Talent Blindness

We in neOOne have a yearly ritual that we religiously do way before we even started the company formally. This has been our standard practice as a company since 2010. The yearly event is called Plan The Year. We started with just the two of us (the founders) and it grew to include our associates and now it is a public and in-house program benefitting more than 200 entrepreneurs yearly. Yes, the number are small yet we are truly proud of this program because it was home-grown with our very own experience embedded into the design. It has benefitted us tremendously and has been responsible for our average yearly growth of 40%.

One of the exercises we do in the session is a reflection exercise on free-style journaling about our year which leads to a visual representation using a graph line timeline called The Life Graph. This graph allows us to see patterns and acknowledge the ups and downs of events in the year and how it has effected us emotionally. Through crafting this graph, wisdom of the year comes up.

Reflecting 2017 using this method, one of my biggest learning for the year came up. I must admit, this could be the biggest lesson for me over the past 5 years. That was how profound it is.

The learning has to do with what I call Talent Blindness. It came about from the departure of a talented associate whom we have supported and nurtured for many years. Upon drawing wisdom from the incident, I am able to flipped the event from Sad Departure to a Good Riddance because of the positiveness that eventually resulted from the departure.

I realised that my blindness is the result of complacency and comfort. It is true what people say that these two are the worst enemy an entrepreneur can ever have.

Due to his talent and all the effort we put into supporting him all these year, we were nulled into putting all our expectation onto him. We started to believe that he is the answer to our prayer and we inadvertently stopped noticing new talents. We became oblivious of the abundance of talent in our very own eco-system. Complacency set it. We operated as if all has been settled. The search has ended. We put all our eggs into one basket. He becomes indispensable to our organization.

This situation worsens because we started to be comfortable with the situation. How can we not be when no energy is exerted, no decision or deliberation need to be made; a sense of settlement cropped in. We look no more; we suddenly developed Talent Blindness.

When the unexpected departure happen, frustration and fear emerged. We panicked. We operated from scarcity because we felt a sense of loss. We didn’t realise of what our eco-system has to offer. This initial reaction is understandable considering the mindset we have and the blindness we are in.

As the dust settled and the real demands of work kicks in, we capitalist on our uncomfortable situation and our unwavering promise to our clients and started being in action to make things work. We begin to gain clarity from our blindness and look at our nearest circle of associates. We went back to having faith in our associates, take risk on them and develop what’s needed.

Suddenly, possibilities emerged. New talents discovered and shining. What’s Broken is mended, What’s lost is replaced. We are no more blind to talents around us.

A new strategy we will be adopting from now on is to continuously populate the talent pool; hatch new talents, nurture up-coming talent and empower mature talents.

As I stand seeing with clarity, I am reminded to always be uncomfortable and always be on the look out for talents.

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