Talent has become as important as capital, strategy and R&D in the new people economy. But what does the evidence tell us about the nature of talent? How do we acquire talent and how realistically can it be developed?
The acute problem of Australia’s slowing productivity growth is regularly in the news. Similarly, staffing surveys show organisations rate the development of leadership skills as among their biggest productivity challenges. That puts talent management right up there with other pressing concerns over our slowing productivity growth. But are we doing enough?
Let’s start with the most recent research on leadership. It’s clear from this research that both intelligence and personality contribute significantly to successful leadership behaviour. Second, the last 25 years have seen a growing body of evidence that shows how we think, feel and act are significantly influenced by behavioural genetics. In other words, we are not simply the sum of our learning experiences.
Experts conclude that DNA is responsible for 50% of an individual’s personality and even more for intelligence.
So the evidence is that half of what we talk about as ‘talent’ is hard-wired, and half comes from a myriad of life experiences. Therefore, to get lasting behaviour change – the objective of talent development – is not as easy as we may believe. To get it right you need to have everything going for you – the right diagnosis, the right motivation, the right culture and the right intervention.
To read the debunking of four common leadership myths, register your interest in downloading a copy of “Talent- How to Leverage a Rare Commodity” below.