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    Ron Zeno

    Nice article, thanks for pointing it out. The real issue, which the article does go into in considerable, is what attributes in people are actually being identified when people are identified as “talented” or “smart”.

    Some choice quotes:
    “You might expect a C.E.O. to say that if a business unit can’t attract customers very easily that’s a good sign it’s a business the company shouldn’t be in. A company’s business is supposed to be shaped in the direction that its managers find most profitable. But at Enron the needs of the customers and the shareholders were secondary to the needs of its stars.”

    “But companies work by different rules. They don’t just create; they execute and compete and coördinate the efforts of many different people, and the organizations that are most successful at that task are the ones where the system is the star.”

    “The talent myth assumes that people make organizations smart. More often than not, it’s the other way around.”

    “Enron’s management consultant was McKinsey, and McKinsey was as much a prisoner of the talent myth as its clients were.”

    Related reading:

    Narcissistic Leaders: The Incredible Pros, the Inevitable Cons

    Unskilled and Unaware of It
    My comments on “Unskilled and Unaware of It”

    The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton, ISBN: 1578511240

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