THE WAR IS NOT TO FIND TALENT; IT’S TO USE THE TALENT YOU HAVE ALREADY.
The search for talent is ongoing. Individuals seek to develop their talents, companies seek to identifytalent and retain it, succession planning requires it, politicians plan for it, and the world wants to find it.But what is it?I was having dinner at a friend's home and the subject came up because their 11 year old son had recentlybrought home his school report card which stated from his art teacher: "[His] talent is yet to be fullydeveloped." His mother, always one for a quick tongue responded "His only talent is making excuses fornot doing his homework."The young boy sat at the table grimacing and whilst his mum meant it in jest, there was an element of truth in it. I said "I see a glittering future as a political spin-doctor." The boy's eyes lit up. This so-calledtalent had a purpose.The word "talent" is bandied around for so many things and we don't always truly understand what ismeant by "talent". So to the trusty dictionary...
Talent: innate mental or artistic aptitude (as opposed to acquired ability); less than genius.
So what is innate?
Innate: existing in one from birth; inborn; native: innate musical talent.
Now, my core business is experiential training and a behaviouralist, so if talent cannot be acquired...Better find a better definition...
Talent: natural ability to do something well.
That nasty word 'natural'
Natural: based on the state of things in nature; constituted by nature: Growth is a natural process.
The Thesaurus, always illuminating, and find ‘talent’ associated with words like
'ability', ' 'adeptness','adroitness', 'charisma', 'facility', 'gift', 'knack', ‘wisdom’, ‘gumption’, ‘capacity’, ‘brilliance’ and ‘genius’
Is it seems that you are either born with a talent or not. No acquiring a talent, developing it certainly, butif the foundation is not there...Companies seek 'talent' for succession planning, as do politicians. It is most often associated withleadership or management 'talent'.Companies are also hooked on retaining talent. And surely that's right, once you have talent in yourorganisation, you really don't want to lose it. Many, inspired by a Mckinnsey article in 1997 "The War forTalent" took this to extreme, indulging 'talent' and doing everything they could to keep them engaged,satisfied, even delighted. Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, wrote an article in the NewYorker magazine in 2002 entitled "The Talent Myth". By then the whole 'War for talent' was under a dark,ominous cloud called Enron. The McKinssey article had, after all, been largely based on what Enron wasdoing at the time and how everybody should emulate it.The trouble is that 'talent' is most often ascribed to the very brightest, highly motivated individuals whoare very driven. And being bright (intelligent) does not, necessarily, mean talent. Being 'driven' is not theonly criteria for success.