Talking about talent is talking about natural abilities and capacities that a person possesses to perform certain activities with ease and excellence. I always say that the talent of companies is to discover it and cultivate it to achieve success. Anders Ericsson, a psychologist known for his “10,000 Hours of Practice” theory, talks about how talent can be developed through deliberate and focused practice. In the case of large and not so large companies, it is important to look for it and encourage it.
Talent is closely related to the “growth mindset”. The prominent psychologist C. Dweck, a professor at Stanford University, has conducted studies in this regard. In the field of the company, from my point of view, it is a way of thinking that focuses on development and continuous learning, instead of being stuck with the skills and abilities that have been done “forever”. The growth mindset must be part of the corporate culture, in a system in which people can learn, improve and grow in any area of their lives and their profession.
Cultivating talent within organizations helps success and is a challenge in any company, however, integrating it as part of the culture is what ensures success. I will end with a Chinese proverb that says: “Pearls do not grow on the coast… If you want one, you have to dive to get it”.
What should organizations do to foster a growth mindset?
1. Embrace challenges- Instead of avoiding them, one must bravely accept them, seeing them as opportunities to grow and learn. And learning means overcoming fears of obstacles that arise on the way to where you are going, expanding limits and reaching new goals. This is a competitive advantage.
2. Learn from failures- Instead of seeing failures as something negative, you should encourage learning from them. Analyze what went wrong and look for ways to improve in the future. Failure is not the end, it is just the beginning of a learning lesson, because there is no bigger mistake than not learning from failure. K. Bryant said: “I am not afraid of failure; I am just afraid I did not try hard enough”.
3. Cultivate curiosity- It is the way to constantly look for new ways to grow the company. It stimulates innovation and creative thinking of those who possess the talents, which helps collaborative work that leads to greater worker and customer satisfaction.
4. Maintaining a positive mentality- It involves fostering optimism and proactivity, focusing on the favorable aspects of situations, as well as facing challenges with determination and seeking constructive solutions. Thomas Edison said: “Our greatest weakness is to give up. The surest way to succeed is to always try one more time”.
5. Set realistic goals, but at the same time challenging-Virgilio said “they can because they believe they can”. You have to set goals that inspire you to grow and improve yourself, but making sure that they are achievable and always daring, and celebrate your achievements as you go along.
6. Seek constant feedback- You have to do it within the companies themselves to get trustworthy people willing to offer a constructive perspective. Learning to receive criticism openly and to use that information to improve is an achievement for teams, as long as they are trained for it.