First of all, let me wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year, and thank you all for your incredibly valuable support during 2012. May you find your stocking full and the silver sixpence in your pudding bowl!
I'd also like to congratulate, on behalf of everyone on the TJ team, all the winners of this year's TJ Awards. You'll find a full list of their names on p11. The entries to this year's competition were of an incredibly high standard - as they are every year - and they continue to be a very powerful demonstration of how L&D can really drive businesses forward.
As a reflection of the quality of the applicants and their programmes, we have awarded silver and bronze certificates for the first time this year - a very positive development, I hope you'll agree, and one that recognises even more of the great work you are doing in your organisations.
I hope you will be inspired by the winners' stories, as they unfold in TJ over the coming year, to continue that work and help your organisations and their people achieve even more during 2013.
I also hope you'll be inspired by some (if not all!) of the articles in this month's magazine - there are plenty of practical tips and case studies to be had. This month's coaching article, for example, "Destination: better results" (p65), is a case study of how introducing a coaching style of leadership to a train operating company improved both performance and engagement. Authors Dorothy Nesbit and Gill How offer some interesting metrics that demonstrate quite clearly the success of the programme.
This month we focus on talent management - an important issue that is gaining even more importance in these difficult economic times. Rob Caul and Paula Harvey set out some strategies to enable you to hire and retain talented employees in their article, "The art of managing talent", on p25 while, in "Viewing talent from all angles" on p18, Elva Ainsworth sets out the seven principles to which you need to adhere in order to make 360° feedback a successful part of your talent management strategy.
Norman Murray explains how recruiting people with high emotional intelligence can have a positive impact on the organisation ("Why EI matters in TM" on p44) and Joanna Knight examines whether any real progress has been made in increasing the number of women in top executive roles since the Opportunity 2000 initiative of a decade ago ("Top women leaders" on p54) - a pertinent subject given the EU decision on quotas made last month.
Diversity, equality and inclusion are beginning to feature more strongly in organisations' TM efforts now, as they realise the benefits that can be gained from breaking out of a narrow view of the world and welcoming - and developing - all kinds of people, ideas and approaches. There is much more that can and should be done, of course, and Peter Block and Gillian Shapiro discuss the issue in our interview on p13.
Elizabeth Eyre, Editor
Rachael Gillett on why degree-level apprenticeships are an attractive alternative to university.
Denise O’Leary on the commercial benefits of business awards.
Simon Ashton on why we must learn to communicate effectively through digital platforms.
Trevor Wheatly discusses how 360° profiling can turn routine appraisals into practical assessments of performance based on the behaviours that matter in business.
Hurix Systems announced today it has been short-listed for Red Herring's Top 100 Asia award, a prestigious list honoring the year’s most promising private technology ventures in Asia.
Louise Doyle has a cautionary tale for employer providers delivering apprenticeships under government funded arrangements.