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Aerospace Singapore Article on Talent Vol 4 2011

Aerospace Singapore Article on Talent Vol 4 2011

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Published by Dr John Kenworthy
The search for talent is ongoing. Individuals seek to develop their talents, companies seek to identify talent and retain it, succession planning requires it, politicians plan for it, and the world wants to find it. But what is it?
The search for talent is ongoing. Individuals seek to develop their talents, companies seek to identify talent and retain it, succession planning requires it, politicians plan for it, and the world wants to find it. But what is it?

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Published by: Dr John Kenworthy on Apr 28, 2011
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04/28/2011

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AERO
WORKFORCE
////////////////////////////////%
Use
the
talent
r
By
Dr
Kohn
Kenworthy
The
trouble
is
that
'talent'
is
mostoftenascribedto
the
very brightest,
highly
motivated
individuals
who
are
very driven.And
being
bright
(intelligent)
does
not,
necessarily,mean
talent.Being
'driven'
is
not
theonly
criteria
for
ffi
n the
world
of
commerce. the search
for
ffi
talent
is
ongoing.
Individuals
seek
to
ffi
develon
their
talents, companies
seek
to
ffi
identify
talent
and
retain
it,
succession
ffi
phnning
requires
it,
politicians
planfor
it,
andthe
world
wants
to
flnd
it.
Butwhat
is it?
I was
having
dinner
at
a
friend's
home and
the
subjectcame up
because
their
ll-year-old
son
had
recently brought
home
his
school
re-
port
card
which
stated
from his
art
teacher:
"[His]
talent
isyet
to
be
fully
developed."
Hismother,always
one
for
a
quick
tongue
re-sponded
"His
onlytalent is making
excuses
for not doinghis
homework."The
young
boy
sat
at the
table
grimacing
and
whilsthis Mum
meant
it
in
jest,
therewas an element
of
truth
in it.
I
said
"I
seea
glitteringfuture
as
a
political
spin-doctor."The boy's
eyes
lit
up.
This
so-called
talent
had
a
purpose.
The
word
"talent"
is
bandied around
for
so
manythings
andwe
don't
always
truly
un-derstand
what is
meant
by
"talent".
So
to
the
trusty
dictionary..
Talent:innate
mental
or
artistir:aptitude
(asopposedto
acquired
ability);
less
than
genius.
So
what
is innate?
Innate:existing
in
one
frombirth;
inborn;
natiue: innate
musi.cal
talent.
Nowmy
corebusiness
is
experiential
training
and
a
behaviourist,
so
if
talentcannot
be
acquired...
Better
flnd a
betterdefinition...
Talent:
naturalability
todo
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
rvords
like
'abil-
ity',
'
'adeptness',
'adroitness','charisma',
facil'
ity',
'giff
,
'knack','wisdom',
'gumption',
'capac'
ity',
'brilliance' and
'genius'.
It
seems
that
youare
either born
with
a
tal-entor not.No
acquiring
a
talent,developing
it
certainly
but
if
the
foundation
is
not there...
Companies
seek
'talent'
for
successionplanning,
as
do
politicians.It
is
mostoften
asso-
ciated
with
leadershipor
management'talent'.
Companies
are
also
hooked on
retaining44
AERospAcESTNGAPoRE
Apr-Jun
2011
success.
talent.And surelythat's
right,
once
you
have
talent
in
your
organisation,
youreally
don'twant
to lose
it. Manyinspired
by
a
Mckinnseyarticle
in
199?,
The War
for
Talent,took
this tothe
extreme,
indulging'talent'
and doing
eve-
rything
they
could,to
keep
them
engaged,sat-
isfied,
even
delighted.
Malcolm
Gladwell,
au-
thor
of
The
Tipping
Point,
wrote
an
article
in
the NewYorker magazine
in
2002
entitled
The
Talent Myth.
By
then
thewhole
warfor talent
was
under
a
dark,ominous cloud
ca-lled
Enron.The McKinsseyarticle
had,
afterall,
been
large-
Iy
based
on
whatEnron
wasdoingat the
time
and
how everybodyshouldemulate
it.
The
trouble
is
that'talent'is
most often
as-
cribedto
the
very brightest,
highly
motivated
individualswho arevery driven.And
beilg
bright
(intelligent)
does
not, necessarilymean
talent.
Being'driven'
is not theonly criteria
for
success.I have
metand worked
with
manytalented
individuals.In
fact,
I
believe
that
every
single
person
has
talent.
What
that talent
is and
how
it
can
be
used
by companies
is
another
matter.
If
we accept
that
talent is something
thatyou
are
bornwith,
surely
we
need
to
knowhow
do
we
identify
talent,
and
how
do
we lev-
erage
that
talent?
ldentifying
talent
I've
seen
this
in
many
organisations.
The
brightest
and
best
are
identified
as
part
of
the
talentpool -there's
some
fanfare,a
suiteof
trainilg
programmes, perhaps
MBAs
are tak-
en and
the talent
arepromoted.Meanwhile,
the
non-talent morale
has
sunk,
many
have
quit
or
actively
seek
newpositions,commit-

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