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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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Introduction

The future is a race between education and catastrophe

HG Wells

The beginning of our research for this book coincided with the greatest economic crash of our time. Curiously this brought with it a greater sense of insecurity about employment but a more vociferous set of opinions about how organizations should be led. It widened the public debate on how companies take risks and the character of executives who authorize them. Lehman collapsed, generating a tide of business foreclosures across the world. For the first time since World War II, governments stepped into the markets to prevent the financial system spiralling into disaster. Banks became publicly owned and effigies of bank executives were hanged from lamp posts in the City of London. US unemployment hit 10%, the highest rate since the 1929 Crash.

Socially, we had also entered a new era. Having enjoyed the growth in credit and in our pay packets we began to feel troubled about consumption. Carbon footprints and climate change dominated the media schedules: trying to live in a more sustainable way became a popular preoccupation. We began to understand our interdependence and connection with communities on the other side of the world, questioning how clothes could be made for only a few US cents and scrutinizing the production and employment practices of the companies who had achieved this.

Alongside this, the debate about work itself had come of age. Numerous voices in the blogosphere were asking why work was so ...

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