Barbara Sher – because her book ‘choose to refuse’ touched me and I believe she is an incredible woman, an amazing thinker and has a beautiful humour and charm while speaking. The advice she gives on her YouTube Channel is amazing and helps people to figure out what they want, by trying lean approaches without investing and risking to much.
Marie Forleo – owner of MarieTV and a Multipotentialite who is an incredible role model. She gives life advice and picked that path when she was in her early twenties. Although she knew it might happen to meet resistance she fought for her dream and does this now pretty successful. Her second passion is dance and she combines both, created a polypreneur business, which I found really inspiring. The twist she adds to her business and brings her passions to life.
Elizabeth Gilbert – the author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. But she is so much more than that. Her openness and talks about how to deal with the knowledge that probably your biggest success (a number one bestseller in her case) lies behind you. How to carry on? How to keep the magic and don’t get lost in a creative process but rather live a fulfilled, happy life. Her Ted Talks and interviews I have seen with her inspired me. First, because she has something to say and second, because she appears so real.
One of my earliest posts ‘What is Talent’ (check out the article here) seems to form great, ongoing interest. In this context I’d like to invite you to also check my post ‘Poor Performance – Beyond Lacking Ability and Motivation’ as this post describes why Talent itself is not enough (check it out here). I decided to go even a bit more into detail with this post on how to make Talent Management more strategic. Enjoy.
To break down the terms of the question I’d like to give you a couple of definitions before starting on the strategic aspect. First things first.
Silzer et al. have defined Talent Management as ‘an integrated set of processes, programs, and cultural norms in an organization designed and implemented to attract, develop, deplay and retain talent to achieve strategic objectives and meet future business needs’. So, it’s basically to figure out whom do you need when and in which positions to hit your business objectives and stay competitive.
Silzer et al. defined that Potential implies ‘that an individual has qualities to effectively perform and contribute in broader or different roles in the organization at some point in the future’.
Companies define ‘Potential’ pretty different. Some companies would define Potential whether an individual can cover and perform in different not yet known roles or strategic positions. Some others might define it as whether he / she has the potential to stay with the company in case his / her position becomes obsolete and the ability to secure yourself another job by being adaptable and capable. Some others might define Potential totally detached from role profiles but look rather on the breadth of a person’s profile i.e. how much would he/she be able to cover (Generalists tend to be more flexible than Specialists). Some others might look on geographical areas or track records … As you can see the term ‘Potential’ is pretty tough to break down.
But there are some more general dimensions on how we can categorise Potential. We can look at personality and the person’s ability and willingness to learn and self-develop. We can also look on the person’s skill sets i.e. his / her leadership or cognitive skills.
These dimensions can be used within our Talent Management processes by clustering these dimensions into the following categories (Silzer & Church, 2009):
Foundational dimensions focus on the cognitive and personality variables, which are consistent and stable. This means that they are unlikely to develop or change. Cognitive variables or styles would be things like cognitive ability, strategic and conceptual thought processes, ability to handle complex situations. Personality does mean mainly the Big 5 personality traits and whether a person might be likely to derail by having high maladaptive tendencies.
The growth dimensions cover the ability to learn and the motivation to do so. The growth dimensions facilitate or hinder whether an individual is likely to grow and develop in different other areas. Learning is hereby put together as things like adaptability, openness to new topics and feedback, openness to learning processes. Motivation is whether an individual has the ambition and the drive to actually take action.
Career dimensions measure early indicators of later career skills, i.e professional competencies. These might be things like performance (typical and maximum performance), knowledge (already established competencies and skills), leadership skills and managerial behaviour (does the person show natural leadership style, has the ability to influence others etc.). Another important indicator are values, i.e. are the person’s values in line with the company’s values and norms.
With this process of breaking down the different parts of Potential and categorising those into the different dimensions you get a nice structure to manage your talent on a bit more strategic level. Feedback is absolutely appreciated. So, please let me how, how you are managing your talents and making your process more strategic.
Silzer, R. & Church, A.H. (2009). “The pearls and perils of identifying potential.” Industrial and Organizational Psychology 2, 377-412.
‘Why do you want to be when you are grown up?’ Some of us might have always known ONE answer to this question. Some of us might have become what they have always been wanted. Some of us might have no clue because there are way too many amazing, interesting options worthwhile trying. Right? Today’s blog is about exact these people who refuse to choose, Multipotentials. Mutlipotentiality is a synonym for high ability individuals. Multipotentials are also known as Scanners, Generalists or multi-passionate individuals. What does this mean in detail? It describes people who don’t just have ‘one true calling’ but rather getting excited by various things from totally different kind of natures. In general Multipotentials are very curious, they love to learn until they have a very good understanding of the topic and then like to move on. Their goal is not to become an expert and spent their life finding the true meaning of this one thing or finding out EVERYTHING about this one thing. No, they rather move on to something totally different.
Multipotentials are people who may love Accounting, Baking, Dancing AND Gardening. I am not saying OR because it’s NOT an OR it’s an AND. They have various diverse passions they follow and might have the tendency to become bored easily. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, in earlier days, in the Renaissance, Multipotentials were seen as the ‘ideal’. However, in todays world where everywhere specialists are seems to be needed, where everyone tries to find his or niche and become THAT expert, that matter expert who can charge the most … it’s a quite difficult time for Multipotentials who refuse to follow just one path. In fact, it’s pretty difficult for Multipotentials to follow one path because they just can’t decide which one to follow. Remember, the ‘one true calling’ kind of thing is missing. What are you doing when you have different callings – in different directions? Don’t you could just easily get lost along the way?
I believe whether you have one true calling or you are multi passionate – there is nothing wrong. Except, its perfect the way it is. As long as you allow yourself to be happy and follow your paths. I further believe that we do need both types of people, specialists AND generalists, in our world to look at things from different angles, become cutting edge and stay innovative. Especially for companies,diverse teams seems to be incredible important to stay in the game and not becoming obsolete and outdated over time.
And in fact, there are some very famous examples of Multipotentials who have changed the world and left their impressive footpaths. For example Aristotle, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Benjamin Franklin. I guess, all of us know them and there are no further words needed.
To all Multipotentials out there – you are not alone 🙂 Barbara Sher has published an amazing book on Multipotentiality, which is called ‘Refuse to Choose’ or in German ‘Du musst dich nicht entscheiden, wenn du tausend Träume hast’.
As considering myself a Multipotential I found this book pretty helpful on my ‘Oh, look, there is nothing wrong with me … there are some others just like me’ kind of journey. Another definite recommendation is the page ‘PUTTYLIKE – A home for Multipotentials’ by the amazing Emilie.
For everyone who now starts thinking about whether or not he or she might be a Multipotential (I really hope you do) and for everyone who is a specialist, I absolutely recommend you to watch Emilie’s Ted Talk on Multipotentials. Why? Because I simply believe it’s absolutely on point and a must watch – whether you consider yourself a Multipotential or not. I am sure you will know at least one of us (when you read this, you know me ;-)) and it’s just a brilliant, quick watch that helps us to change the world.
in one of my earlier posts I blogged about personality traits and gave a definition (you can check out the post here). Conscientiousness is one of the Big 5 Personality traits and is handled as the one of a kind personality trait. It shall predict job performance and seems to be therefore directly linked to success. People who scale high on conscientiousness seem to be pretty efficient, orderly, dutiful, have a high self-discipline and strive to achieve and reach their goals.
For example managerial performance is meant to be composed of different tasks like i.e. task completion. People with high contentious tendencies seem to find it easier to do so and to complete tasks as they count to be dutiful, have a high-self discipline and reach to achieve their goals. (Barrick & Mount, 1991)
With nearly all things also personality traits can, in extreme cases, appeal to be a bit ‘too much’. People with a a very high conscientious tendency could appeal to be over conscientious and could tend to be perfectionistic.
There are many free personality assessments out there to give you an indication on how you would scale on conscientiousness – however, there is no guarantee that these assessments are reliable and valid. In general it is advised to have a ‘guided’ personality assessment with a qualified feedback that is given to you. In general what you need to know is that there is NO right or wrong judgements when talking about personality. There might be a good or better fit but tno right or wrong answers.