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Amoco's Lesson From Career Management

February 1, 1996
Related Topics: Career Development, Employee Career Development, Featured Article
Amoco continues to learn from the Amoco Career Management (ACM) process. Among the lessons learned are the following:

  • Tying development inextricably to business strategy creates support from top management and provides credibility for employees
  • Customization is very important-but so is knowing when to call it quits and proceed with implementing a less-than-absolutely-perfect system for which an eager audience is waiting
  • Communication is at least as important as design and implementation. Desk-dropped bulletins, focus groups, surveys, pilots-these and other "communications levers" should be pushed continuously
  • Linking career management to other HR practices makes sense both conceptually and practically; "synergy" is a fancy word for one hand washing the other. Individual HR practices are far more likely to achieve their desired effects when they send a collective message about the organization's vision for the future
  • Senior managers should be introduced early to the purposes and possibilities of a career-development system, so they will champion it throughout the organization
  • A visible and exciting symbol of change, such as the electronic job-canvassing system, can help overcome employees' skepticism about development-if they feel they have a hand in its creation and revision over time. Perfecting such a tool is less important, however, than using it to gain support for career development as a whole
  • The ultimate aim of a smart career-development system is to get people thinking about how to make themselves more marketable in the long term, not necessarily more movable or promotable in the short term
  • Patience is an undeniable virtue, but waiting for the perfect time to implement a career-development system isn't virtuous-or realistic.

Personnel Journal, February 1996, Vol. 75, No. 2, p. 82.

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