I was recently sent this brilliant short video from Sports Scotland on understanding talent. Of course this has a sports focus, but I think there are a lot of transferable messages that we can learn when thinking about how we identify and develop talent within organisations.
It's all too easy to considered our 'talented' people as those who have a natural ability or skill in an area. They become the ones that we focus on, the ones which we support through development programmes to ensure they are ready for the next step when an opportunity arises. And whilst this is great, just by focussing on this group, we may accidentally over-look someone who has the potential to be brilliant.
The key messages from the video are:
1. Ability is only part of the picture which makes up "talent". Just because someone is naturally good at a role now, doesn't mean that other people don't have the potential to be as good, or better!
2. Square pegs and round holes; different strokes for different folks, People need to be in the role that fits their natural abilities and allows them to do things that they are passionate about and enjoy.
3. Success comes from hard work, not luck. Skills can be learnt and mastered if someone has the right attitude and is willing to apply themselves.
4. People need to be continually challenged and stretched to develop to reach their fill potential.
5. Feedback and reflection is key when developing talent.