Just a few years ago the word ‘talent’ was reserved for artists. We would say, on our way out of the cinema, that the actor or director in question was a ‘real talent’. We would also use it for sportsmen and women; for example, watching Usain Bolt beat the world 100m record after studiously ignoring the usual rules for warming up. Talent suggested a person with that small spark of something magic and exceptional; something indescribably which they alone possessed.
Today, we seek to uncover these corporate magicians who can, at the right moment, pull off an exploit which will make the company stand out from its rivals.
A few examples of this:
- The Project Manager who always meets his deadlines, but without overstretching his teams;
- The Sales Manager next door who makes 150% of targets every year, crisis or no financial crisis;
- The IT Developer who always comes up with the ‘miracle formula’ to meet your requests;
- or Jonathan Ive, who designed the iMac and the iPod before going on to revolutionise the world of mobile telephony with the iPhone as an encore.
We now see such Talents as gold nuggets to be retained jealously by the company at all costs.
But is Talent alone enough or do we need more than pure Talent to gain success? I will leave you to think about it and will follow up on this topic in my next post…