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November 17, 2006

« Jane Jacobs and City-regions | Main | Paris wants to woo the creative class »

A colleague posed this very interesting question via e-mail today:

"Discussed issues on talent versus human capital...how talent might be a limited resource in comparison to the unlimited human capital?"

What a fantastic question and one that cuts to the heart (and soul) of my creativity-development framework.

Think of this as a conversion issue. How do we convert latent human capital or human ability into talent.

The preface to the Australian edition of Rise says the key element of my theory is "how to stoke the creative furnace that lies deep withing every human being." Exactly right!

In my view, the supply of talent is virtually limitless--limited only by the number of humans and our human abilities.

Right now, my rather crude guesstimate is that we are tapping but a small fraction of total human ability. If,  say 35 percent of the workforce in the advanced countries work in creative occupations, a safe guess is that we are tapping at most 10 percent of total human ability. That means there is at minimum 90 percent out there to harness and utilize.

So the real key is how to do that: How to harness this incredible unused reservoir of human ability in ways that can power economic gain, fuel rising living standards across the board, improve human happiness and make the world a better place generally. This, as I've said before, is exactly what Toyota did in moving beyond fordism by integrating workers'  knowledge and intelligence as a source of continuous innovation on the factory floor, in effect transforming the factory itself into a living laboratory. 

This, I have argued, is also the next great frontier of competitive advantage -- or, what the University of Toronto's Roger Martin has dubbed "jurisdictional advantage." 

Think of it this way:  By deploying fordist mass production throughout industry, the US gained an incredible productivity edge, drove up its living standards and became a super-power.  The place or places that figures our how to harness this currently unused stock of human ability will gain real Schumpetarian advantage in technological, economic, social and cultural innovation on perhaps a greater scale.

For me, the only real questions are where will it happen and when?

Comments

jack rogers

Mr Florida ,
I missed your talk here in Lexington at the Ideafestival a couple of years ago but have been following your work ever since. Anyway heres my answer- Q-How to harness.... A- Fact - most people don't realize their range of talents/abilities - probably never taught to , therefore you can't use it if you don't know you have it . That is why the book I am working on is entitled You are already wealthy - Believe it or not . It goes into explaining how to use unused talents and skills they already have but may not realize. It's called realizing your God-given potential for the greater good of all , including yourself. Jack

jack rogers

Mr Florida ,
I missed your talk here in Lexington at the Ideafestival a couple of years ago but have been following your work ever since. Anyway heres my answer- Q-How to harness.... A- Fact - most people don't realize their range of talents/abilities - probably never taught to , therefore you can't use it if you don't know you have it . That is why the book I am working on is entitled You are already wealthy - Believe it or not . It goes into explaining how to use unused talents and skills they already have but may not realize. It's called realizing your God-given potential for the greater good of all , including yourself. Jack

Kastriot

Well, talent is inherited and is present in your brain, but in this world not everyone has the same talent, someone is talented on art, someone in math, not everyone has the same talent which the mother nature and God gave to us.

Sunimal Alles

Dear All,

It is the non-identification, polishing and marketing of Natural Talent (Thought Patterns, Will/Drive, Skills) that has brought the world to this ugly state. We have untalented people "Trying" to be creative, so we do not have any answers to resolve the issues prevailing in the world. Many have to re-invent the wheel to be in "Business" or to feel good, but fail to succeed as they do not have answers when challenges crop up. So we have untalented Leaders who cannot lead, carpenters who make shaky chairs, peacemakers who are unable to resolve issues, etc.

Everyone is talented, it is just that many of us have been coerced to select other thinking patterns and also to select trades/professions/studies that do not lead us to use our creativity.

I am in the process of setting up TIDY (Talents Identification and Development for everYone centers to correct this. Please see the website at: https://www.tidycentre.com/web/english/index.htm
Please contact me for more information on setting up TIDY centers.

Johny

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