Following my latest post on the consequences in organizations with no or inconsistent strategies, it’s worth also looking at what happens to key talent in these organizations. Key talent is hired in as specialists, subject matter experts, high performers, etc. most often with a specific goal of completing a difficult task identified by the organization, so expectations are high for these performers to deliver

And they can deliver. Of course. The due diligence and focused hiring process ensures that the person joining is fit for the challenge and able to succeed. That is, until the organizational culture and ‘ways of working’ kick in… If the organization is incapable of accommodating the new high-flyer, things will very soon become very difficult. Not only for the new hire, but for the entire (part of the) organization dealing with the talent

The parties are headed towards a lose-lose situation, where the company loses the value they acquired by hiring the talent and the talent is losing motivation, engagement and simply the will to work for the company – this is of course not a sustainable situation as both parties are losing out, so something must be done

The way of out this mess requires action from both the talent as well as the organization. First, and I believe this is crucial, the organization must understand and even more important accept that this is actually an issue and address this with the talent, so they jointly can work together on getting both the organization and talent back on track. And cooperation is key – it’s not enough that the company starts paving the way for a better integration. The talent must actively play the part too. May they were disengaged, demotivated and just plain unhappy, but for the ‘revamp’ to succeed, the top-talent must regain trust in the company and willingly start over

Regaining motivation once again

Now, as hard as it is for the management of a company to admit that something is wrong, as hard can it be for a disgruntled employee to ‘come back’ to life. But this is necessary if the parties want to keep each other. It’s important to understand that sometimes the relationship has gone too sour and there’s nothing to do but finding a way of making the paths split in a mutual respectful manner

If they decide to give it one more go, the company probably has to reorganize and look into authorities and responsibilities for the talent – i.e. provide the talent with more room to maneuver. I’m not saying that the company should blindly hand over all control to the talent, but they should work together to find a setup that works for both – remember, there has to be organizational ‘space’ for experts to execute

As talent, you would need to find motivation in the new situation. Find the select few in the company that you trust and that support you. Build on them and their support. Build on your new plan. Don’t expect miracles and wonders to happen overnight, but focus on the things that do happen leading the projects in the right direction. And do whatever you can to block out the negative feelings. There will be setbacks, of course, and it’s ultra-important that you’re capable of acknowledging this and then just block the setback out from your thoughts. Focus on the things that leads in the right direction

Celebrate even small victories towards your new goal. Be happy that you and your management agreed to change and lead the change. After all, you’re the top talent capable of doing so :)