The concept of Talentism has been coined down by Charles Schwab (founder of the World Economic Forum) back in 2012 as being the only logical era to replace capitalism. Capital has been one of the key drivers for the industrial era, fueling technology innovations as well as the development of private companies to carry out the entire process from product creation to market delivery as opposed to being state-owned and state-driven. This improved productivity and enabled consequent competitive advantages that stood for a few decades.
The New Economy is not fueled by capital, but rather by talent.
Whereas capital is important, it is no longer the presence of it that significantly influences the potential to succeed of an organization. It was capital that made it possible for the main technologies to taken certain industries from zero to one: i.e. the steam engine which multiplied the potential of many industries tenfold. Information technology plays a significant role as well being among the revolutionary advances (i.e. 3D printing – which leads the democratization and digitization of manufacturing), being considered by some economists as one of the general purpose technologies along the telegraph and the steam engine.
In the era of Talentism, talent becomes the driver for many of the advances that revolutionize industries (i.e. Uber, Airbnb, Tesla). We can see its impact when creativity, combined with the proper skills, tools, and information technology creates tremendous organizations (i.e. see Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc.) These no longer find themselves in the areas of activity that they initially started but have become organizations with a mission to change the world (see Google that started as a search engine trying to take the lead on autonomous cars, or Facebook – a social media platform – trying to take the Internet to everyone on the planet, just to mention a few).
None of these companies lack the capital. In fact, they have a significant amount of cash available on their hands. However, by far, they are in a group for themselves (although some consider them to be monopolies), which exist by the sheer advantage that their talent has given them. A competitive advantage that took them by an order of magnitude in technology beyond their competitors.
Talent and the future of work
Now that organizations have understood the importance of talent they are faced with the challenge of the skills gap. It has pushed them to find new ways to source talent, primarily by giving up on geographical limitations, switching to a remote work relationship (either from home or through outsourcing to vendors operating in nearshore or offshore models). That opens up a whole new way of working, bringing up other quasi-challenges such as finding the right communication means (i.e. phone, text chat, conference meetings), switching to cloud software platforms, adjusting for cultural variations, or time-zone differences. Other solutions may be found through freelancers or collaborative workspaces/hubs.
Never before was the future of work so interconnected with the past. Social media platforms provide a network of information, organizations, and individuals who can easily be accessed to locate the right talent, vet them through references and even carry out background checks.
The future of work also calls for professionals to consider that an education is not an insurance that guarantees a successful career throughout their lives. On the contrary, professionals need to be open to life-long learning alternatives (i.e. certifications or online course platforms) and developing an alternate primary skill. This gives way to varied work opportunities and increases their flexibility to switch from one project to another.
Talentism is changing the face of businesses around the world as they strive to become and stay competitive in the New Economy. How will you take advantage of the vast array of talent available across the world?
I would love to hear your experience about capital versus talent. How have both shaped your strategy in the past 5 years? How about the next 5-10 years?
Leave your comments below, and don’t hesitate to contact SourceMatch about how we can help you leverage talent for your organization.