Claire Wilson, the Head of Strategic Resourcing at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), is to reveal how the organisation finds and grows talent at A&DC Leadership Development Forum in November. The DWP is the biggest government department in the country employing over 100,000 people. The London event will feature several experts articulating how to turn good managers into great leaders.
The event focuses on what great business leaders do, how to identify potential, how to release potential at critical career transition points and what happens when you throw away the text books and do it for real.
Talent management has become a pivotal process at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). In 2004, the Treasury tasked it to significantly reduce headcount in a drive for cost-efficiency. All of DWP’s departments were audited 3 years ago in a capability review. The results showed stronger leadership was essential, which put talent management on the top table to ensure they grow the best leaders to administer the organisation’s agenda.
Wilson explains, “In this organisation, a great leader needs to be able to adapt. They need to be able to talk individually to employees, yet be able to switch to dealing with enormous society issues, negotiate with ministers and the outside partners we work with. We have some great thinkers in the organisation and others who are fantastic at front-line communications and delivery, but finding someone with both skills, who can tailor their approach to the audience, is the biggest challenge.
She believes tomorrow’s great leaders can learn most of the skills, if the will and the attitude are in place. “The important thing is to find what they enjoy doing and build on that.”
“Leadership is also having passion for what we do, whether that’s working to reform pensions, or helping people who are on benefits back in to work. The best leaders can get across their message in great scale, but also tune it to just one person.
“At the end of the day, people might have the potential, but not the aspiration or engagement with our vision. Our job is to nurture several people, knowing that some will progress the way we hope.”
The DWP has adapted its talent development programmes to focus on individual candidate’s needs and interests