In our last post, we introduced you to our #WhatsYourTalent story and mentioned how talent plays a key part in building organisational resilience during the current climate.
So now, we’re asking: what does talent look like to you?
The L&D Manager
You’ll remember Tom, the L&D Manager whose role is to support aspiring leaders and managers at NewWay.
What does talent look like in a modern L&D manager like Tom?
First and foremost, Tom is a keen advocate of continuous learning. Employing skills that cross over into marketing, he is unafraid to ‘market’ learning opportunities in the organisation and champion those who are currently engaging in learning programs.
He’s also a keen data analyst, always playing detective to identify the talents that can be developed in the next generation of brilliant leaders. Using modern learning technology, he can’t wait to use extensive reporting tools to see where individual strengths lie and where there are areas that need to be developed.
Tom knows the value of collaborating with others and works closely with stakeholders to ensure that the objectives of the L&D department remain aligned with those of the business. While it’s not easy convincing everyone in the business that digital learning will help reap results, he employs his powers of persuasion and is sure to involve stakeholders throughout the transition.
The Chief Executive
Elaine is a quick-thinking and compassionate leader who knows the importance of helping individuals in the business to feel valued. She’s proud of the talent she has working at NewWay Training and wants to see more of her employees develop into leadership roles as the company grows.
Elaine is confident in making decisions and building relationships with clients and coworkers. Although a little reticent of the idea of learning technologies, she is open-minded and accommodating of suggestions from her employees and is curious to see how digital learning will help the company achieve its goals.
It’s what makes Elaine a great leader.
Remember Josh? Josh is a trainer at NewWay who is currently on the leadership programme to help him achieve his ambitions. It’s Josh’s talent that has landed him a place on the leadership program; an upbeat ‘people person’, he is great at motivating others in his team.
However, with his children now being home-schooled due to lockdown school closures, how will he squeeze in all that learning on top of his job and family responsibilities? And as a people person, will he still feel connected to his team from behind the screen when transitioning to digital learning?
Thinqi’s got talent
This has got us thinking about the talent we have in our own team here at Thinqi. What does talent look like for people in different roles? What other talents do our people have aside from helping us create powerful blended learning solutions?
The Finance Controller
For Finance Controller John Lukes, talent in his role includes good IT skills, great proficiency with Sage accounts and payroll, and broad experience of managing company finances. Outside of crunching the numbers, John is passionate about engineering, metalwork and 3D printing.
The Software Testers
Tristan Harding is a Software Tester at Thinqi. To succeed in Tristan’s role, he notes that a person must have a meticulous eye for detail, willingness to learn and a helpful demeanour. Aside from work, Tristan cites eating and mountain biking as his other two talents.
Aiyeswaria Jeganathan is also a Software Tester and says to succeed at this role, “out-of-the-box thinking, curiosity, willingness to learn and a keen eye for detail are most essential.” Aiyeswaria is also a self-taught artist with a love of charcoals, oils and pastels.
What makes a great Software Developer? For Marco Moreira, he lists adaptability, the ability to work in a team, problem solving skills and having the drive to learn new technologies in an ever-changing industry. Front-End Developer Elizabeth Martin says “in my part of the field, you have to be good at HTML/CSS. You must also be able to design responsive layout and be able to see the design through by the pixel.”
In his spare time, Marco enjoys DJing, whereas for Elizabeth, “coding has a pattern, like everything else in this universe. You just need to enthusiastically find it.” She finds her patterns in crochet and knitting, and also enjoys growing herbs for soap making.
The UX Designer
What about UX design? For UX Designer Inȇs Cunha, she says you need “empathy (a lot of it), common sense (a lot of it), awareness (to notice patterns and behaviours) and creativity (for problem solving).” Her other talents include portrait drawing (have you noticed we have quite a lot of artistic talent at Thinqi?), surreal painting, jigsaw puzzles and Scrabble.
The Technical Delivery Manager
Technical Delivery Manager Gareth Thomas develops features and helps others to do the same. He looks at long-term goals and breaks them down into small chunks of deliverable work. He says, “To succeed in my role, you need patience and the ability to break problems apart in a top-down manner. You must be able to switch the context frequently and be able to project consequences and outcomes of decisions in a range of time frames.”
Outside of work, Gareth has a talent for “cakes, running, road biking and damaging my knee in a recurring 12-18 month time frame.” Ouch.
The Project Manager
Project Manager Hazel Duke says, “I think to succeed as a project manager the most important personal attribute is to like people and be interested in them and their goals. In terms of skills, you need to be able to take on board a lot of complex information (including organisational dynamics) and work through it, understand what is most important, sometimes very rapidly. You then need to be able to organise and articulate those key goals into a clear, achievable plan, taking account of risks and constraints. Finally, you need to understand how to motivate others both to deliver, and to communicate openly when things aren’t going to plan.”
Hazel also has an impressive range of creative hobbies including art, singing, writing, sewing and cooking (especially baking).
The Customer Success Specialist
Finally, what does talent look like in a Customer Success Specialist role? For Sarah-Marie Rowden-Cooper it’s the ability to proactively solve problems, communicate well and to have a readiness to learn. She says, “Every day is a school day in this position, and always being ready to learn (about your customers, your product and the processes within the company) means that you are always ready to answer any questions that come your way.”
She says when not in work, she sings and is contributing the music for the Christmas community pageant this year. She is also a keen cook, who prefers to get creative with ingredients rather than following set recipes.
What does talent look like to you?
Talent comes in a wide variety of packages, but a willingness to learn is something which is applicable to any role you can think of.
What does talent look like for somebody in your role? What skills are you learning every day? In our next post, we’ll be looking at how we develop talent at our organisation and how digital learning can be an essential tool in helping organisations to drive performance through the roof.
We’d love to hear about the talents you have and those skills you’re developing – send us a comment on our social media pages to let us know! If you’ve got talent, shout about it.
- Part 1: #WhatsYourTalent: Why talent management matters in 2020
- Part 2: What does talent look like to you?
- Part 3: Using learning technologies to support talent management
- Part 4: Strategies for stakeholder success in L&D
- Part 5: 5 ways to use marketing to boost your talent strategy
We're always exploring key trends in the learning and development world, so keep an eye on our blog and social media channels to see when new insights are published: