Talent Development 50 Alignment

The alignment of any Talent Development program with organizational outcomes is of critical importance.

Section 3.4 in the CPTD Certification Program for ATD is Talent Strategy & Management. Section B reads, “Skill in developing a talent strategy that aligns to organizational strategy to influence organizational outcomes in a positive direction.”

This will be my final article in the series on Talent Development. Over the past year I have provided 50 articles on how to apply the principles set out in the CPTD Certification Program taking one section at a time. I hope you have enjoyed the series.

Proper alignment of a talent development program with organizational goals ensures that resources will be applied optimally to move the organization in the direction it wants to go. I liken it to the rudder of a ship.

Like the Rudder of a Ship

We constantly adjust the rudder setting so that the ship is always moving in the direction we want to go.  Sometimes the weather or a change in current will try to move us off course, but with proper control of the rudder we still make the most progress toward our goal.

Likewise, for any organization there will be headwinds and obstacles that come up on a regular basis that might get us off track.  The alignment of the program with the organizational goals allows us to make the fine adjustments needed to achieve the goals regardless of the challenges of the day.  

We need to guard against complacency or rigidity and test often that our underlying assumptions are correct for the current environment. As long as we do that, we will maintain the proper course and ultimately achieve our goals. 

It is also a good idea to anticipate changes so you can make adjustments to minimize the risk. With the rudder analogy, that might be like the captain realizing that they are coming into some shallow water, so he orders the ship’s speed to be significantly reduced. If rocks are spotted there will be time to react.

 It is the role of the Talent Development Professional to make these adjustments to the strategy whenever conditions change so that the entire program is successful in the end. It requires excellent connection and communication between the Talent Development Professional and the leaders of the organization.


Think of the Talent Development Professional as the lynch pin holding the entire development program together and keeping the efforts aligned and optimized based on current conditions and organizational goals.  The idea is to react properly to changes as they occur and be alert to impending changes so you can take smart actions to reduce the risk.

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of: The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind, and Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations. 


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