Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
Editor’s note: Enrique Dans (@edans) has let us republish this article from his blog where he talks about how do companies manage talent and innovation?
Here’s an interesting question: how do companies manage talent and innovation, and what models can we use to map them? Working on the basis that any organization needs to attract new people of varying ages and experience on a regular basis, we can identify a range of variables that affect their ability to do this.
On this basis we can see a number of models, which I tend to categorize thus:
Companies that tend to attract younger talent, and then create mechanisms whereby said talent is only happy when performing at the highest level. Demanding organizations, they tend to be constantly measuring and evaluating their team, and normally end up creating something of a performance cult, which means that those who stay do so because their merits are beyond discussion. We’re talking here about a culture that recognizes and rewards effort: if you’re not up to the job, you will soon feel excluded and uncomfortable, and be obliged to leave. These companies are sometimes known as up or out operations.
The Dead Sea
The very opposite of the previous model, and much more widespread than is generally recognized. They tend to attract talent in different phases of development, but after a period of adaptation, employees realize that there are too many obstacles for them to express themselves, leaving them the option of adapting to a poorly functioning system, or having to leave in search of a company where they can better develop their talent. Generally, those who stay are less motivated and ambitious, which, coupled with poor training policies, ends up converting them into people with little motivation to find a another position of similar responsibility in another organization; they end up becoming a kind of sediment that often ends up putting off new talent from joining. Such organizations are usually highly bureaucratic, working along civil service lines, and where the goal is tenure.