S6 E1 - What is still Fundamental to Managing Talent in a World where Everything has Changed with Melanie Burns

S6 E1 - What is still Fundamental to Managing Talent in a World where Everything has Changed with Melanie Burns
By: Bart Egnal

In this kickoff episode of Season 6 Bart is joined by Melanie Burns, Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer of TD Bank, to discuss the vast array of changes in the last five years in the world of talent, and the foundational principles that leaders can still build their relationships on. Melanie explains how COVID, remote work, the Great Resignation, return to office, and now AI are all transforming the relationship between companies and their staff. She offers perspective on the positive implications of these changes and what they mean for leaders who must cultivate talent. Melanie offers a positive message for leaders: despite these shifts, the good news is that the fundamentals of attracting, engaging and managing talent are the same as they ever were. Melanie's insights and experiences make this a must-listen for any leader who is grappling with the age-old task of cultivating talent in a world that is rapidly changing.

2:16 Introducing Melanie Burns
2:38 Bart asks about the rapidly changing environment
3:52 What do the different parts of the bank think about our times
4:11 Hybrid work
4:34 Politics at play
5:03 Customers in turmoil too
5:33 Unstable nature of politics like DEI
6:02 What's led you to this point?
6:56 Upbringing
7:41 Picked business
8:30 Opening doors
8:38 Continually asking questions
9:06 How did you get into the world of "talent"
10:30 Unprecedented changes in the last 5 years
10:58 Switch to remote/hybrid workers
11:16 Trust and remote work
11:29 The great resignation
11:41 Did TD lose people in the Great Resignation?
12:57 Great resignation didn't really happen - don't get duped by the hype
13:49 Inverted relationship between leader and direct report
14:36 We are in the trust business
15:13 The power of in-person human connection
15:49 What has changed in talent management
16:36 A collection of experiences
17:00 Exceptional talent have options
17:05 How to get talent to consistently choose TD
17:47 Pressure from employee base
18:37 What are the fundamentals that haven't changed?
19:23 Advice to people managing teams
19:38 The fundamentals: People really want 2 things
19:51 The opportunity to do challenging things
20:14 Want to work for someone who is talented
21:20 You didn't mention money!
21:26 Didn't mention culture
22:42 Truly talented people do not get hung up on titles and compensation
23:21 People don't know the culture that they want...
24:48 Left TD reference
25:52 Philosophy of cultivating talent
26:14 Bart proposes thought experiment
26:47 Leader's job is to manage the tension between present and future
28:06 Signs to look out for in talent management
28:24 Never take things for granted
28:55 Have regular check-ins with people
29:45 Give clarity - not certainty about the future
31:21 Be honest with reports about where they are
31:44 Another mention of leaving
33:19 What's the biggest mistake you've made in talent management
33:45 The importance of succession planning
37:48 Bart summarizes the conversation
38:33 Be authentic
40:05 Thank yous