Are Companies Afraid of Discovering Their Internal Talent?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

2013 is coming to a close. Christmas lights are here, garlands, catalogs of toys overflowing mailboxes, the drive to consume compulsively…and, New Year resolutions! This is the best part. When something ends, something new begins, and beginnings always build up hope and facilitate changes.

New year, new life! January is the month where everyone intends to sign up for the gym to eliminate all the Christmas excess and lead a more healthy life; it is when smokers think about quitting; when we stop to think perhaps we should take better care of our partner or remember to tell our mother how much we lover her… But ideally it is not necessary during this time to ask these things.

The same thing happens in the work environment. I have heard a few times the argument that all innovation implies a great economic cost and in an environment of a crisis, like the current economic crisis in Spain, no company wants to risk more than what is necessary.

But propeling new projects does not necessarily mean investing an enormous amount of money in it, rather it may consist of slight changes in entrepreneurial attitudes, in implementing new easy application ideas, in betting on a personal link between our workers, in adequately awarding and valuing the most creative and efficient employees.

How many companies encourage idea contests? Good ideas are the genuine raw material of the most successful businesses. But it is still surprising how many ideas we throw away everyday and label them useless after the first consideration. Have you ever experimented changing the role of your workers for a short period of time? We were amazed to see what happens when we offer our employees new challenges and responsibilities. Which companies have the courage to frankly and openly show their employees and communicate the good and the bad? Thus, the achievements are shared and failures can be overcome more quickly with support from everyone.

On occasion I have considered that companies never try new things because they are actually afraid of discovering talent within the company. Surely there will be managers who believe that, if they foster their workers skills, if they train them, if they make them aware of their abilities, they will end up going to a better place or creating their own company. It’s true that this risk exists, but as I commented before, on the contrary, the drama of a mass disgruntled, unmotivated and inefficient work force can crowd the staff of the company. Which is better then?

Sandra Bravo Ivorra (@Sandra_BI) is a founding partner of BraveSpinDoctors, strategic communications consultancy and political marketing.