Talent drives firms. It also hinders them. Just as the sun hides the stars in the sky, talent hides rising stars. Regarding where to find talent in your company, see how current talent hides it.
Examples of Where to Find Talent Hiding Talent
A bank officer did not show her talent until she left one office for another. Two very talented and experienced employees dominated her old office. Clients and employees went to them for advice not her.
A very talented tech employee had final say on tech talent. Recruiters complained that he was nixing some very good talent. He was top dog. He feared another top dog coming into the firm.
A large accounting firm loses two average, young, low-level employees to smaller competitors. Each talent goes on to blossom as key rainmakers for their new firms. The large firm asks, “How did they miss such talent?”
A national firm loses their top sales talent to a competitor. The number two sales talent receives the accounts. He surpasses what the previous salesperson did with those accounts.
How Talent Hides Talent
Research shows two opposing trends occur when a top scientist dies. First, there is “a marked slowing of the published output of the star’s collaborators.” Second, “those who had not collaborated with the star (and who were indeed sometimes in different fields)” increased.
They found that within five years of a top scientist’s death, the increase in published output by non-collaborators “had fully compensated for the drop-off in those of the collaborators” In other words, “A star’s death gives outsiders room to breathe.”
The danger is not only missing and losing of talent though. Losing new ideas and methods are others. New talent often brings these. The article about the research suggests, “big-name scientists may end up stifling progress in their fields.” In business, existing talent can stifle progress.
The stifling shows in many ways. Fewer opportunities for rising stars is one. The way existing talent taints people’s view of talent is another. People often assess new talent by what they think existing talent is. How people see it will affect where to find talent.
As these examples and this research suggest, many biases hide talent. Simply asking, “How does current talent hide rising talent?” helps to see where to find talent in our companies.