I firmly believe that everyone is talented. But talent needs a context in order to be truly valuable.
Most people would consider Michael Schumacher to be talented, but would you like him to be your business unit manager? So talent differs, depending on your organization, and depending on different roles within your company.
Therefore, there is such a thing as Top Talent. Those who have the skill and will to really make things happen in the organization. Those who are directly linked to the success of your company.
This is a difficult concept for Swedes, who live in a very egalitarian society (we have the lowest wealth spread of all countries). This also explains why Swedish Talent Management systems are so far behind their US counterparts, something which was captured in this excellent article in Svenska Dagbladet recently. Identifying Top Talents and evaluating performance is simply considered ”elitistic” in this part of the world.
But as more and more money is spent on attracting the right people, trainee programs, and leadership development, wouldn’t it make sense to make a sincere effort to keep the best?