What Makes Kraft's Talent Development So Successful

How can you ensure that your talent-development programs are providing employees the proper leadership skills needed to build a pipeline of diverse talent Hint: Look at your budget, says Kraft Foods‘ Vice President of Diversity Jim Norman.


By prioritizing the allocation of resources, diversity leaders can better align diversity-management initiativessuch as talent development, resource groups and mentoringwith business goals, which is crucial for success, according to the diversity leader.

“We diverted our dollars away from heritage celebrations and some external partnerships to focus on leadership training. We provided external coaches and up to six hours of one-on-one time putting together a viable and robust development plan,” said Norman during an interactive session on talent development at a DiversityInc event.

The audience of corporate diversity leaders and executives was able to ask Norman questions, contribute their best practices for talent development and share their real-life success stories firsthand.

Kraft Foods, which is No. 7 in the 2012 DiversityInc Top 50, was recognized with the 2012 DiversityInc Special Award for Top Company for Executive Development. Mark Clouse, president of the U.S. Snacks Business Unit, acccepted the award on behalf of the company at our October event in New York City.

Companies participating included: Procter & Gamble (No. 5 in the 2012 DiversityInc Top 50), Prudential Financial (No. 9), American Express (No. 14), Automatic Data Processing (No. 27), Toyota (No. 41) and MassMutual (one of DiversityInc’s 25 Noteworthy Companies).

In What Makes Kraft’s Talent Development So Successful, the companies detail their top talent-development challenges and provide the solutions that are helping them improve diversity in succession planning. Talent-development best practices include:

  1. Focus development efforts a level below what’s needed
  2. Personalize talent-development plans to individuals
  3. Determine the importance of global experience to high-ranking positions and tailor the quality of assignments now
  4. Use resource groups to identify high-potential talent from traditionally underrepresented groups and nominate candidates for mentoring
  5. Utilize metrics to measure the potential success of mentor pairings
  6. Mentoring should include cross-cultural, cross-gender and cross-functional components

Click here to read the full article, available to subscribers atBestPractices.DiversityInc.com.

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