Strategic Talent Management at Nyenrode: we Practice what we Teach

Impact case of the month

April 18 2023

The vision on talent is changing. Nyenrode Business Universiteit has been researching talent management for years. Not only does this change education, but it also changes its policy. Now all employees are given the opportunity to develop their talents, instead of only the best ones.

Strategic Talent Management Lecture

In 2020, Sandra Goettsch, Director HR at Nyenrode Business Universiteit, attended a Strategic Talent Management lecture from her colleague Prof. Dr. Lidewey van der Sluis, Professor Strategic Talent Management and Organizational Leadership. Van der Sluis has been active in this field for over twenty years, in which she conducts research and writes books. Her lecture was about the concept ‘talent in the organization’. An important insight that Goettsch took from that class, was that ‘having talent’ in organizations is different from ‘being a talent’. It is the art of an organization to allow every employee to be a talent, while making use of the talents that every employee already has within them. This makes employees true value carriers and an organization a talent-driven organization.

A new focus on talent

Since the lecture, Goettsch no longer calls her employees 'employees', but refers to them as 'talents'. All employees, not only the best, are seen and recognized as valuable within the organization. Their managers work in line with that concept as well. They pay more attention to the potential and individual development of their employees. This approach contributes to the recognition and development of everyone’s talents, creating a culture of inclusiveness and involvement. 

To ensure that everyone feels and utilizes this new mindset, the university trains all its managers and directors. This will help them learn to develop an inclusive view and to see every employee’s talent(s). In addition, all employees learn how to consciously use their own talents in their work. While looking ahead, manager and employee then jointly decide which activities are best suited.

100% talent-driven organization

The lecture has helped Goettsch to set a new goal in her HR strategy. She wants to make optimal use of and develop the talent of every employee. She also wants to make the development of all employees part of the goal of the organization: shaping responsible leaders. This will make the university a 100% talent-driven and future-oriented organization. That is not only good for the people who work there, but also for organizations that work with Nyenrode and for society as a whole.

Working from your talent

Employees are increasingly given room to work from their talents. As a result, they feel more satisfied, experience less stress and deliver better work performance. This effect demonstrates the importance of the recognition and utilization of everyone's individual talents. As an employee explains: “Working from my talent gives me energy. When I am not able to do that, it drains my energy”. They also appreciate the way their managers apply talent management: “I am glad that my manager now asks me which projects I want to take on”.


An impact case includes a research portfolio around a central theme, focusing on the reach and impact of that research. The impact cases are easy to read for a broad audience, they demonstrate how Nyenrode is strengthening its connection to practice and how faculty members are finding practical solutions to relevant and current challenges in practice.

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