Let’s talk talent

thumb image

20 years ago today on the 18th October, 1993 – I began my NHS career.


I often pinch myself that I am now working for the NHS Leadership Academy with a programme lead responsibility for talent management, 20 years after my first role as a Health Care Assistant (yes, I was age five).

So this had me thinking over the last few days about what it was that got me to where I am now? What supported me in identifying my potential and talents within my 20 year NHS career journey?

I’ve often thought to myself it was luck or ‘being in the right place, at the right time’ with a little bit of “something I must have, that I don’t see” that has supported me to develop and progress.  However, if I think a little deeper about it, I start to then think about some of my previous line managers who have been the ones to ignite my self-belief in my talents and potential, and who have supported me to gradually move into more challenging roles and to seek the professional development I required.  However, this recognition of my talent wasn’t really done in a formal process and was more, “I think you should apply for this role as I know you can do it”.  I didn’t really have the fullest opportunity to explore my talents and potential in a conversation to determine why I was really right for the new role and I certainly did not have this opportunity when I was in more junior NHS roles.

This is why I’m so passionate about the work we are doing at the NHS Leadership Academy. Together with our local delivery partners (LDP’s) we are developing a suite of tools to enable all levels of NHS employees to have effective conversations with their line managers – most likely as part of the appraisal process – around maximising their potential in their current roles and exploring their talent journey.  What I must stress is that these tools are for everyone as all of us have potential and talents; whether that’s the catering assistant, radiographer, newly qualified staff nurse, orthopaedic registrar or deputy director. We are all valuable NHS employees and we all have individual talents and gifts to bring to be the best we can be in our NHS roles. Our talent tools will also support individuals who feel ready to access our professional leadership programmes – within an open, honest and inclusive conversation.

Sure we don’t all want to progress, and that’s OK but we probably all want to know we are doing the best job we can do and using the best of ourselves and effective leadership behaviours to achieve that.

I truly believe we have many stars in the NHS who are waiting for their time to shine – waiting for the conversation where they can ignite the knowledge and awareness of their potential and talents, wondering about where their career in the NHS can take them.

We will provide the tools, so you can make these important conversations happen.

Today, we will have another generation of employees who are starting in the NHS like I did 20 years ago, and through effective maximising potential and talent conversations, imagine what they will achieve in 20 years during their NHS journey.

For further information about talent management, please contact Michelle Fitzgerald.

2 thoughts on “Let’s talk talent

  1. Hello Michelle,

    Excellent blog! I would be interested in both the leadership tools for staff & leadership programme information. The Trust I work for is undergoing a restructure, so I’ll get in touch when that is inplace


  2. Hello Michelle,

    Thank you for these comments, I am writing a short piece on talent management in the NHS for my management studies course and I found your blog to be very helpful in explaining your inclusive approach, which is exactly the emphasis I want to put across in the Trust where I work.