Companies are finding it increasingly difficult to keep hold of their top talent. Ironically this is particularly true for the larger company. This may well be because smaller companies are better at nurturing their talent and see it as integral to their business. For a good perspective on this I suggest that you read Eric Jackson's blog on the top ten reasons why large companies fail to keep their best talent.
If companies are finding it difficult to retain top talent, they are finding it almost impossible to maintain their relationship with their maverick or troublesome talent. Troublesome talent are often recruited because they are highly skilled, have real flair in their area of expertise and have the ability to think out of the box. They can provide real competitor advantage and first mover status. Often customers and clients love their flexibility and their ability to deliver to their requirements each and every time.
When they first join a company the maverick enjoys the flexibility and autonomy that they are given and this is when they really shine and deliver outstanding results. However, eventually, the company will require them to fit into its corporate structure - and begin to follow rules. This is when things begin to deteriorate.
The maverick cannot understand why they are suddenly being treated differently by the organisation and begin to react to the changed behaviour. Suddenly the organisation finds it hard to harness their maverick and keep them performing with minimal disruption to others.
At this point the organisation needs to look at what drives the maverick's behaviour and how to align their needs and desires to the organisation's objectives. Flexibility in leadership style and understanding human nature, is the key.
By ensuring that both parties' objectives are aligned and that the maverick is given a clear path to follow and compelling reason to change, performance will return to previous impressive levels. This is not always easy for the organisation to do as most large companies have complex rules that they need to follow and aren't always accepting of the challenges that troublesome talent can bring.
Over time I will be writing more on how to harness the maverick talent, to increase their performance.
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