Talent and Awe


In ancient Greece the talent was a unit of currency. Today, human talent has become the global currency, with organizations competing for the very best people from around the world. With the changing attitudes to work and new generations entering the workforce, the challenge now is to better understand how talented individuals work best and they can be effectively attracted, motivated and retained.  Research into talent has never been so important and practically useful.  But who should you read and listen to? Here are the suggestions from the Thinkers50 team:

  1. Ayse Birsel

Ayse Birsel is co-founder and creative director of the design and innovation studio Birsel + Seck.  The Turkey-born, New York-based designer is the creator of Design the Life You Love (Ten Speed Press, 2015), a book and coursework that teaches non-designers how to create a meaningful life using her design process. This process is labeled Deconstruction: Reconstruction (DE:RE).

  1. Shane Cragun and Kate Sweetman

Founding partners at the consulting firm SweetmanCragun, their latest book is Reinvention: Accelerating Results in the Age of Disruption (Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2016). A former editor at Harvard Business Review, Sweetman teaches at MIT’s Legatum Institute for Entrepreneurship. Cragun is co-author of The Employee Engagement Mindset (McGraw Hill).

  1. Carol Fishman Cohen

CEO of iRelaunch, Fishman Cohen consults to corporations on career reentry strategy. Her return to work at Bain Capital after 11 years out of the full-time workforce is documented in a Harvard Business School case study. Her article “The 40-year old intern” was selected for HBR’s 90th anniversary celebration of articles that made the biggest difference to readers’ lives. Her TED talk “How to get back to work after a career break” has been viewed over 1.4 million times and translated into 27 languages.

  1. Amy Edmondson

The Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, Amy Edmondon’s field research into teamwork has spanned a range of environments including the cardiac surgery operating room; factory floor; and executive suite. She is the author of Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy (Jossey-Bass, 2012) and Extreme Teaming: Lessons in Complex, Cross-sector Leadership (Jossey-Bass, Sept 2017).

  1. Sallie Krawcheck

CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, a digital financial advisor for women, and the owner and chair of Ellevate Network, Sallie Krawcheck was previously the president of the Global Wealth and Investment Management division of Bank of America. An outspoken commentator on the topic of Wall Street regulatory reform, she is the author of Own it: The Power of Women at Work (Crown, 2017).

  1. Lauren Noël and Christie Hunter Arscott

Lauren Noël is managing director of QUEST, a global leadership institute for early career women. Her work focuses on engaging, advancing and inspiring women in the first decade of their careers. Christie Hunter Arscott is a principal at QUEST. She is an expert on gender and generational strategies, and formerly deputy leader of Deloitte Consulting’s US Diversity & Inclusion Service Offering.  They are the authors of  “What executives need to know about millennial women” (ICEDR, 2015).

  1. Gianpiero and Jennifer Petriglieri

INSEAD professors, Gianpiero and Jennifer Petriglieri are the authors of the Harvard Business Review article “The Talent Curse: Why High Potentials Struggle – and How They Can Grow Through It” (May-June 2017). They have been previously short-listed for the Thinkers50 Radar Award.

  1. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

An international authority in psychological profiling, talent management, and people analytics, Chamorro-Premuzic is the CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems, Professor of Business Psychology at University College London, and a visiting professor at Columbia University. He has published eight books and is co-founder of metaprofiling.com, a digital start-up that enables organizations to identify individuals with entrepreneurial talent.

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