Most workplace environments have been designed for uniformity. Organizations invest countless hours and millions of dollars into attracting new talent; but when it comes to managing talent they already have all of their systems and tools are constructed for sameness. They cascade goals to tout alignment, demand well-roundedness of their people, and work towards filling in the gaps where those qualities are lacking. Organizations have built these practices with the best of intentions, but your talent can’t be treated as a homogenous, uniform group – not if you want a highly engaged and highly productive performance output.
The truth is that uniqueness is powerful, and most of these companies spend more time trying to neutralize your uniqueness rather than amplify it. But we know that uniformity doesn’t increase efficiency; it decreases engagement and productivity. And with the advancement of machine-operated learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, now is the time to really analyze and encourage uniqueness in our people if we want these systems and best practices to actually support and improve how they work and operate in the real world.
Of course, we still need well-roundedness in our organizations. But that well-roundedness won’t come from individuals; instead, it will come through teams. Leveraging each person’s uniqueness in a complimentary way provides you, your teams, and leaders of teams of teams the opportunity to channel and refine the strengths of each individual. If you want to increase productivity and create and organization that is a magnet for talent, stop treating uniqueness like a disease and start recognizing its power.
To learn more about why the best employees aren’t well-rounded, check out Lie #4, or read Nine Lies about Work