Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:38

Identifying Talent in your Organization

“Innate ability, aptitude, or faculty”, are the most commonly held dictionary definitions of the word talent which suggests it’s something you are born with so you’ve either have it or you don’t. However, the contrary view is that talent isn’t really all that important. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th US President, captured this nicely when he said “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

When trying to define what talent means to your organisation, it is important to consider both ends of the spectrum and some elements in between. Talent in any given organisation can be defined by a blend of the right “Know How”, “Can Do” and “Want To”

  • When talking about persistence and determination, Coolidge is referring to “Want To”; factors which drive and motivate a person.
  • The dictionary definition of talent refers to “Can Do”; the attitudes, behaviours and abilities an individual possesses (usually formulated by a mixture of genetics and early environment).
  • When talking about Education, Coolidge is referring to “Know How”; knowledge an individual has acquired.

Research points to the “Want To” and “Can Do” being far more important components of talent management than “Know How”.

Published in GCMC Blog
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