Do Talented People Need Organizations Less Than Organizations Need Talented People?

Presenting thought leadership from people from varied walks of life ranging from world record impact leading voluntary sector organizational leader, management educator & dean of the foremost business schools in India, business leaders from some of the best known global firms, mid-career professionals from the technology arena, and youth as a means to answering this evocative question


Dan Pink, bestselling author of books on the changing world of work, observes an unfolding scenario in which ‘talented people need organizations less than organizations need talented people’. On the other-hand, we have books titled and performance research indicating 'talent is overrated'.

To further add perspectives on this topic, here we are, presenting reflections of people from varied walks of life ranging from world record impact leading voluntary sector organizational leader, management educator & dean of one of the foremost business schools in India, business leaders from some of the best known global firms, mid-career professionals from the technology arena, and youth. We hope you would like and learn as much as we did in putting this perspective piece together.

Professor Dr. Sunita Singh Sengupta, Dean, Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi has huge body of work to her credit on the role and nature of impact of sprituality on organizational development and excellence. In addition, she her research background covers topics connected to behavioural sciences among others.

In addition to self interest, Professor recommends that there must an ambience and culture that enables Organizations to duly acknowledge and appreciate talent; and similarly, for talented employees to understand organizational mandates for its wellbeing.

Mr. Shridhar Venkat, CEO at The Akshaya Patra Foundation (unlimited food for education) that operates the World's Largest Mid-Day Meal Programme has extensive leadership experience globally. Mr. Venkat is also an Eisenhower Fellow for Innovation. We are glad to have his learned-self's reflections on this evocative topic.

"When a group of people with talent and drive willingly come together for a common purpose, this happy association can be called an Organisation. Hence, people and organisations form an inseparable bond of interdependent co-existence". He has aptly described the role of people in organization in saying, "people are the living force of organisations" and added that, "Organisations cannot exist without the active contribution of its members".

He further added that, "Organisations are necessary to make talent productive and efficient. An unorganized effort merely becomes a dissipation of talent and energy. Therefore, organisations and talent are concomitant factors of success, nay, survival. They share a symbiotic relationship, and assigning priorities of comparative superiority will be superficial. Furthermore, when talented people, especially youngsters, organise themselves for the higher purpose of bringing positive change in the society, this co-operation will be the highest fulfilment of human endeavour. At Akshaya Patra, we are striving to live by this thought process in the service of the nation."

Mr. Gipson Paul as Exective Director - Advisory & Transaction Services also Heads the Hyderabad Operations at CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). CBRE is a pioneering global organization that has ushered in management excellence, methods and organized operations purview to the seemingly unorganized real estate sector through the involvement of talented professionals who conduct business transparently commanding the trust of various stakeholders.

Emphasising the mutual dependence of organization & talent, Mr. Gipson Paul reasoned that talent management has assumed strategic priority at organizations because of this interface between talent & organizations. The organizations' need to attract and retain talented professionals also has its role in propelling talent management as a strategic priority. Specifically, reflecting as part of our conversation, Mr. Gipson Paul opined that, "the need and dependency is equal for both organizations and the talent as well. Organizations and employees are highly interdependent on each other for their growth and development. The differential value created by talented people and their contribution to organizations has made talent management a strategic priority for organizations. Strategic talent management helps organizations to keep their employees motivated and engaged, which in turn contributes to the overall growth of the business and organization. It also gives organizations the opportunity to attract potential talents, which helps in improving business performance and results. It is crucial for businesses to have a systematic and strategic approach to talent management, in order to manage the important assets of the organization, specially its employees". 

Mr. Clinton Rozario is a Product Architect at ProdEx Technologies. ProdEx is a leader and pioneer of many search based products and has carved a niche as a product company par excellence. He is particularly cut out to speak on this topic given the fact that he was recognized for his "talents" by his mentor who is also the CEO of ProdEx very early  in the day when Clinton interned at ProdEx. Mr. Rozario is what we call a boomerang employee who began as an intern and worked at ProdEx, went on to do an MBA and worked with renouned global behemoth and then returned to ProdEx.

As someone who has traversed through this jigsaw of talent - organization interface, he said, "talented people are super specialized in one niche. However when they solve problems in that one niche, the solutions are not directly usable". Citing an example of a talented scientist, Clinton went on to add, "when a talented scientist invents the next generation material which converts sunlight to energy at a rate that's never been seen before, that invention cannot be immediately used. That solution needs to be integrated into products, that have to be commercially manufactured, marketed and sold. The talented scientist needs an organization to take the invention to the world. Organizations can still run with average people - in the absence of talented people. However, the life of the organization may not be long lasting."

A Human Resources professional, Mr. Ashish working at Allegis Global Solutions' client American Express proposed an egalitarian outlook in stating that, "everyone is talented". Allegis Global Solution is a globally renouned organization specialized in Human Resources and is at the forefront of Transforming the Way the World Acquires Talent.

EVERYONE IS TALENTED - This indeed is an interesting take at the outset. He further said that "the idea of calling certain people 'talented' can be confusing. Because this depends clearly on the idea of someone knowing that they are talented". The underlying suggestion while reflecting on the topic appears to be the "context" and "perception" of the individual who knows or thinks s/he is talented and the reality that determines the 'individual's ability to leverage her/his talent'.

Dr. Shailaja Sistla, Department of Periodontology of CKS Theja Institute of Dental Sciences brings in a perspective from medical education and medical practice profession. According to the institution's website - about us - the institution is situated at the ambrosial foothills of Tirumala, surrounded by lush green peaks of Seshachalam hills. Incidentally, The CKS THEJA INSTITUTE OF DENTAL SCIENCES AND RESEARCH, Tirupati, is the first private dental college in the state of A.P established in the year 1999.

Professor Dr. Shailaja has opined the role of the organization while in conversation on this topic, " organization may provide a platform to promote talent". Further to sharing her perspective on the culture of the organization that brings out the best within the organization's talent, she added that, "...talented people definitely benefit being associated with organizations. They are in fact personally so organized, they themselves are an organization".

We are glad to update this article with the insightful reflections received from K Ramnath Chandrasekhar, an award winning nature photographer who uses this medium to propagate conservation and is involved in the environment and conservation education at various schools and colleges. You would notice that he has used expressions from the Nature in his perspectives - a sort of a tribute to his passion for environment and conservation. Read here about how coming together of CAUSE (Nature and Conservation) and MEDIUM (Photography)

Ram brings into the purview of this topic diversity as an intervening factor. In his belief, "an effective organization is like a rainforest. In it, diversity is needed to keep it functioning. Talented people are a major part of this diversity". He goes on to add that, "organizations need them because it propels their vision and hence leads to better impact. However, talented people also need organizations because they help them grow as an individual and professionally in their careers. I look for talented people with values that align with our organization when I need to implement a specific project. In many cases, I look for freshers too who have the right values like the thirst for learning, empathy, and adaptability, and I am ok (even) if they lack talent. Freshers can always be nurtured to develop talent if they have the right values in them".

The opinions, beliefs and views expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of or Genval Consulting Group Private Limited or any of its Partners.
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