Talent development

Well-executed talent development is an obvious way to manage the demand for skilled specialists, where organizations develop their own specialists, project managers and leaders so that they possess the right and relevant skills. That's why interest in talent and talent development is growing steadily.

But what is talent and how exactly do you understand talent development?
We'll tell you more about that here and focus on how we can help you. 

What is talent development?

The demand for skilled specialists, project managers and leaders is increasing. And many Danish organizations - both public and private - are struggling to attract and retain enough employees.

Well-executed talent development is an obvious way to address the problem of organizations developing their own specialists, project managers and leaders to ensure they have the right and relevant skills. That's why interest in talent and talent development is steadily increasing.

But what is talent and how exactly should talent development be understood?

"Talent" was originally a unit of weight. Then it became a unit of currency. And it wasn't until the 17th century that talent began to refer to specific abilities and characteristics. In recent decades, the focus on talent and talent development has grown significantly. Especially after McKinsey launched their "War for Talent" paradigm in the 1990s, arguing that organizations are at war with each other for the most talented employees.

Talent and talent development

The widespread use of the word talent has made it difficult to define what talent is and where it exists. Generally speaking, there are three different ways of looking at talent and talent development:


The first sees talent as an innate potential that is, roughly speaking, visible in the DNA. Thus, it is the person's innate DNA that determines whether or not they are a talent in an area. The idea is appealing and easy to understand; if the organization is able to discover, identify and attract talent better than the competition, they will win the "war for talent". The focus is on headhunting, high pay and better benefits.


The other sees talent as a mutable entity that you can influence. When you train and practice, you can elevate your abilities and skills - all it takes is enough effort. The paradigm concentrates more on devising and designing training courses and programs than on finding those who possess innate talent.


The third builds on the first two, but believes that talent is more dependent on environment and context than individual ability. Furthermore, talent is socially conditioned, meaning that you only become a talent when others give you that label. No test can determine talent on its own. At LEAD, we believe in this third talent paradigm.

Benefits of good talent development

Getting serious about talent development has a number of benefits. At a time when large generations are retiring and smaller generations are entering the workforce, it's very beneficial to be able to develop your own specialists, project managers and leaders. It's difficult to bring in the best and brightest from other organizations, and even if these employees deliver great results in one place, they may not be able to transfer the same success to a new workplace. Furthermore, it can accelerate a zero-sum game, especially in the public sector, if some municipalities or regions manage to attract or attach employees and managers from other municipalities and regions - for example, at a higher salary. Because when a gap closes in one place, a new one opens up somewhere else.

By focusing on talent development instead, you train and develop your employees within the organization's own context, allowing them to learn business-critical knowledge during talent programs and test whether the next organizational level is right for them. In addition, offering an internal career path can strengthen an organization's ability to retain employees and leaders and lower the risk of them wanting to move on to other organizations.

LEAD's approach to talent development

At LEAD, we believe that talent development is largely dependent on the environment and context. Therefore, we help design and implement talent programmes that seek to strengthen the talent environment in your organization, rather than focusing unilaterally on the highly talented.

We believe in the environmental understanding because it is the one that the latest research agrees is most appropriate. Partly because the concept of talent is often associated with something select and elitist, which can be difficult to reconcile with - especially in a Danish context. By moving away from old-fashioned understandings of talent and talent development, we also experience that the support and organizational rooting of talent development and programs grows.

We build our talent development work according to a four-step model:


We start by clarifying the talent philosophy that exists - consciously or unconsciously - in your organization


Then we create a clear talent strategy


Only then do we select methods to design and implement the talent program


And on that basis, we can create strategic value for your organization.


Talent development


Inspiring research-based presentation on talent development for specialists, project managers or executives


Sparring and advice on how to approach talent development

Talent programs

Design and implement talent programs in your organization.

Meet the consulting team

Senior Consultant

Senior Consultant

Management consultant

If you have any doubts, let me call you with personal guidance

Ole Mathorne

Senior Consultant
PhD, MSc in Physical Education and Health