Monday, August 3, 2020

Turning High Potential Gifted Employees and Officers into "Game Changers"

Developing high potential gifted employees and young officers to maximize their skills and abilities is an important and difficult task that leads to increased performance for the whole organization. As the nation struggles against new global challenges it will need to create and develop stronger methods of raising human capital in ways the can innovate their environment. The selection of High Potential employees and officers to develop them through appropriate creative enhancement models leads to excellence throughout networked institutions. 

The development of creative high potential employees for civilian and military purposes has advantages for the nation. First, this population can develop and create new ways of thinking and solving complex problems that lead to environmental mastery. Whether you are in industry or in the military the use of creativity to solve complex and fluid problems with multiple players is important if we hope to create levels of business and military superiority. Our enemies don't stop innovating so we will need to innovate faster and further and that can happen through the gifted population. 

Let me give you one civilian and one military example. In the Civilian Case you may have a company that needs to find a new product to corner the market and better serve their customer based while in the Military case new technologies are needed to better integrate complex battle scenarios in a way that leads to stronger coordination of resources. Creative individuals can think beyond typical linear methods to explore multiple avenues at once to find new products and application of those products in different scenarios. 

Let's consider how an institution selects high potential candidates....

Selecting High Potential Employees and Officers

Highly capable employees have a few characteristics companies and military organizations look for when seeking to select a small percentage of their talent pool for advanced training (Ready, et. al, 2020). Out of that number a rare few may be exceptional and understanding what to look for when making selections is important:
  1. Delivers results that are credible and not at the expense of others. 
  2. Master new expertise beyond  technical knowledge.
  3. Behavior and demeanor in the workplace
  4. A drive to excel beyond the average. 
  5. A consistent learner seeking out new knowledge and information.
  6. An enterprising spirit. 
Highly driven employees with high potentiality are relatively rare and when a company finds one they may want to work with them to make greater change. That can be difficult if they do not know how to discover highly gifted employees and don't know how to turn potentiality into reality. Thus, greater understanding of giftedness/genius and performance is needed for maximum national development.

How to Foster the Creative Potential with the APT Model:

Once we select an employee or two we then need to understand the best ways of improving their knowledge base in a way that leads to creative activity and new innovative development. That is not an easy task as one must know how much knowledge they need to put concepts and ideas together to create novel solutions, products, and services. Different layers of information matched with motivation, intelligence and the environment create the right atmosphere.

Helping employees/officers develop their skills through appropriate enhancement models occurs when we can blend divergent thinking and specific functional knowledge to create greater awareness. It is a little like general knowledge and specific knowledge except one is about exploring options and the other provide specific application of new ideas. . 

In the development of genius employees and officers we will want to encourage divergent thinking that explores major possibilities and then moves to covergent thinking that reconstructs this knowledge into useful frameworks. Creative individuals explore and understand information through multiple ways of exploring and that leads to novel solutions. 

Creativity without practical application is fun but doesn't transform the lay of the land, military functioning, or the fundamental structure of the industries. Thus we must help move creative thinking to focused solution based results if we are to capitalize on them fully. That requires us to think about grooming and developing individuals to think in new ways to develop practical creativity.

Some organizations have done well developing practical creativity by using the Amusement Park Theoretical (APT) model of creativity. APT includes four domains such as Initial requirements, general thematic areas, domains, and micro-domains. Each of the categories has requirements in order of people to be successful:
Initial Requirements.To meet the initial requirements candidates should have the intelligence and motivation to engage in creative productions. 

General Thematic. General thematic areas require general intelligence and motivation in the fields of say math, art and science. 

Domains. These are domains of knowledge and ability. For example, a person may have be able to work within the domain of journalism but not poetry based on his/her personality and abilities. 

Micro-Domains. When one has focused on a particular area for some time (i.e. a specific aspect of economics that may be much more narrow than the field in which they are trained) they create what is called micro-domain knowledge that differentiates them from others. 

Success of taking high potential gifted employees and officers requires that there is a level of motivation, a proper environment and intelligence. Such traits often differentiate this groups from other groups because of the long-term focus that leads to actual performance. High potential employees/officers must have the ability to learn and display their knowledge in order to have practical performance. Thus a functioning "game changers" are groomed over time as they improve their skills and abilities in ways that have practical value for society. National development can be encouraged with higher levels of growth through enhanced human potential. 

Baer, J. & Kaufman, J. (2005). Bridging generality and specificity: the Amusement Park Theoritical (APT) Mode of Creativity. Roeper Review, 27 (3). 

Ready, D., et. al. (2010). The anatomy of high potential. Business Trategy REview, 21 (3). 

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