The Future of Talent Institute roots go back to Kevin Wheeler and Eileen Clegg’s work in at Institute for the Future, where they identified talent as a key area of focus. While working on projects such as the Window into Talent and Learning, The Future of global e-Educationand History of Corporate and Executive Education, the pressing need for a new view of talent became clear. At the same time, through his company Global Learning Resources, Wheeler was working with Erik Foss to collect and analyze data on the learning function during this tumultuous time for business. They began discovering key insights into how to recruit, develop and retain talent in the new global economy.
Increasingly, Wheeler found that his clients were needing insights about the future of talent to stay ahead of game. More than consultants, talent leaders in the early 2000′s needed one another to stretch their thinking and prepare for rapid change. In 2003, Wheeler began envisioning a way to bring talent leaders together in an informal, relaxed environment, where they could speak openly about the possibilities, pains and perplexities of working at the leading edge of talent. Wheeler, Clegg and Foss began talking with one another and colleagues including Jay Cross and Verna Allee as well as clients, including Susan Burns, who embraced the idea and helped us shape the fledgling organization.
Our first retreat was held in 2004 at the rustic Marconi retreat center on the North Coast of California. Our theory was correct: by bringing in great talent leaders from diverse industries (while making sure none were directly competing), and bringing in experts in areas of key future importance — social media, emerging technologies, the new org chart, visual communications — we could help our community change the game. The retreat became an annual event, always convening in beautiful places on the California Coast enabling us to enjoy and benefit from Nature as part of the experience. We intentionally kept the group small with people we knew well and knew to be contributors in a think tank environment.
Each year, we got deeper into research about emerging areas, and with the administrative support from Susan Burns in 2009, began holding regular webinars, mini-Future of Talent retreats around the country during the year, and crafting an ongoing research agenda. Today we are a full-fledged membership organization with corporate members worldwide. We engage in research on emerging trends in talent and the workplace, conduct surveys, and work with members to help them create the most forward-looking and practical talent strategies possible.