‘Talent is like a block of ice on your driveway. Before you know it, it’s gone. The thing is to get the most out of it before it disappears.’ Was signed: Mike Forde, Director of Football Operations for the British football club, Chelsea. Forde knows what he’s talking about because in the world of football talent development is a daily reality. At the EFQM Forum 2014 Forde was one of the keynote speakers, to speak about talent from his position of expertise. He defines four characteristics:
During the Forum an EFQM Excellent Award was awarded, this time to Bosch Bari. The talent management program was explicitly mentioned as one of the success factors. Talented people can make a significant contribution to excellent achievements but you do have to know where to find them. There is enough talent out there but how do you find the right mix of personality and talent? Above all, Forde advises you to take your time: only invest in people you trust 100%, also in the long term.
Crucial to the process of recruitment and selection is to keep an ‘open mind’, without too many assumptions in advance. A vivid example of this is the Scottish singer Susan Boyle, who became famous for her performance in Britain’s Got Talent. Because of her age and appearance she met with some skepticism, but thanks to a golden voice she left all the critics speechless. Sometimes it only takes one person who wants to see…
Forde advises the creation of an environment where talent has the space to blossom. After all, talent alone is not enough to deliver top performances. Talent must be guided and shaped. That also means: offering the space to take responsibility and to make mistakes. The learning process is paramount.
Talented people love to work with other talented people because they recognize some of their own characteristics in the other. That’s not to say that talented people must be copies of each other, because it’s in the differences that the learning points are found. In fact: when talented people are confronted with other talented people who also distinguish themselves, an element of healthy competition is soon created. If this is properly guided, it will enhance the learning process of all the talented people.
For anyone working actively with talented people, Forde had one final, golden tip: be prepared for change. Talented people tend to surprise you with extraordinary performances and original ideas. So provide them with all the space they need. Don’t let the job description become a hindrance, because talented people who feel hemmed in will look elsewhere for satisfaction. Cherish talent, it’s worth it.
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