Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top ten reasons why talents leave their coys

Forbes published an article on Top Ten Reasons Why Large Companies Fail to Keep Their Best Talent last week. And I think it is a good one.

Not that I claim to be a talent, but I do feel some of the reasons are so closely related to me, and probably to everyone else, regardless of what positions they are holding. They are so generic, commonsense yet so hard to be noticed and fixed.

Like, bureaucracy. Darn. Everyone hates paperworks, and dumb rules yet they keep on creeping into the organization. And they affect everyone. Maybe not the bosses because I wonder if they were to do these senseless stuffs, would they have noticed the problem themselves? Oh, wait, bosses have personal assistants.

The second point about great, high-impact projects don't come to best people is another good one even though I don't quite agree with it. For me, a project need not be an important project. It should, however, be interesting enough that it can spark the passion in me to work on it. For example, I worked on a fully relocatable x86 disassembly engine and I found it to be very interesting while no one thought it would be useful. High-impact? Not at all. Interesting? Very much. I think people just need a dopamine (interesting project) every now and then instead of a bragging right (high-impact project). Of course, it is best if the project is both interesting and impactful.

The seventh point about great talent likes to be surrounded by other talents is somewhat a nice-to-have. When in Rome, do what the Romans do, right? You definitely don't want to staff a productive person in a team full of procrastinators. Like the three-legged race game, the best team is one that can move or stop in sync.  But since talents are hard to come by, it is really hard to build an all-star team. Then again, an all-star team may not function as well as one wishes (look at football, people!). And so, I don't think it is convincing enough to explain why organizations fail to keep their best employees.

Though I don't wholly agree with the article, I do totally feel and have experienced most of the issues he summarized. I urge anyone who is in management to read this piece right away so that you can make your coy a little more talent-friendly.

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