There appears to be a growing call, across the industry, for new and far better frameworks in relation to the development of talent. It was noted in the piece EP ran with Hamish Cook (Group Head of Global Food Service for ISS) who commented:“The issue for him, and many other hospitality workers, is that the initial driver for a hospitality career is the creativity of the field which can often become replaced with an academic, managerial focus, as a career progresses. He also clearly empathises with young graduate managers who must grapple with the responsibility of sometimes managing more worldly experienced team members and the diplomacy often required which may clearly be beyond a new manager’s experience.” This was also reflected in a conversation last week with a Director of a US company who noted: “I have been surprised at how the UK is still influenced by a command and control mentality rather than a focus on freeing up more creativity within its teams. It all seems a bit old fashioned and I suspect this mentality is holding the industry back”. However, it is not just an industry issue. Many, including educationalists, point back to the education system which is often more focused on its ranking and income than on the development of students and inspiring creativity. What can be done to change this mindset? Our view is far more. EP has committed itself to freeing up young talent and to engaging a debate which does look at how new structures can be developed. We have found the views being expressed by emerging talent does get well received and there is a growing desire to see better across the sector. So what can be done? It does really all start within company culture and a commitment to support creative thought without fear. This is not to lay blame with companies as the feedback suggests that the issue does lead back to education but somehow there is need to challenge and change the status quo. In discussion with many talents, they will openly note that the focus is only on results and grades, not on creative thought and developing initiative. One does wonder if the whole education system has lost its way. It is well known that many are asking if the University degree still holds the same value? It seems that many employers are now asking if students are being well prepared for life? Is there too much emphasis today on other factors rather than the student? This does not, of course help the industry, but maybe the challenge is to create new structures which do encourage emerging a talent to feel more at ease at developing their thinking and skills? Can companies evolve their cultures to be less command and control? To create almost talent think tanks which serve to create new ideas? There is much which can be done to change the status quo. That work has started across many organisations and EP has committed itself to engaging a debate on this issue and providing emerging talent with a platform. EP has long been an advocate of thinking differently about culture, about talent and where lessons can be drawn from. We still attract great feedback on the work we did with sporting players but it didn’t lead to any real change – so what can be done? There is a desire for better; it does just need new frameworks to provide the way forward.
Are existing structures holding talent back?
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