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The Truth about Talent: A guide to building a dynamic workforce, realizing potential and helping leaders succeed by Jeremy Kourdi, Jacqueline Davies

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Chapter 3. Talent Diversity: You Need to Believe It to See It

To succeed we must stop being so goddamn normal. If we behave like all the others, we will see the same things, come up with similar ideas and develop identical products and services ... The only thing more difficult than learning to exploit the last taboo of emotion and imagination is learning to thrive without it. So people and organizations of the world – come out. Or you will be carried out.

Jonas Ridderstrale and Kjell Nordstrom, Funky Business, p. 245

The link between talent and diversity

As we have already discussed, organizational survival hinges on being distinctive. Whatever the industry or sector this means standing out, being the first place people turn to, or simply being the first. Organizations achieve distinctiveness by having a real understanding of difference and how it can benefit them. This is about more than simply how they invent or market a new product: it's about their capacity to anticipate opportunities and then adapt to meet them. Successful enterprises understand that being different requires a culture where what's accepted as normal is routinely challenged and where innovation is a prized organizational value. Achieving this requires a supply of talent with a mix of background, ability and perspectives. Perhaps most importantly, it requires leaders who can earn the trust of this workforce knowing when and how to deploy their diversity.

We believe that we need a more sophisticated view of diversity, ...

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