There is no shortage of talent.
So asking “how do we win the war for talent?” is a fallacy. It prevents business leaders from making progress towards their objective: running a successful business. This question deserves the answer “mu” because it takes you further from your goal, it gets in the way of you asking a generative question instead, a question that has actionable answers. (Mu is used, e.g. in Zen, to say “unask the question because the question itself is in your way”.)
The powerful, generative questions you should be asking instead: Who can do what extraordinarily well (i.e., What talents do they have)? What does an optimum work context for their talents to be maximally productive and maximally developed look like, and how can we create it?
These are questions that recognise that no two of the 7.9 billion people on this planet are identical. No two can be at their best in exactly the same work environment. Each requires something unique that best enables them to bring their distinct talents into full productivity, and to develop their talents to the greatest extent possible.
It is worth repeating that there is no shortage of talent. There is only a shortage of adaptive, innovative leadership activity shaping work systems and interactions.
As such, there is a shortage of people who can put their effort into Job 1, what they were hired to do, instead of into Job 2: the work of protecting themselves and looking good in front of management and peers. (See Rebuild: the Economy, Leadership, and You for more details.)
Inside Evolutesix, our start-up factory, and all of the start-ups we create, we do things differently.
We ask the questions above. And we recognise that, as Peter Drucker said, anyone who is extraordinarily good at one thing invariably has equally extraordinary weaknesses somewhere else. The whole purpose of bringing people together in an organised way is to build customised work contexts for each individual to make their strengths maximally productive and their weaknesses irrelevant.
Every single one of us is weak vs. the world’s best in any specific strength.
How much talent is looking for a place to be productive but unable to engage because the workplaces as we have them today are choosing not to make their weaknesses irrelevant?
In Evolutesix we’re doing everything we can to build work contexts around what someone can do well — and it’s tough. We are all working flexible hours, so that each of our days can maximise our productive energy across all of our activities. Whether as a primary caregiving parent to children, or as someone with a physical or mental characteristic, such as an occasional migraine attack, or lying somewhere on the spectrum, performance and wellbeing are at their best when each individual’s work context is fit for them.
Imagine for your organisation just how much available talent there is if you’re able to innovate how you build work contexts to create mass customisation for each individual. Imagine the availability of people who are currently not working, or working way below their potential because only 10% of their talents fit traditional work contexts.
At the heart of how we are working lies our integrated adaptive organisation methodology, a blend of our adaptive way (optimising human interactions), Sociocracy (optimising role and task interactions), and our FairShares Commons incorporation (optimising stakeholder interactions). And powering all of this is our internal HX platform, where each role and task is allocated points based on time, skills, and size of person needed to do the job. In this platform, no one has a large job with a fixed job description. Instead, each person has multiple finely sliced roles and a smorgasbord of tasks to choose from. Final remuneration each month is then fluidly dependent on each individual’s roles and tasks that month.
Far more productive to think that everyone is differently able – powerfully enabled in a couple of talents, and weaker in others – and then to build work contexts to make our abilities productive and our inabilities irrelevant.