This is the first of at least 2 parts. I’m figuring this one out as I go.
The Human Capital Institute started this thread on Engaging Talent starting with the dictionary meaning of the words “engage” and “Talent.” As you know, many of us have written quite a bit on this topic, so I’m eager to hear (and respond) to what HCI comes up with. This was posted in June 2005, so the tread may be dead. Based on the dictionary and etymology, engaging talent means (following blockquote is from HCI):
An what about Talent?
In the DICTIONARY, is a noun meaning:
- natural aptitude or skill.
- people possessing such aptitude or skill.
- informal people regarded as sexually attractive or as prospective sexual partners.
- an ancient weight and unit of currency.
In this case 3 is out of matter and 4 could be, but not.
Here the ETYMOLOGY teach me something relevant
- “inclination, disposition, will, desire,” was from Old Fr. talent, from Middle Latin talentum “balance, weight, sum of money,” from Greek. talanton “balance, weight, sum.”
- Originally an ancient unit of weight or money (varying greatly).
- Meaning “special natural ability, aptitude,” developed c.1430 from figurative use of the word in the sense of “money,” from the parable of the talents in Matt. xxv:14-30.
Taking a look at both the dictionary and the etymology talent could be defined as important/relevant natural aptitude or skill. Why? because the “talent” originally meaning refered to an important quantity of money.
In my first conclusion, regarding to the dictionary and etymology of the words, what I can say is:
To make solemny promises (en + gage),in order to attract -or involve- others important/relevant natural skills or aptitudes (Talanton).
Bollini, Gerardo, June 14, 2005. “Engaging Talent. Part I. The meaning of the words,” The Human Capital Institute. Retrieved from http://www.humancapitalinstitute.org on December 27, 2005.
The only major correction I’d make to the dictionary meaning and etymology is an obvious one if you have ever read the bible. A monetary talent is much like a dollar – it is the actual currency. I believe the Bollini is trying to make this out to be more than it is. I’d also like to add one note on the definition of talent. This is from Talent Partners:
So, here we are in 2005. Technology has done great things for us. We have gotten better in many ways; we are faster, we are more efficient, we are more cost conscious, but in the way that matters the most, we are still missing the mark. We need to get back to something that we have said for a long time, “before they were candidates, they were people”.
http://hankandrusty.typepad.com, November 30, 2005. “Why Are We Still So Arrogant?” Retrieved from http://hankandrusty.typepad.com on December 27, 2005.
I’d like to take this idea and rephrase: “before they were talent commodities, they were people.” Interesting enough anyway… Next week, “Talent Part 2 – The Rules of Talent”