What is it about corporate culture that wants to redefine anything personal as things inanimate? From Personnel to Human Resources to, now, “talent”…
In a brief Twitter exchange with Simon Heath this morning it clicked for me why I have such a problem with the term. For the years that I have worked in media, the term talent is too often synonymous with the word “arsehole”. Greg Dyke’s war on the “BAFTA Bastards” at the Beeb in the early 2000s was a just attack.
I imagine that many people today are probably thinking “overpaid” as well following yesterday’s BBC wage revelations, but for me it’s the primadonna-ish connotations that really rankle, and those can happen at any pay grade.
From the HR perspective too I have issues. Talk of talent implicitly signals that some folk have it and others don’t. Who performs well is as much contextual as personal. It’s not just about getting the talent to perform as providing (to stretch a metaphor) the right scripts, costumes, set and audience.
Let’s stop dehumanising people. They’re people, not talent. They might even have names.