Unleash The Talent

How well do you know the staff members that work right beside you…the ones that you interact with periodically but sometimes forget their names…or even the ones you supervise on a daily basis? A better question than this–as far as a productive work environment goes–how well do you know the staff member’s skills and talents? Or just plain old interests. Simple as that. What we are finding more and more is that if you aren’t tapping into the best talents and skills of a staff member (regardless of whether these talents and skills fit directly into their prescribed job description) then the best work and optimal job satisfaction is not being touched on. It’s not just about getting the job done, folks. We’re talking impact on on many levels. It’s all holographic…many levels, many activities, all moving parts contributing to a whole.
So, let me get grounded here…. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that we’re often overlooking the talent that surrounds us each day as we look for something more elusive, some talent that rests in another organization or another business.When–surprise–some of our best talent is right outside our door, left to plug away at tasks or duties, often uninspired and stale. The article points out: “Companies are filled with alienated employees who feel underutilized and ignored, and are either coasting or searching for new jobs elsewhere. A whopping 70% of U.S. employees say they feel either ‘not engaged’ or “actively disengaged” at work, according to a recent survey by the Gallup Organization. “
There are pockets of skill, talent–shall we say even passion? Why not? These pockets are often only as deep as we delve. The article goes on to say that “coaching” is the key to tapping into and opening up this talent. True in most cases. Personally, I am a bit over the word “coaching” as it is so used and misused and often a cop-out practice by organizations when some staff simply need to be managed out of a system and encouraged to move on. I don’t know if it’s so much about “coaching” a staff member to help them flourish as it is about just starting to recognize them as having something beneficial that can feed into an existing program or service and amp it up. It doesn’t have to be a planned process so much as a nod to “go ahead, run with that idea.” Who couldn’t name at least one person who could bring a new voice, a new perspective, a new spin or sparkle to an existing service just by being invited into the loop? Why don’t we invite them in? Take the leash off their necks (and desks). Free them up for a day, a week, a month to run wild with a idea. Great things could happen. The process alone is freeing, and in that it is great. If you recongizea skill or talent or simply a good idea on the job–recognize it, name it immediately…you will likely unleash a tethered talent. And follow-up…young talent, especially, can be strong–but shy.



  1. Tony, I *heart* this post and am right behind you. Let’s find ways to let our organization’s creative talent shine.

  2. This is the message I’d like to drill out to our Sr. management. Our organization needs to hear this and ACT. We’ve wasted enough time! Provide opportunities!

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