Polymaths and Multipotentialites in the Changing Talent Economy

Polymaths and Multipotentialites in the Changing Talent Economy on yehideology.com

Time to shift gears! There's a new employer-employee relationship taking shape

Have you heard the term multipotentialite? If you’re a business owner or a hiring manager looking for creative talent, it’s time you did. The talent you seek is changing, evolving and diversifying. Years ago, the career path was just that—a path one took from the start of their career, learning all the different aspects of their chosen field, gaining new skills and responsibilities along the way, and ultimately arriving at the top of the proverbial ladder.

But there’s change happening. People are different—their focus has shifted, their goals are continually changing and instead of stability, they’re pursuing variety in their careers. Companies that recognize, embrace and nurture this change will come out ahead of those that don’t.

What are multipotentialites?

According to Emilie Wapnick’s recent TED Talk, Why some of us don’t have one true calling, multipotentialites are those with many interests and creative pursuits—also known as polymaths or Renaissance people.

It’s no longer “till retirement” do us part

Forget everything you ever thought you knew about a team of dedicated, long-term employees who would commit to your company for better or for worse, until retirement. That employer-employee relationship is changing as more people in the talent pool become polymath in their skills and realize that their career doesn’t have to be restricted to just one direction.

What does this mean for employers?

According to The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age, a book co-authored by LinkedIn Co-Founder, Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh;

“The traditional model of lifetime employment, so well-suited to periods of relative stability, is too rigid for today’s networked ages. Few American companies can provide the traditional career ladder for their employees anymore; the model is in varying degrees of disarray globally.”

Employers looking for talent need to not only understand the needs and motivations of polymaths, but also to view them as allies and offer them opportunities to pursue and develop their skills in a diverse set of interests. The employment relationship needs to change into more of an alliance—where both the company and the employee are adding value to each other.

Organizations who embrace this shift in the relationship will reap the benefits of talent that have a diverse set of skills, and by fostering their individual growth, they in turn will help the company grow.

3 reasons to hire multipotentialites

Emilie Wapnick answers that question when she describes the “superpowers” of polymaths:

1. Synthesis

Synthesis occurs when two disparate fields are combined and something new is created at the intersection. This is where new ideas and innovation happen, and those with multiple skills and backgrounds are able to access a lot of these points of intersection.

2. Rapid learning

Multipotentialites are ravenous when it comes to learning something new. By their very nature, they’re not afraid to be beginners and don’t fear the unknown, so they’re constantly stepping out of their comfort zone.

3. Adaptability

It only makes sense that a multipotentialite who’s continually seeking new skills, new knowledge and increased experience would be able to easily adapt to new and unfamiliar situations. Imagine how valuable it would be to have a team member who can jump into any positon and take it over easily and effectively.

The takeaway

There’s no denying the change that’s occurring between employers and employees. The relationship continues to evolve and those companies that get onboard will add value to their company by making alliances with multipotentialites—encouraging them to be themselves, giving them opportunities to pursue knowledge in a diverse range of interests. Ultimately, by doing so, there will be more and more innovative, out-of-the-box thinkers who can tackle challenges, solve problems and create new and better ways to do things.

By understanding what drives talent in this select pool, Yeh IDEology is uniquely positioned to analyze and select candidates that drive innovation and impact in alignment with your business goals.