When preparing my opening for TEDxStrijp, I looked back to themoment when my passion for talent was ignited. It would have been so self evident to pinpoint those origins to the wonderful training I received at the Pulsar Institute, but to my surprise it all began with a chance encounter, an offbeat remark and a huge hangover.

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Suddenly a theme emerged as I started to prepare for this week’s newsletter and blog: “what the future holds”. As you may know, a substantial part of my writing is centred on the future of talent and on that topic there’s actually quite a bit to share. I’d like to introduce you to two events that put the future center stage. I’d love to meet you personally at either one of them (or both)!

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The terminology we use in the work that we do, our daily jargon, is not something we often dwell on. But what do we actually do when we talk about 'talent' in organizations? What happens to people when they are appointed as 'talent'?

A couple of weeks ago I hosted a training for a group of managers to help them make the U-turn to managers of talent. The story of one of them, Martin, still comes to my mind with crystal clarity. In the session we reviewed several options to help talent to flourish. Martin responded enthusiastically. He recognized many of them, and already applied some. After an in-depth dialogue he presented us with a dilemma. One of his team members is a former trainee who has been appointed as ‘talent’ during his traineeship. In line with the options we discussed, Martin offered the former trainee to take the stage with some regularity. He invariably seized this moment to put his own contribution in the spotlight. On stage, he always spoke of "I" and not "we." In the corridors Martin noticed that this former trainee spoke rather critical and not appreciative of his colleagues: especially when they weren’t there.