The Real Deal with Talent

The Real Deal with Talent


The real deal with Talent is actually making full use of it!

Benjamin Franklin, in his summary of talent, once said “…What is a sundial in the shade?..” and in that prose he managed to eject the one big obvious point to finding talent. Once you’ve got it, what should you do with it?

Well, for many businesses, the true value of talent sits somewhere within the organisations innate business value and the trick is being able to measure it so that it has the right level of focus from the people tasked with running the organisation successfully. Accountants can’t measure talent, but we can all measure human capital – that’s the easy part. Headcount is just a number, right? Wrong. Headcount is a fictional story about payroll.

It is the movement of talent, knowledge (tacit or otherwise) and innovation that truly defines successful businesses.

And I’ve come to learn that it is the organisation’s intellectual capital that ensures long term growth and market capitalisation and not just it’s management of tangible assets.

But how do you ensure that talent is understood within the wigwams of corporate strategy? I mean, it’s not as if you can quantify it in currency terms, right?

Well, one method which helps is to break down the organisation’s intellectual capital into three main areas:

  • people – wealth generating human capital
  • structures – the ability to replicate and maintain standards
  • customers – the value of the customer relationships

By focusing efforts in an organisational and not individual way in areas that form part of your business strategy will ultimately help generate value. So for example, if one of your main business strategies over the next five years is to innovate, then employing talent with an innovative activity focus, in structures that allow for this to thrive, will add wealth and real value.

The really smart companies have town-hall meetings, talking shops and open dialogues for employees to generate new and better ways of working. Not just about working conditions or canteen gripes, but more about new ways of thinking. Fresh ideas.

And these things really work – why? Well if you’ve read any books by Jack Welch (of GE), you’ll know that they work because they provide a safe place for employees to use their minds.

They allow for private (and often brilliant) ideas to become public. Or for tacit knowledge to become shared and used.

So when talent is found or nurtured, it is only useful if it is allowed to flourish otherwise you’re creating a waste of time. After all, what is the point in training someone to fly an aeroplane if all you’re going to allow them to do is wear the flying suit?



Thanks again to Howard Sloane Group HR Director at Peels Ports for allowing us to reproduce his enlightening article.


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