Saturday, September 18, 2021


Human potential is limitless, and can be unleashed by exploring it holistically. Unlocking potentiality and developing talent should be consistent efforts and ongoing practices.

Potential is about future performance-how well does an individual continue to learn and grow, how likely can they take on new challenges at work or life, move up to the next-level of cognitive pyramid, or roles that are expanded and redefined as the societal/economical changes?

 Discovering potentiality and developing talent are continuous efforts and distinct actions for progressive business professionals and contemporary organizational management. In fact, unleashing human potential is one of the greatest visions and missions of modern society. Here are a few inner factors in unlocking potentiality.

Innate talent: We all have some innate abilities or raw intelligence to do certain things well; such innate talent or strength can be sharpened via continuous learning, to build the differentiated capability for achieving professional goals. To unleash talent, we are able to articulate clearly what constitutes “talent.” What is innate, what is learned? What can be trained, what cannot? What’s the difference between talent, skill, competency? How to personalize learning or training for bringing up the hidden potential of people. How to sharpen skills based on innate talent, and how to integrate unique & cohesive competencies based on a set of high skills? etc.

Identifying and exploring potentiality is both art and science. There are both cognition and emotion involved, hard and soft elements in creating potentiality development formulas. The art of unlocking talent is like trying to discover the fountain spring by digging into the underground, there’s uncertainty and risks in it; the science of potentiality management is to use efficient technologies and tools, take a structural approach to detect the right spot, explore it in the right way. As a matter of fact, it takes the immense amount of time and hard work that most "naturally talented" people have committed to developing their talents, sharpening their skills and shaping a set of capabilities to deliver consistent high performance results.

We are all creative to some point, creativity is an innate process to generate ideas, sometimes serendipitous, sometimes logical. Exploring our creative potential is always critical to both individual talent development and organizational growth cycle. Besides certain raw talent, it requires nonlinear skills such as critical reasoning, synthesis, observation, inquisitiveness, networking, etc. To create a new idea requires not only a single type of thought process, but many; not only one skill, but a set of; not old experience only, but lots of new perspectives. The mind is at the edge of being able to expand the boundaries of consciousness. Unlocking creativity is a proactive activity, you cannot wait for something to happen, keep curious, always think out-of-box or profoundly, learn new things, and acquire more complex capabilities.

Being innovative is a state of mind to keep creativity flowing and deliver value-added solutions consistently and continually. It’s about thinking differently, acting differently, delivering differently, adding value differently to solve problems creatively. A positive attitude in the creative process to redefine, reinvent, re-innovate one’s commitment to being innovative is key. Curiosity is human nature, individually or collectively, we have always done and will continue doing – exploring our minds and bodies for the latent powers inherent in our genes to generate creative energy, and unleash unlimited potential to drive progressive changes.

Learning agility: Besides innate strength, learning agility differentiates high potential from mediocre. Everyone has an enormous capacity to learn, knowledge professionals today need to be effective self-learners, taking initiatives to absorb new knowledge and update their skillset. You can train for knowledge, but you can't teach people how to think. You can provide opportunities for someone to learn and hone a skill. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide whether to learn and to what extent he/she decides to learn and practice for building coherent capability to deliver high quality performance.

There are different talent requirements to fit in different positions. An individual’s agility is a fundamental capability block through which they can further build more advanced professional capabilities and better fit in the digital dynamic we live in. Learning agility can help them move out of their comfort zone, experiment and be comfortable with change, take risks, learn from mistakes, and grow to a lifetime learner. Analogously, unleashing potential is like discovering hidden gems, and then polish them, strengthening your strength to build a unique set of capabilities. The emerging digital technologies such as collaboration platforms and tools provide a flexible way to learn, share and collaborate for unlocking collective human potential in our society.

Character & traits:
Character is based on authenticity - who you are inside, cognitively and psychologically, and how you perceive and respond to the surroundings. Character and professional/personality traits can also provide some clues about people’s potentiality. Character is both natural and nurtured. The content of character may come from nature, but the context of character can be developed via personal story, life experience, shaped by trial and adversary. Knowing who you are and how you react and respond in a different situation can help you understand your strength, improve cognitive, relational, and assertive actions you take on a day to day basis, to unleash your full potential and better manage your professional movement in the long run.

Character is more than intelligence, integrity, ethics, judgment, self-awareness, empathy or emotional health, it can synchronize one’s mind & heart. It’s about authenticity, courage, and consistency. Character based potentiality development can help people discover their purpose, enrich their professional or life journey, and develop their set of skills and competency for self-actualization. Thus, to unlock potential thoroughly, talented people should also keep building their character - it’s a slow process but perhaps worth the effort if you need to grow into a leadership role - making positive influence by having courage to break down conventional wisdom; by demonstrating consistency with your mindset, attitude, and behaviors; by making continuous deliveries of using your set of talent, skills and capabilities. In this regard, character and competency are the two sides of the same coin.

Resource/time management: Although we live in a society with unprecedented advancement with abundant knowledge and technology enabled convenience. Still, each one of us has limited time and resources. Without effective resource and time management skills, talented people simply cannot unlock their full potential. Successful resource management is critical to ensure that resources are available before they are needed. Time management skills help to decide the course; removes the stress of pressures; prioritizes actions. Effective time/resource management improves productivity, boosts creativity, and improves the success rate of potentiality development.

In the organizational scope, there are different types of resources such as funds, physical assets, people, information, reputation, resources of the individuals who comprise the firm, such as knowledge, education, training, insights, experience, etc. Organizations also slice their time into such as meeting time, productivity time, creative activity time, etc, effective resource/time management help to fact-based planning and smart actions. It’s critical to set up priorities, divest non-core capabilities, free up resources that can be used to and deepen core capabilities in order to unlock organizational potential, and stretch the unique strength continuously.

Human potential is limitless, and can be unleashed by exploring it holistically. Unlocking potentiality and developing talent should be consistent efforts and ongoing practices. The business workforce today is technology savvy and information fluent. They are the human assets and capital that need to be invested wisely. Spot and appreciate the true talent, unlock their potential and develop their differentiated competency. Putting the right people with the right talent to solve the right problem is one of the most crucial management challenges these days to accomplish high performance results.


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