Who in your company is responsible for spotting talent? And how do you distinguish talent and non-talent? Where does talent begin for you? And how would you feel if you were told: sorry, you’re a non-talent?
Is a winning smile, which you can even notice on the telephone, a super talent? Don’t you think it would be sensible to make use of this smile on the phone and at a desk where important people – be it customers, employees or investors – come by? Isn’t an employee who can inspire people to accept new ideas ideally suited for change projects, even if he cannot contribute anything from a technical point of view? And on the other hand, does the IT expert who keeps your systems up to date, protects you from attacks by hackers, and reduces costs, also have to be a particularly pleasant-natured personality, only because your so-called “global competencies” require that from all employees? Although that person has contact with no one else but you?
For every major purchasing decision we generally consider what qualities we absolutely expect, which ones would be nice to have, and which ones are completely unnecessary. And when doing so, we always keep in mind what we are buying the product for and how we wish to use it, perhaps even for other purposes. However, this does not go as far as considering to use your family car as a lawnmower. Yes, that is a far-fetched example, but when it comes to defining the competencies that should apply to all employees, do we actually consider why we want the one or the other?
When defining what it is like to work with us, do we also consider that we will hire new, different generations as employees? How do we define respect and what do our rules of conduct say? For example, does it make sense to say that “we do not play with our smartphones in meetings.”? Or should we rather work towards ensuring that an understanding is established that the younger generations are not online for lack of interest but because it is part of their everyday life?
What do other rules in your organisation look like? Could it even be that you sort out excellent candidates for specific jobs only because the rules have not been sufficiently scrutinized? So who has to adapt to whom in today’s world where more employees in companies belong to Generation Y than to the older generations? Is it correct if an older employee feels offended and complains when a younger employee says: “Why should I ask my boss if I can ask someone who actually knows?” Or should the older co-worker understand that this has got to do with respect for expertise and not with hierarchies, and that a superior cannot be an expert for all issues? Actually, I believe in two assumptions that I have set up. Firstly: Everyone has a talent that we should value! Secondly: The demands on talents must change fundamentally in order to live up to today’s offers. How do you do that? I’ll show you.