What to do with talent or disruptive talent?

Are you a disruptive talent? And can you too do some truly amazing things???

Most of us acknowledge and recognise that there are some incredibly talented people in the arts, music, fashion, and sport, however when it comes to the world of business this is anything but clear and real accolades are often few and far between. There are of course the dynamic and intrepid entrepreneurs from those big institutions, you know the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs types, along with the Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg types at the very top of the pile, but where are the good performers with all the creative talent in the workplaces?

The answer is simple, there aren’t any! Wow that’s a bold and brash statement if ever there was – now do please let me explain before I really dig myself deep and get into more trouble as this is not so ridiculous as it seems! The official awards in industry have always been handed to the previously mentioned superstars, and probably always will be too, as they are usually nominated by their peers and other prominent people among the so-called ‘elite’, so why then do these other truly talented and creative types receive very little recognition for their achievements?

That’s an easy one. It’s because the few really exceptional ones are hidden from view and then ‘locked’ away as a closely-guarded secret for fear of them being poached by the opposition, (as evidenced in F1 Motorsport), and the rest of the talented largely go by unnoticed! In fact, I personally only know of a couple of instances of award-winning creative talents gaining worldwide recognition – being that of Apple’s Chief Design Officer Sir Jonathan Paul Ive, KBE, a designer of some distinction credited with steering design and helping to bring some of those incredible products to the market; and Adrian Newey, OBE, the Chief Technical Officer at Red Bull Racing ultimately responsible for facilitating those remarkable series of four F1 championships in a row.

So let’s now go back to the what to do with talent or disruptive talent and qualify this. Almost every single company or organisation has a multitude of talent which is either usually found busily working away on those vital assignments in the offices, laboratories, and the design studios if they are the compliant type like those mentioned above who simply just quietly get on with their work and are usually very efficient and effective at best, or at worse still buried deep within their ranks and mostly ignored if they are of the non-compliant variety as this talent type is largely unrecognised or totally suppressed through either poor or gross mismanagement. So why then do we do this to them if talent is such a good thing?

To provide an answer to that one there are certain preconceptions we must first dispel, starting with the one that says the disruptive and both talented person-types are always trouble! By the way, this particular article is not all my own work as I was first inspired by another published by Elizabeth Hotson last year and read with great interest. The original article was based on the premise that Sir Richard Branson had conceded that he would have been a difficult employee for any boss to manage. The article suggests that you can indeed accommodate a disruptive talent provided that the person is robustly managed and properly supported and having then done so successfully, the company would be certain to gain enormous benefit from the resultant creativity they then extend to their surroundings. Even though many such persons go through the business world much unnoticed, it was very heartening to see at least one agency within that article actively seek them out and find a rightful place for them – much the same as the head-hunters do for the more senior personnel.

There has been more than one occasion where I have personally encountered some kind of stiff resistance from a more senior manager for daring to be different and also have a most artistic and creative brother whose work was actually hijacked by his immediate superiors within an NHS Hospital and passed off as their own! To have an insecure boss behaving in this manner is extremely debilitating to others in the team who otherwise might truly flourish elsewhere. They, (the management), really do need to learn how to actively encourage and engage the real prospects, especially among those industries where both new and raw talent is essential for their very survival, else the competition will no doubt gain the upper hand as their own protégés will always be the first to produce the goods. The real challenge is: “What on earth are you really afraid of?” Don’t stand in their way or try to stop progress as all talent must be given the true recognition and respect that they deserve, otherwise they may just get up and leave and go elsewhere!

But talent is also present in some other more surprising forms too! There was a recent BBC TV documentary from 30th March, (Employable Me – Episode 2), which I found extremely fascinating that followed the progress of three autistic persons who were considered to be unemployable and desperately applied for job after job through the years with very little success. The one notable part in the series that really struck me was the feature on this autistic man called Ashley, who was very much of an odd eccentric and dressed in a kind of retro-styled ‘Sherlock Holmes-esque’ attire, who became a stand-in auctioneer by chance because of his obsessions with a meticulous attention to detail and was remarkably very, very good at it.

So get out there among your own organisations and uncover those raw and rough uncut ‘diamonds’ that are buried within your deepest and darkest ‘vaults’, (be they disruptive or not), and go forth and produce some real ‘gems’, and you never know even that otherwise real-regular ‘pain in the a##’ can end up bringing in some true ‘riches’. And since I have already mentioned F1, let’s go the whole (road)hog and give a rapturous applause to Max Verstappen for that amazing achievement in winning his first (of many) Grand Prix last weekend at this tender age. This feat is right up there alongside Leicester City winning the English Premier League at 5000:1 odds and with little means at their disposal too – truly remarkable displays of the talented, both sets!

The other previously mentioned article entitled, “Are you a ‘disruptive talent’ like Sir Richard Branson?” can be found > > here and should also be viewed in order to provide a more wholesome picture.

3 thoughts on “What to do with talent or disruptive talent?

  1. This was Great!! I read half of this out loud to my hubby across the room but had to stop at Mel Gibson when I darn near fell out of my chair la!gnihgu! You are great thanks so much for the good belly laughs 🙂

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