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Monday, February 18, 2013

On Finding Talents and Developing Them

What happens when you recruit people who have natural gift for the work they do and have the passion to pursue excellence? You're not going to need a lot of other things.

I recently facilitated a team building workshop for one of the most popular dance companies in the Philippines. I wish to share with you what I learned from that encounter about the role of recruitment and mentoring in developing a group of people who are naturally predisposed to continuing skills development.

Entry to this dance company is painstaking. Candidates go through rigorous training that span weeks. The number of participants dwindle from several dozens to as little as a lone survivor. Whoever survives the selection process are continually trained by the company's top mentors and choreographers including its founder.

It isn't hard to imagine that without talent and a personal desire to continually improve, staying in this business, or in this company in particular is impossible. The need for team members to give themselves to the work at hand is non-negotiable. I mean long hours of practice, erratic schedules and developing and learning choreography in such short amount of time, it's crazy!

And then you look at the company as an organization. There's not a lot of written policy. There is no performance management system. There is no written code of discipline. What people have is a complete understanding of what they got themselves into and the willingness to pay the price to practice a profession they are so passionate about.

I know, I know. This can't apply to all organizations. We can only wish it can. I just wish to highlight the importance of two things as I have learned in this experience; Develop a good recruitment and screening process that gets you people who have both talent and passion; and then develop a mentoring program that allow leaders to model the needed level of professionalism to succeed in the business.

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