ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Developing Your Own Talent Pool

Things to consider:

Ability to work with a minimum of instruction and intrusion from supervisors.

While there are those who require having you look over their shoulder at all times and tell them exactly how to do what you wish to have them do, those of your more talented personnel are usually self-sufficient once they know the task and have the basic instruction.  They feel insulted if you micro-manage them.  More often than not, they will find new and more effective ways to accomplish their task if you don’t force them into a particular mold.

Opportunities for creative problem solving in different areas/projects

Talented people can get bored easily.  They like diversity and variety and the ability to expand their own knowledge.  By allowing them to learn and stretch you are helping to satisfy their need to be intellectually stimulated. 

Recognition and appreciation for their accomplishments.

While one size might fit all for those wishing to stay in hiding, those exceptional people do not want to be lumped into the mold of others.  As members of a team, they typically talk more, offer more suggestions, and are seen by others as hogging the time. 

They know their worth and want to share it – but they also want it to be recognized and appreciated by those in authority – that’s you.  These are not the people who appreciate the notion that it’s good to take from those who are able and give to those more in need.  They want to work in a meritocracy.

Flexible hours which enable them to find time for their own pet projects.

Usually these talented people have interests outside of the workplace too.  They want time to pursue their own interests, whether it is art, music, or other business ideas.  If they are allowed flexible time they will no doubt give you many more hours of their time than if you forced them into a mold.

Permission to use a portion of company time to develop new ideas or projects.

In some companies there is the unwritten rule to pretend you don’t notice that your talented staff member is working on something other than what you’ve assigned.  Everyone pretends it isn’t happening and hopes the really good ideas being developed on company time will “bubble up” to the surface and be presented to upper management for future development.

Other companies are wise enough to allocate a specific percentage of time (10% - 15%) so that talented people can legally develop new ideas.  There are systems that actually encourage these ideas to move up the chain of command and if really valuable and within the company’s core competencies to get the funding and time they deserve.

A path to promotion that ties in their careers with your succession plans.

While there are always the few who want to stay in a safe comfort zone, many talented people are also ambitious and want clear opportunities for growth.  They will not settle for vague promises of promotion but would prefer a clear path with clear growth objectives.  It is usually the promise of promotion that seduces them away to other companies.

Respect – to be recognized as not one of the crowd but as someone who rises above the ordinary.

If this sounds like snobbery, so be it.  There are those who stand taller, who give more, who are more energetic, creative, ambitious and craving of recognition.  More importantly, these people wish the freedom that comes with being respected as extra-ordinary.  And, now you know why I picked “think different” as one of my favorite quotes.


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