Belgian royal conservatory's dome, interior with sun. (c) E. Forrest Christian

Does Fluid Intelligence / IQ Matter?

(This continues our discussion about intelligence / IQ testing. Read part 1, Intelligence Testing & IQ: What it is, isn’t.) The big issue with intelligence tests is this general mental ability (GMA or g) that they measure. This is mostly “fluid intelligence”. It means how quickly you can solve a unique problem. You would think that it would correlate with …

Winter at Lofoten (2008). By Tackbert. Public Domain.

Hidden High Potentials are “Unemployable” But He Wants Them

I’m off in the Northwest this week, working with a startup I’m helping out in Vancouver. I took the flight to Seattle and rented a car, deciding that in the end it was still a sight cheaper and I’d be able to hit both cities in one trip. We’ve decided to relocate the businesses out to this region, so I’m …

Japanese snow print. Library of Congress

An Ancient Story About the Value of Hidden High Potentials

This is a followup to my earlier post (“Transitions Are Like Being Lost In The Pacific“) on high potentials and the number of transitions they go through in life, and how that increases their risk for massive failures. Here’s a story about a high potential who screwed up and failed completely.

Ah, yes. We come to your typical remark from a pragmatist CEO of a mid-sized firm. Although this cigar-chomping associate is a caricature in walking flesh, the opinion is shared by others. Lots of others. I can go into the psycho-sociological explanation for these opinions but instead, let me tell you a story from another land (I live in the U.S.) that I first heard years ago. It shows why I believe in hidden high potentials (HHPs), and although the story is somewhat dated, it shows what happens to HHPs even today.

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there were two types of people living in the same country. One dominated the economic, social and political life. It’s fair to say that they ran everything. The other type of people were a different ethnicity. Like many minorities before and since, during hard times they found themselves getting the shaft from the ruling ethnic group. But they persevered. Let’s call the ruling ethnic group “Greens” and the oppressed minority, “Blues”.

Now the Greens ran a country that was the envy of the entire world. All the nations acknowledged their power. Indeed, the land of the Greens was mighty and all their neighbors feared their great might and learning. This great wealth and learning did not trickle down to the Blues, however,

One of these Blues, a young man we can call “Fred” — old names from far away are hard to pronounce, don’t you think? — who by a stroke of good fortune found himself adopted by a rich and powerful Green family. His face and color was not quite as blue as other Blues, and he could successfully pass as a bluish Green.

Leaving Yongsan Station. (c) Danleo (CC BY 2.5). Via Wikimedia Commons.

Becoming the Enablement Vehicle for Others’ Unarticulated Desires

Back when I was working on the GO Society’s book, Organization Design, Levels of Work and Human Capability: Executive Guide, I had the opportunity to spend an Sunday afternoon talking to Julian Fairfield in his early Monday morning. (I love talking to Australia!) He’s an amazing thinker with a wide ranging interest that started years ago on the shopfloor, moved …

Chickens resting on a hot day. (c) normanack (CC BY 2.0). Via flickr.

Crises Are Times of Opportunity

The chickens have come to roost, as my grandfather used to say. The insane practices around bundling loans that never should have been made, along with our own greed, have led to a massive crisis internationally. I was first warned of this a year ago by some Australian investors but it’s still shocking to see how much damage can be …