What is Talent Development?
What is Talent Development (TD)? For this question a European group of 20 people came together to Genoa between 25th and 31st of March. During a Training Course of 5 days they tried to discover the meaning of this large and diverse concept.
Talent Development exists out of two components: Talent and Development. What is a talent? Is it a gift? Is it a potential? Is it something that's already there when you're born? Who does it know? The same discussion appeared during this Training Course in Genoa: the discussion about nature and nurture. Nature stands for the gift that's already there when your mother gives birth; it's the potential. Nurture means that you're able to influence your talent during your lifetime. It's like exercising.
This exercise refers to the second component of the learning process: the Development. To develop you have to come out of your comfort zone. The comfort zone is that part of your life where and when you feel comfortable. You have everything under control, even when the circumstances are not very comfortable. The fact that you know what to expect is the routine that makes you feel more comfortable. Getting out of that situation scares you. How do you need to handle now? It seems like you enter the panic zone: the ground beneath your foot disappears; it's like you’re walking in a spooky night without any light. But this same feeling can slowly change if you get used to this situation. The panic zone becomes the magic zone. After a while the exciting feeling of this magic zone slowly transforms, without realizing, in your comfort zone and the whole cycle happens again. Hopefully there's one difference: you reach each time a higher level, like in a video game. You sublime your old life into becoming more resourceful. That's how you are ready for taking new steps.
Key elements of TD
Besides the sublimation of your learning process the group of 20 experts also finds another ingredient for the essence of Talent Development: "It can be developed either individually or in a group, but personal needs are always central in this learning process." In other words it's a personal learning process. If you can translate it into an ownership the only owner is you: you are the one who has influence on it and you are the one who experience it. Because a learning process is a process you can direct and at the same time it has its own flow and you have to follow. Mostly you find out later what the result is. Even not immediately but a long time afterwards when you are in a period of another development. Pieces from the previous process can fill gaps or suddenly parts of that previous course become more and more clear, like an "a-ha moment".
You can consider such a result as an element which helps the learning process to arrive to the outcome. Nevertheless on the question "What are the key elements of TD?", in general the answers refer not to the result but to generate a learning process. Words as "discipline, willingness, openness, recognition, faith, opportunity, coaching, dreams, emotions, planning, assessment, support and encourage" show up. Those last two elements are together with "challenges, obstacles, involvement" typical elements which come from outside, from your environment. For the inside world, the person self, the Genoa group of experts thinks about "inspiration and awareness and hard working." Other mentioned elements such as: "motivation, strength, emotions and creativity" refer to passion. This last concept, passion, takes a special place in the TD. According to the Genoa group of experts passion is inevitable for TD.
The inevitable passion
What is that exactly, passion? Is it something that you want to do first: making love with your boyfriend before you're going to do your homework? Is passion a dream, something that drives you? Or is your passion a taboo, something to be ashamed of? What might other people think about your passion?! Whatever it may be, one thing is sure: passion is important. Passion is the motor of new ideas, of innovation. It serves the technology, economy and as well the society. Can you imagine how much of these innovations slip away even before they are spoken out! All those brilliant ideas we will never hear, or will be never realized to change the world. Only because you are mocked because of your ideas, because of your passion.
Passion has a special relationship with creativity. Creativity is the sum of interest + concentration. Interest is something which/someone who really has your attention. And we all know that what you give attention also grows. It's doesn't matter if it is your finger plant, or love or hate. Concentration stands for focus; you're only busy with that topic. It seems that people can't concentrate to a speaker longer than 15 minutes. A passion can lead you for hours, weeks, months... Because it makes you happy! The combination of interest and concentration leads to something new: that's the creative process. That doesn't have to be a masterpiece of painting. It can also be a conversation that gives you energy. Or cooking a nice dinner that you prepared with interest and concentration. This creativity serves you in the development of your talent. This creativity brings you light moments, moments of inspiration and happiness.
(With a little help from Andreea Maria Duda)
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