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Four Talent Management Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead

We’ve got a little thing for zombies here at The Conspiracy.

As a rule, we prefer slow zombies to fast ones. We also like our zombies to be funny when possible. However, like millions of other Americans, we love AMC’s The Walking Dead. We even find ways to apply it to our day-to-day work with HR software and services companies. Oh, yeah. Did you know you can learn a lot about talent management just by watching the show? Let’s watch.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

Adapt communication styles for generational differences.

Different generations have different communication styles. Check out Dale in this clip. In true Baby Boomer fashion, he’s concerned about the group. He also needs more of a democratic approach, one that is open to his input. Ever the GenXer, Shane’s very results oriented. His direct, my-way-or-the-highway approach doesn’t resonate with Dale. What they need is a manager who understands generational communication differences. Or maybe for Rick to bust a cap in Shane.

Today’s misfit is tomorrow’s top performer.

Check out Daryl! Yesterday’s redneck racist biker is today’s unstoppable zombie-killing machine. Think twice before you write off an employee. They might fit into the future plans of your organization better than you think.

Mentor junior team members.

“Carl, get back in the house!” Is this any way to treat a junior team member? What he needs is the knowledge, skills and abilities to contribute in the future. Like ringing up a zombie with a 35-yard pistol shot at night.


A strong team is a work in progress.

Diverse cross-functional teams don’t happen by accident. It’s an investment of time and capital, but the results are worth it.

All right – your turn. Whatcha got? Use your BRAINS…. BRAINS!