A Discover conversation happens when an employee is a specialist in a particular skill set that is in danger of no longer being necessary. Perhaps their role is being phased out because the tech stack has moved on into different code, or their business unit is being shut down wholesale. Perhaps their skills were necessary for a short-term project, but they want to stay on at the company. Whatever the reason, they need to develop or demonstrate a different set of skills, and so far you haven’t seen them.
The goal of a Discover conversation, then, is to help them find or build their hidden talent so they can step into what’s next. Much of the conversation will center around encouraging adaptability and helping them imagine other possibilities. This can be hard for specialists who have deep and specific skills, but it’s necessary if they want to remain with the company.
Alongside developing optionality, Discover conversations will often include explicitly looking for new opportunities for the employee to step into. This may require consulting colleagues in HR or organization development who have a broader view of the business’s needs and upcoming openings.
This employee’s demonstrated skills may no longer be needed; what other skills/talents do they have and where might they be deployed?