Talent Hates Being Managed – Try Cultivation InsteadTalent Hates Being Managed – Try Cultivation Instead https://jasonlauritsen.com/wp-content/themes/corpus/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg 150 150 Jason Lauritsen https://jasonlauritsen.com/wp-content/themes/corpus/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg
I grew up as a country boy on a farm in rural Iowa. I was surrounded by farming everywhere I went. I don’t know that I honestly paid a lot of attention to the business of farming growing up (other than the various unpleasant jobs I helped with during summer months to make money). But, now that I think back on farming, there are some things that stand out in my mind relative to what I would hear farmers talk about as I was growing up that I think might be relevant ideas for our work with talent. Here are a few of those ideas:
- Farmers respect and acknowledge that they can’t actually make plants grow. Plants grow because that’s what they do–it is naturally hard-wired into them. So, farmers focus on the things they know they can control which create an environment that makes optimal growth most likely.
- The seeds they plant.
- The field in which they plant them.
- The chemicals they choose to put on the crops to keep away harmful elements like weeds and bugs.
- The fertilizer they spread on the fields to ensure the plants have the fuel they need to grow optimally.
- Talent cultivation is about studying the human being, acknowledging that growth is a natural human tendency, and using science to understand what encourages or hinders growth.
- Then, it’s about creating an environment (culture, leadership, etc.) that maximizes the odds of optimal growth occuring.
- Cultivation is ultimately focused on experimentation and results. Cultivators are constantly experimenting to find out what approaches yield the best outcomes.
I suspect that some might be practicing cultivation today and calling it talent management. I think that it’s time for a re-branding of this work. Let’s cultivate talent, not manage it. How might that change our results?
I like the farming anlogy and would add one more item. Farmers will also rotate their crops. This always reminds me of management offering the “fast track” to their talented employees. THey move them throughout the organization in different departments and different projects. This is their way of “cultivating” talent.
Unfortuantely management often does not take enough time to define their “talented employees.” WHen that happens you can get that one bad apple, so to speak, that can ruin a whole crop. I have seen this more in larger organizations but that increased span of control that this bad apple has, causes trmendous losses in revenues, opportunities and talent.