I don’t know if I’m totally aware of the consequences of letting you know that I feel grateful for all the silent replies and horrid recruitment experiences that I have had. Looking at my own experiences and other people’s stories, I would that companies are not exactly interested in Talent. In other words, all the talk about Talent and maximising potential is a big pile of bullshit, because what they are looking for is people who will get the work done without too many questions. No one can deny that the Quest for Talent looks good on a piece of paper though. Conferences and forums are created annually, for instances, to discuss how to identify and recruit the most talented individuals on Earth. When we go back to reality though, we face the same old resistance to change, which is nothing more than our good and old human tendency to conform to what is known and to base our decisions upon heuristics. The momentum created in the expensive (and often luxurious) events rapidly fades and the Talent rarely hired.
In a world where a lot of people proudly announce to have done a MBA (Master of Business Administration), few people actually understand a thing about the way people work and perform at their best. Talent is never subjectively quiet. Part of Talent is the ability to question the status quo and the truth is that everyone has talent, we only need to provide people the right conditions. If MBAs ever studied or looked at Work History, they probably came across the Human Potential Movement and other important ideas that aimed to humanise the world of work. So I must correct myself here: they probably understood what they studied, but they certainly haven’t been able to really make sense of the information. And I’m not the only one pointing this out, there is actually a huge gap between what people have been learning and what people have put in practise.
I can’t say it’s easy to change old management ways, but I’m pretty sure I can say that we have been all failing at changing the workplace. How many people do you know who talk about their job with sparkling eyes? How many people do you know to be happy at work? And are you happy? The issue goes, however, way beyond happiness at work. While in the past we would worry about work accidents and physical safety, we now need to also worry about our mental safety. We need to start putting wellbeing as a top organisational priority and by wellbeing I mean a lot of different things. Are our employees receiving a fair salary? Are our employees recognised? Are our employees free to be creative and suggest alternative ways of getting things done? Are our employees leading a balanced life?
We need a kind of management that is more based on human connection, and which has individual, organisational and public wellbeing as a business goal. Only then we will know how to identify and recruit the best talent. Only then we will have great potential to innovate and be resilient when markets become less stable. Only then we will stop seeing work as a punishment and more like a blessing, a way to fulfil part of our identity as human beings. These are not dreamy ideas, it’s all written in the books, so it’s time to stop wasting money on rediscovering the wheel and start investing in more transpersonal business strategies.