Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Talent Conundrum

The "War for Talent"...... " Talent - the key vital in an organizations marketplace survival"..... "Talent, a critical business asset for competitive advantage"..... oft repeated slogans, business insight, nuggets of wisdom, hackneyed statements , we are free to pick our chose.. However, the votaries of talent fail to see the biggest irony of our times that nothing is more commonplace than to see wasted men and women of talent for want of the right opportunities.

The very concept of talent today is mired in paradoxes. We understand the impact of not having the right people in place to lead and confront business challenges but pay mere lip service when it comes to assessing the true value and the innate potential of an individual; we like to hire for attitude and train for skills, in reality though a persons 'biology' is more critical than his 'chemistry'; We would like to adopt more innovative, strategic and cooperative approaches, which goes by the name of 'talent solutions' yet are unwilling to shed our myopic approaches driven by short term gains. We would like to label ourselves as 'professionals', who, if one was to borrow David Maister's definition from his seminal work on the Professional Services Industry*, 'is a person driven by a sense of caring', in reality though most of us are lured by the transactional, ephemeral, tactical approaches to hiring key talent.

The world is full of educated derelicts and the old truism that talent will finally find a way to showcase itself may not hold true in a dog-eat-dog world where 'whom you know' is more important than 'what you know'. But just as 'Talent' must persist in its search of the holy grail, it also places a onerous task on the shoulders of talent seekers who occupy positions of authority to evolve 'creative responses' in their hunt for talent. 'responses' which try and fathom 'How one does what he does' and the broader context within which an individual operates. All this calls for sacrifice, personal conviction, a innate desire and passion to make a difference in the life of others... virtues which need to be exemplified in professionals who walk the high corridors of power today....

The much touted demographic dividend of India may well turn out to be its biggest 'missed opportunity' if the country's huge talent repository is not leveraged & gainfully deployed.

" One of the greatest talents of all is the talent to recognize
and to develop talent in others"... Frank Tyger

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