Nature vs nurture - raw talent or trained?
Do you believe in nature or nurture or both?
Many organisations get talent development wrong. They often focus on trying to patch weaknesses or areas of disinterest up to the levels of strength - very unlikely, no wonder L&D has such a bad name.
Learning Strategy gone wrong...
Should we stop training weaknesses? Balance is important. Knowledge gaps are the easiest fill on the learning scale. Skills the second hardest and mindset almost impossible in the learning context.
We must continue to develop STRENGTHS to superstar standard, this adds enormous value but often we miss it. We constantly focus on areas people aren't that good at, with often limited effect because the journey for these areas to significant improvement is massive.
However the question is CAN WE DEVELOP areas of weakness or disinterest?
I say disinterest because often we aren't good at what we don't enjoy. It's simple, I don't like cheese and you do. I don't like managing people, to you it's a breeze. If my job requires it, then yes I have to get better at it, but my potential here maybe be very limited.
I can develop better knowledge, skills and attitude towards different tasks but each requires a very different solution.
Is it impossible? No. Will it take a long time? Possibly yes. So understand this when assigning tasks or promoting people into roles (especially management or leadership) where job requirements don't match their areas of INTEREST. It will be a long painful journey.
Nature vs nurture - be realistic, be supportive, be balanced.
JF - THINKING HR