in Organizations

Is Talent Overrated?

Malcolm Gladwell’s The Talent Myth story in the New Yorker is a surface analysis of McKinsey’s philosophy regarding hiring and promotion, but raises the important question whether companies like Enron misinterpreted the potential of individuals: ‘The talent myth assumes that people make organizations smart. More often than not, it’s the other way around…stability in a firm’s existing businesses might be a good thing…the self-fulfillment of Enron’s star employees might possibly be in conflict with the best interests of the firm as a whole.