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Mine the hidden talent in your team

Julie Cockburn

There is likely more talent in your company than you realise, and it’s time you went in search of it, writes Vicki Huff for Strategy+Business.

You want to discover a hidden gem. What business leader doesn’t want to find that junior team-member who’s working on the next major innovation in their spare time – an idea that will take their company to the next level?

You are desperate to find open-minded innovators, agile risk-takers who are eager to learn, willing to collaborate and unafraid of failure. But if you share the concerns of the CEOs who took part in PwCs 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey, you’re concerned that your current employees don’t have what it takes.

Don’t be. There’s probably a lot more talent in your company than you think. So, how do you find it?


Vicki Huff, new ventures leader at PwC, highlights five ways you can uncover the hidden talent in your company.

1) Gamify innovation. Invite employees to find a solution to a client problem. Tech companies hold hackathons where teams compete to develop new code, products or solutions. PwC holds the PwC Global Innovation Challenge, which is open to PwC employees all over the world.

2) Adopt agile approaches. Break marathon projects down into sprints, focusing on solving one specific problem at a time in a short period. This methodical approach gives employees licence to think outside the box and to take risks.

3) Create innovation incubators. Create teams with a remit to come up with new ideas.These teams can be attached to specific projects. This will set your employees free to innovate, motivating them to show you what they can do.

4) Keep diversity in mind. The ability to “think different” is key to innovation, as Apple Inc highlighted with its famous advertising slogan. Bring together people from diverse backgrounds, ages and cultures and you will be surprised what these different perspectives come up with.

5) Embrace failure. Being comfortable with failure, treating it as an opportunity to learn rather than a reason to feel dejected is the sign of a true innovator. Screen employees to gauge their attitude to failure.


Your company’s future will probably be secured by a mix of current employees and new hires. But before you embark on a major hiring or re-skilling exercise to bridge an imagined skills gap, look to your current employees, empower them to innovate, and you might be pleasantly surprised. There will be a hidden gem there somewhere.

Source Article: Uncovering The Hidden Talent On Your Staff
Author(s): Vicki Huff
Publisher: Strategy+Business