When I read recent news that Taleo had purchased, to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. (and not just for my buddy Dave Wilkins) No, not because I’ve been yapping about the need for the Standalone LMS to go the way of the dinosaur and thus feeling a sense of vindication, but for a new reason. There is a new showdown upon us. Talent Management versus Collaboration Systems. Now that the Standalone LMS domino is falling, we can now turn our attention to the looming next battle which, in my opinion, will be between Talent Management Systems and Collaboration Systems. (links are to Wikipedia entries) Maybe I’m off my nearly 40 year-old rocker, but to have separate Talent Management and Collaboration Systems in an organization seems as silly as a standalone LMS. As silly as England ever winning another World Cup. Think about the example of Rypple for a moment. Albeit a SaaS model, Rypple demonstrates how concepts of Talent Management and Collaboration are already merging, in this case, as a form of feedback and/or performance development for your employee base. Collaboration tools, applications and systems are inherently better ways in which to drive a flatter and more connected culture within your organization. But, to truly gain traction, the ‘human capital’ processes found within the ‘talent management’ space (such as performance reviews, learning management, onboarding/induction, succession planning, retention and attraction practices, compensation protocols, etc.) really need to have collaboration practices built into it. In summary, now that the learning management system is being woven into talent management systems (or in some cases with collaboration systems), is it time for players such as Atlassian, Jive, Liferay, SocialText, etc. to begin merging with the likes of SuccessFactors, Taleo, Halogen, etc. Or, how do the likes of Microsoft, Google, Cisco, SAP, Oracle etc. play a part in what arguably could be labeled as the ‘Talent & Collaboration Convergence’? (see Oliver Marks recent entry as well) We shall see.


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  • Dan is a conference organizer’s ideal speaker. Not only did he inspire and energize our group, but he also masterfully adapted his content so it resonated with the audience and our conference theme. As a bonus, Dan is able to nimbly navigate to adjust to a reduced time slot when other speakers went over time without sacrificing the impact of his session.

    Director and General Counsel
  • Dan accomplished what we set out to do, which was not only to be inspirational, but also to leave everyone with tools and food for thought / self-reflection to improve their personal and professional lives.

    Hermann Handa, FCT
  • Dan challenged us to have clarity of purpose, both as individuals and as an organization. He related inspiring stories drawing on his experience in business, technology and academia. As he said, ‘There is no ownership without belonging.’

    Christian Pantel, D2L
  • Dan Pontefract suggests leaders must be transformational and transactional, collaborative and considerate, daring and decisive, inclusive and insistent, playful and formal, harmonious, and humble, encouraging and results-driven. In a word, Flat.

    Robert Morris
    “How to strengthen engagement, empowerment, and execution, then leverage them for a decisive competitive advantage”

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