Conceiving a Talent and Giftedness Management Strategy: Making Room for Gifted Employees by Drawing from Published Experience and Scholarly Derived Models
Roland S. Persson
Jönköping University, School of Education & Communication
Talent Management as a relatively new phenomenon has since it emerged relied little on research and heavily on ideology; above all on American cultural values. It is becoming increasingly clear that there cannot exist any standard model of talent management. Like for management in general, such models have to consider cultural differences and local legislation. A typical American model cannot usually be employed in Europe or in Asia since they are reliant on selecting unique individuals; usually the next generation of leadership making talent management exclusive focussing on single individuals in the organisation. This approach is problematic in both Europe and Asia for cultural and legal reasons. Emerging European models for example tend to be inclusive avoiding a focus on single individuals only. They tend to be based on the idea that everyone in an organisation has the potential to improve, should be given the option of a career structure and should be invested in by further training and education once employed. Research has indeed shown that such investment pays off over time in terms of increased profit. No current such model, however, to my knowledge, be it American, European or Asian, includes the notion of giftedness. Talent as a label is mainly used as a term for improvable human capital. Yet it is still divided into high achievers, low achievers and several stages in between but without knowing much of the social and psychological dynamic following different levels of ability and competence. Gifted education has much to contribute to this field of practice. This workshop, therefore, will endeavour to present principles rather than ready-made and absolute structures. The development of a talent management strategy proposed in this workshop includes giftedness in addition to the many understandings of talent drawing from the literature of published management experience as well as from the wealth of research on giftedness as focussed on in educational and psychological research. The spectacular example of the Google Corporation will be a particularly helpful focus. Although necessarily coloured by its cultural origins, not always in agreement with established research facts, the Google Corporation has nevertheless developed an interesting and promising understanding of highly creative employees well worth considering.