New book challenges the way business leaders think about talent management

New book challenges the way business leaders think about talent management

UOW researcher is on a mission to transform the way people think in the workplace

Leaders in the business world will benefit from a ground-breaking new book by University of Wollongong (UOW) researcher, Dr Sharna Wiblen, that challenges conventional wisdom surrounding talent management.

Dr Wiblen’s new book Rethinking Talent Decisions, A Tale of Complexity, Technology and Subjectivity (De Gruyter 2024) exposes flaws in long-held talent management beliefs and presents a new perspective on talent decisions.

“I’m on a mission to transform the way people think about talent, and how they make talent decisions,” Dr Wiblen, an academic in the School of Business, said.

“Often decisions leaders make about employees in the workplace are done without too much thought, but these decisions have the potential to take a company from mediocrity to unparalleled excellence.”

While the book primarily focuses on talent and work, Dr Wiblen said she has written it for all decision makers.

“The decisions we make every day serve as a mirror, reflecting the calibre of our thinking. I believe we can improve the quality of our every day by improving the quality of our decisions,” Dr Wiblen said.

“This is where my book comes in and serves as a guide to intentionally connect thinking and decisions. Decisions generate exponential returns, particularly in the work context, which is what I’ve focused on in my book.”

A woman in a black suit is seated in front of a glass window and brick wall and smiling

Dr Wiblen is an author, award-winning educator, and academic

Rethinking Talent Decisions reveals that long-held convictions many people have about talent in the workplace are profoundly flawed and presents an uncomfortable truth – talent decisions are always subjective.

“I’ve drawn on examples from business, sports, movies and everyday interactions to emphasise the importance of understanding complexity and to encourage responsible talent decisions whereby decisions are deliberate, intentional and informed.”

In this indispensable guide Dr Wiblen navigates readers through the dynamic interplay between talent and technology, illuminating the pivotal role of personal judgment in shaping the current reality and future trajectory of modern work contexts.

“Through a comprehensive exploration, readers embark on a journey to understand more about themselves and their thinking to understand the profound implications of their own perspectives on talent decisions,” Dr Wiblen said.

“Through compelling narratives and actionable insights, readers will come to understand that talent management is not merely a process but a judgment-oriented endeavour—a paradigm shift that promises to redefine approaches to talent management.”

Central to the book's thesis is the exploration of technology's role in talent management. By talking about the role of technology and technology vendors in talent decisions, the book encourages readers to gain an understanding of how technological systems bolster and shape talent decisions, and question whether current talent management systems are sufficiently agile to meet the challenges of perpetual innovation while navigating the rapid pace of technological change.

Dr Wiblen said ReThinking Talent Decisions will become your (not so) secret weapon for achieving unparalleled success in the ever-competitive corporate arena.

“Whether you’re a seasoned executive or a rising star, the wisdom within these pages will empower you to master the art and science of talent decisions and allow you to balance operational requirements and strategic success.”  

Dr Wiblen is an author, award-winning educator, and academic who specialises in talent management, digitalisation, organisational effectiveness and the future of work.