Singapore does have talent – and potentially plenty of it. In a nation dependent on human capital more than any other resource, identifying talented individuals within an organisation is critical.

Singapore does have talent – and potentially plenty of it. In a nation dependent on human capital more than any other resource, identifying talented individuals within an organisation is critical.

According to new research, ‘talent’ are individuals with the ability to adapt and respond to changes and challenges, rather than someone with an impressive degree. The research, ‘Future of Talent in Singapore 2030’, conducted by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, and the Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI), found that the potential pool of talent in Singapore could be larger if organisations are prepared to accept less conventional candidates and the different ways of thinking and working that they offer.

‘For Singapore’s talent to emerge, business leaders need to change the cultural status quo and encourage individuals to pursue innovation, enterprise, experimentation and entrepreneurship,’ says Wong Su-Yen, Chief Executive Officer of HCLI. ‘With low unemployment and easy access to decent jobs, the benign environment in Singapore can lead to complacency, less risk-taking and a high fear of failure. As a result, many individuals make choices that are safe and predicable, but which hide the true extent of their talent,’ she said.

Current performance alone is insufficient to be recognised as talent. Individuals need to demonstrate they have the potential to learn, adapt and deliver more value if given the opportunity to do so.

The ability to innovate and create value inevitably involves taking more risks and accepting occasional failure. In Singapore, to be considered talent of value, one has to master the fine line between taking risks to uncover new value and respecting the social norms the country values.

Questions

1 In this case study, what impact does country and organisational culture have on an employee’s career development strategy?

2 What are the implications of country and organisational cultures for both the employee and the employer?

3 What would be the key training needed by employees in Singapore to deal with future global challenges?

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