Organizations, and their HR functions, have learned how to engineer and hone sophisticated talent management processes. However, as our last White Paper explained, many are also looking at their Talent Centres of Expertise and both broadening their remit and linking them much more flexibly both to related areas of expertise such as Learning and Development, Resourcing and Engagement, and to broad change programmes. This is allowing us the option to think more strategically about the role, remit and value of Talent Management. This thinking also has implications for the HR Analytics debate – the topic of our next paper. From this paper it should be clear that HR Directors should beware the pursuit of formulaic metrics. They miss the true nature of value. In this paper we bring what we know about strategic value creation to bear on the talent management debate. We ask what are the critical tests that should guide the design of our talent systems? We then lay out a series of Design Principles that should be used to guide and evaluate the value of a talent management system.