High-scoring talent


In today’s rapidly changing world, companies should no longer focus on their employees’ weaknesses. Striving to be an all-rounder – just good enough in all areas – belongs to the previous decade’s era of continuous process optimization. Now that we’re entering Kondratieff’s sixth economic wave, companies must concentrate on innovation – and that means they need talent. What do employees excel at, both professionally and in their free time? That’s a key question for employers.

As a teenager I was a real ‘pinball wizard’ with loads of high scores to my name, and I spent much of my time in amusement arcades (almost every lunchtime!). In the mid-80s, I progressed to arcade games such as Lady Bug and Pengo (both similar to Pacman) and achieved tons of high scores too. The biggest difference to Pacman is that those two games allow you to shift gates or ice blocks to change the layout of the maze, so besides good eye-hand coordination you also need good spatial awareness to be successful.

I’m convinced that the countless hours I spent playing those arcade games were hugely important in helping me to develop the visual talent needed to create our complex subway maps in conjunction with supply chain software vendors, consultancy firms and logistics service providers.

Self-effectivenes the most important criterion when selecting talent

According to Professor Bas Kodden from Nyenrode Business Universiteit, self-effectiveness is the most important criterion when selecting talent. Self-effectiveness (or ‘self-efficacy’) is the employee’s belief in his or her own ability to perform a certain task or solve a problem successfully. In other words, companies shouldn’t select employees on the basis of self-confidence, which is rarely lacking among candidates. Talented individuals know where they can achieve high scores and where they should leave the rest to others. Self-effectiveness plays a crucial role in enthusiasm… and enthusiastic employees are motivated to perform highly and are always looking for ways to get even better.

However, most business professionals are only truly enthusiastic on their first day in the role. Therefore, companies need to ensure that their employees can continue to work on their own high scores in the areas of their own choosing. That’s how you create the high-scoring talent you need.

Martijn Lofvers, Chief Trendwatcher Supply Chain Media