Talent Development

When I started this blog series, I mentioned 5 critical IT leadership focus areas shown below, and how Talent Development underpins them all.  

But when I say Talent Development, I’m not talking about finding people with certain skills or growing individuals into their full potential. Read the next article in the series to learn more….

Think of a time when you’ve seen someone doing their work and you just knew that they were naturally talented at their craft.  It’s one of those things that’s hard to define, but “you know it when you see it.”   One of the most blatant displays of unexpected talent I’ve ever seen comes in a viral snippet of Susan Boyle auditioning on Britain’s Got Talent.  Did you see that one?  She comes on stage as a very plain looking middle aged woman and claims that she wants to be an Opera superstar.  Of course, everyone is doubtful, but then she belts out the Les Miserables classic song “I Dreamed a Dream” and brings everyone to their feet in ovation. No one could deny her sheer talent.

I believe organizations can exhibit the same kind of talent when they are performing their best. They demonstrate externally for their customers, partners, and the world to see their true nature as they do their work. These don’t have to be mind-blowing, once in a lifetime occurrences either. I had painters in my house last month and they left me amazed at the talent they demonstrated by being courteous and doing a fantastic job.

This talent is different than culture. It’s a well known phenomenon that powerful leaders typically drive the culture of an organization for better or worse. You can probably recall right now how various leaders created a culture and how it impacted your ability to grow and thrive. Did it bring out your best, and help you really express your natural talents, or did that culture drain you?  Organizational culture and organizational talent are two different things.  The culture of a group is the context in which talent will either flourish or flounder. The talent of a group is demonstrated externally, and can be inspired by or happen in spite of the internal culture of that group.

So the question is, as a leader, do you intentionally strive to create and drive the Talent you want your organization to demonstrate to the external world?   As leaders, we must  intentionally strive to create and drive our Organizational Talent that customers and partners recognize and value as they interact with us.  Personally, I believe this happens at Ingage as we go about our work every day because the founders of the company are constantly intentional about driving not only the organizational culture but also the organizational talent: passionate people working for a purpose.