Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.
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Comment Posted: 14/09/2008 16:41
|Thanks Carol, very timely and thanks for pointing me towards Carol Dweck's work.
I'm responsible for a 'gifted & talented' programme at a secondary school in the east of England. I agree wholeheartedly that talent isn't restricted to just a few, and should be developed in everyone. This doesn't fit very easily with the English government view who expect us to identify the most talented 10.
Is it as corrosive for me to identify the most excellent in a number of fields, as it would be to identify the most talented?
I'd hope to develop talent in everyone, while also acknowledging students who achieve particularly excellent standards. Should I aim to achieve both goals?
I'd value any thoughts, but appreciate that simple questions rarely have simple answers. Thanks.
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Comment Posted: 28/10/2008 00:22
|I think the context of work is different to school. While I would expect a school to have the latitude to highlight all talents - an organisation does have specific needs at certain times. However in the workplace I think it is the application of the concept is fundamentally flawed.
Attributing the construct of 'Talent' to the individual, misses the interaction between job characteristics and the context of the organisation. It is entirely likely that in a reasonably fast moving environment (and most FMCG and retail environments are) what is required for success is going to be fluid over a 3-5 year timeline.
Once the label 'talent' has been assigned for the few (and not assigned for the many), if the construct is focussed solely on the individual - how do you change someone's status? If it does happen it tends to be as a performance issue. Moving away from an individual focus can make the management of talent less destructive and it also allows people to be able to see that their own strengths may be better rewarded and appreciated in a different organisation in a different context. There are many other factors that will come into play on whether someone moves - availability of other jobs being most obvious - but at least they are better informed.
'Every dog has its day' is a simple enough concept - it requires a bit more complexity in application though, and the rewards are in my experience there to be had.
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