We have followed extreme sports for a number of years, and not just because they are impressive to watch. Each year at the X Games, new tricks are introduced and entirely new events unveiled. It is no question that these athletes are good; what interests us is how good they are at getting better.
In the board room, as on the battlefield, the definition of “talent” is undergoing a necessary evolution. Today's marketplace, characterized by rapid, volatile change and mounting competitive pressures, places a new set of demands on firms, and by extension, employees. As described in The Shift Index, an annual report issued by Deloitte's Center for the Edge, companies have not yet risen to these challenges.
In the past couple of columns, we have discussed the opportunity to turn our work environments into learning environments to accelerate performance improvement. In a time of increasing performance pressure, this opportunity is rapidly becoming an imperative. Rather than squeezing more effort out of people with a given skill set, wouldn’t it be far more powerful to create environments.
If peer-to-peer learning could succeed back then, and it did, imagine how scalable peer-based talent development can be today. Yet, valuable as self-organized teams can be for learning, they do not scale. Thus companies do not fully benefit from peer collaboration. For that to happen, organizations need.
From exercising with Wii to staying at boutique hotels, we are increasingly immersed in designed experiences. Our expectations grow. Yet, despite our increasing immersion in pleasurably designed scenes there is one startling gap. It is a hole in the center of our life.
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