More on talent optimization and where it is weak and strong

Hi Tyler, one point you didn’t mention in your talent optimization post was career path dependence. Getting an assistant professorship might require some of the skills required to being a great professor, but it absolutely does not require any degree of interest in or talent at management, even though (at least in STEM) managing a lab, including people management, attraction of talent, administration, etc., is the critical skill.

One generalization is that any sort of administrative job that selects among a highly filtered group (senior medical administration at a hospital that mostly fall to MDs, executives within technical organizations such as CTOs) is likely forced to ignore the best talent.

Nick_L in the comment section provides another interesting example: “Talent selection in the Armed Forces is in an interesting category. The only way to achieve the rank of General (in G7 forces, at least), is by entry as a 2nd lieutenant. Due to the (understandable) narrowing of opportunities the higher you go in the armed forces, the best talent frequently leaves around the time they make Colonel.” Note that that comment assumes that the skills that make a great 2nd lieutenant or colonel are the same skills that make a great general.

That is from an email by John McDonnell.


Comments for this post are closed