‘Talent: building block for success’

EFQM Forum 2014
PostedOctober 29, 2014, in  Step 3: self assessment
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Succeeding through the Talent of People was one of the topics during the EFQM Forum 2014, which took place last week in Brussels. Talented employees are an important building block for sustainable excellence. But talent doesn’t just walk in all by itself. Where do you find talent, how do you bind them to your company and how to you create a culture where talent development plays a central role?  

Talent development

‘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: 

  1. Talented people are passionate about being the best.
  2. Talented people cherish a ‘winner’s mentality’.
  3. Talented people are proud of their achievements.
  4. Talented people are infinitely ambitious. 

EFQM Award

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. 

Open mind

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… 

Learning process

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.   

No copies

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.    

Provide space

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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PostedOctober 29, 2014, in Step 3: self assessment
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