its infrastructure and talent could support. As with many growing organizations the structure, people and processes that were right for a $5 billion company were not necessarily a good fit for a ten billion dollar company (Effron, 2005). Numerous cases existed in Avon’s existing talent and in its ability to identify and produce talent. While some of those gaps were due to missing or poorly functioning talent processes, an underlying weakness seemed to lie in the overall approach to managing talent and talent practices (Goldsmith M. &., 2010).
Neither managers nor associates knew how existing talent practices, performance management, succession planning, worked or what they were intended to do. Decisions on talent movement, promotions, and other key talent activities were often influenced as much by individual knowledge and emotion as by objective facts. The Human Resource department could not answer the most basic questions a manager might ask about talent practices, “What will happen to me if I don’t do this?” (Goldsmith M. &., 2010). There talent practice had no merit. There was no talent pipeline.
Identify the model for change theory typified in the case study of your choice. Discuss what led you to identify the model that you did.
The change theory typified in this case study is the 360 degree assessment process along with performance management and/or succession planning this would deliver the expected results if they were consistently and flawlessly executed. They used this method to build talent practices that were easy to implement and a talent management structure that would ensure they were implemented. Disciplined execution could create a strong foundation for success (Effron, 2005). The model of talent management that was proposed was integrated business and human resources strategy, talent management processes, and organizational culture; provides a systemic approach; and results in having talented leaders and individuals available to accomplish the mission of the organization. One of the most simple and powerful changes was to bring as much transparency as possible to every talent practice. The talent management new practices had to be redesigned and existing ones using total transparency as the starting point. Transparency was only removed when confidentiality concerns out weighted the benefits of sharing information. The change in Avon’s 360 assessment process was a telling example.
Avon’s 360 degree assessment process was hardly a model of transparency when the turnaround began. The new team leader requested copies of each vice president’s 360 degree assessment with the goal of better understanding any common behavioral strengths and weaknesses. A new much simpler 360 was designed and implemented that explicitly stated that proper managerial and leadership behaviors were critical for a leader’s success at Avon (Goldsmith M. &., 2010). Citing that level of importance, the disclosure to all participants and respondents state that the 360 information could be shown to the participant’s manager, HR leader, regional talent leader and anyone else the Avon’s HR team decided was critical to the participant’s development. It stated that the behavioral information could be considered when making decisions about talent moves, including promotions...
References: Effron, M. G. (2005). Growing Great Leaders: Does It Really Matter? Human Resources Planning Journal , 18-23.
Goldsmith, M. &. (2010). Best Practices in Talent management : How The World 's Leading Corporations Manage, Develop, and Retain Top Talent. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
Goldsmith, M. &. (2006). Coaching For Leadership. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
Jones, C. (1986). Programming Productivity. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill.
Silzer, R. &. (2010). Strategy-Driven Talent Management: A Leadership Imperative. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
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