Four Threads in ‘Your’ Talent Strategy

What kind of talent and skills will flourish best in times to come? The simple answer is — we do not really know fully. The world is changing too fast for a certain answer. At best, we can extrapolate and try make some intelligent guesses.

What we are clear about though: individual talent and skills will be increasingly the only differentiator for success in any kind of an institution or organised community.

So what about my own Talent? Do I have a plan to develop it actively, and live up to my potential.

Finding Purpose: For individuals, this would perhaps be the single key to focus on and the source of energy in the future. The more the uncertainty and chaos around us, the more important it would become to be clear about one’s purpose and direction.

The Value Proposition we bring to the table in any setting will be directly linked to our ability and willingness to build skills in line with our individual purpose. Only then we would excel.

Many people have some idea of their purpose but working to really bring clarity and what it means in real life is the first step in this direction. Purpose is not static, it evolves as we move along. But the direction of purpose needs to be discovered.

Finding Communities: Talented and skilled individuals/groups are naturally attracted to communities where they see positive movement in the direction of fulfilling their personal purpose.

Our purpose gets fuelled and gets acceleration when we operate in the ‘right’ context. It allows us to continuously build skills as well as help us move in the direction of our purpose.

Do we choose our communities wisely? In my experience, reflection on two simple questions help.

Am I spending time with the right people consistently?

Every time I engage with a particular community, does it energise me?

All communities have an ‘internal’ engine fuelled by positive self-interest and purpose that can dovetail with our needs towards personal development, if leveraged properly.

Learning as a leverage strategy: Our learning needs to be taken firmly in hands: our own. This will include the what, where, how and in what doses. Continuously learning being imbibed and used will help us stay relevant and ahead of the curve. By virtue of market forces, each of us have make choices around:

· Willingness to learn ‘A’ thing (of course, we may each have many ‘A’s),

· Urgency to learn,

· Building capacity to learn continuously, and,

· Choosing what to unlearn.

Re-designing one’s learning strategy can give us significant gains. The link between personal goals and purpose, our contribution to the chosen communities, and the learning (why, what,how) are deeply interlinked and need to be thought of together in a personal Talent Strategy.

Design of our work: This is perhaps the most tricky one. Here are some common questions in this context.

Will work be designed around small tasks adding up or just direction of a goal, with no focus on individual pieces?

How will people and machines collaborate?

How will we be measured and rewarded?

Each of us may want to reflect on our own “job descriptions”, asking ourselves three questions:

· Does the work I do in my role/s provide me an opportunity to learn continuously and grow my employability? Employability is not about a job but in simplistic terms ‘What I do is valued in money or other terms’.

· Does the role allow for me to be in “Flow”? i.e. a good match between work challenge and my capability with just enough stretch for a positive tension. (Refer: Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)

· Does the design of what I do ensure deep collaboration where extraordinary value can be created for the communities I have chosen to be part of?

(Note: Collaboration itself is a key capability and mindset. Individuals that do this well will be significantly more successful)

Best wishes in the year ahead towards creating your very personal talent strategy.

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Bimal Rath. A loving heart is the truest Wisdom.

Executive Coach. Student of Leadership in all walks of life. Loves uncovering potential in people. A helper.