Talent Scout

How this exec finds and develops leaders internally

Name Bernard Bedon
Title SVP, Global Talent Management Director, Public Groupe Media
Location New York City
Age 38
Power Play Helps attract, develop, retain, and reward the talent in this media group of 10,000 employees in 100 countries
How do you identify key leaders?
First, personal leadership: what’s the character or values, work ethic, integrity that a person has, and how good are they at developing other people on their team? The second piece is organizational leadership. I watch them in meetings or get feedback from their clients or direct reports. How are they impacting parts of the organization that they don’t directly own? Can they make change happen through other people-this idea of influencing people through a matrix. And finally, thought leadership. Are they building intellectual capital in the organization?

How do you discern those qualities?
I don’t do it from a hypothetical situation: Not “What would you do?” but What was the situation or task and what was the action that you took? What were the decisions you made and what was the result?”

How do you develop key leaders?
We give those individuals focused development to prepare them for roles through special assignments. We want to put them in positions where they have support, but they need to perform. Then we move them from that job or special assignment to another special assignment that’s a little bit meatier. About 15% to 20% of the time we give people executive coaches, define a period of time and a set of skills that we want them to make stronger, and give them opportunities to work on them.

Where does diversity fit into talent management?
It’s absolutely huge. In our business we are in multiple markets looking at multiple demographic segments. And we know that our clients-the large organizations that will pay us to help them connect with their consumers-want to look like and appeal to the consumer. So the more we understand our target markets, the better we can help our clients connect with them. One way to do it is to get people from those target markets. The clients definitely benefit and our target consumers benefit.

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