Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Future: Understanding and Spotting Potential Talent


The Scarcity of Top Talent

“Unfortunately, potential is much harder to discern than competence (though not
impossible, as I’ll describe later). Moreover, your organization will be looking for it in
what will soon be one of the toughest employment markets in history—for
employers, not job seekers. The recent noise about high unemployment rates in the
United States and Europe hides important signals: Three forces—globalization,
demographics, and pipelines—will make senior talent ever scarcer in the years to
Come.”

“But for those that learn how to spot potential, effectively retain people who have it, and create development programs to help the best get better, the situation will instead offer an extraordinary Opportunity.”

”Pushing your high potentials up a straight ladder toward bigger jobs, budgets, and staffs will continue their growth, but it won’t accelerate it. Diverse, complex, challenging, uncomfortable roles will. “
“Geopolitics, business, industries, and jobs are changing so rapidly that we can’t predict the competencies needed to succeed even a few years out. It is therefore imperative to identify and develop people with the highest potential.

Look for those who have a strong motivation to excel in the pursuit of challenging goals, along with the humility to put the group ahead of individual needs; an insatiable curiosity that propels them to explore new ideas and avenues; keen insight that allows them to see connections where others don’t; a strong engagement with their work and the people around them; and the determination to overcome setbacks and obstacles.

That doesn’t mean forgetting about factors like intelligence, experience, performance, and specific competencies, particularly the ones related to leadership. But hiring for potential and effectively retaining and developing those who have it—at every level of the organization—should now be your top priority.”

How To Spot Them....

“The first indicator of potential we look for is the right kind of motivation:a fierce commitment to excel in the pursuit of unselfish goals. High potentials have great ambition and want to leave their mark, but they also aspire to big, collective goals, show deep personal humility, and invest in getting better at everything they do. We consider motivation first because it is a stable—and usually unconscious—quality. If someone is driven purely by selfish motives, that probably won’t change.

We then consider four other qualities that are hallmarks of potential, according to our research:

  • Curiosity: a penchant for seeking out new experiences, knowledge, and candid feedback and an openness to learning and change

  • Insight: the ability to gather and make sense of information that suggests new possibilities

  • Engagement: a knack for using emotion and logic to communicate a persuasive vision and connect with people

  • Determination: the wherewithal to fight for difficult goals despite challenges and to bounce back from adversity”

***Originally written by Claudio F

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