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Developing Talent Through Stretch Experiences

Developing Talent Through Stretch Experiences
The main way we develop talent at Menlo is to try and keep people roughly outside of their area of deep expertise. Which is an interesting strategy. Most companies want to hire you and have you hit the ground running. And you should have these perfect skills for exactly what we’re looking for so that we don’t have to invest a dime in you. And we can just take advantage everything you’ve learned in the past. We take exactly the opposite strategy. We’re willing to place bets on people, that they can learn new things. If you have a deep talent, we will pair you with somebody else who needs your deep talent.
So your deep talent isn’t to take advantage of it and just exploit it. Your deep talent is to teach it to somebody else. So that both of you grow just a little bit. But by having you operate outside of your area of expertise, to pair with other experts and learn from them, you get to develop your own talent. So after a few weeks of pairing and repairing and all of these different combinations in the team, the entire team grows by an inch every week. And this is a fascinating experiment in sort of human learning systems. Because now we’re not just simply glomming onto people for what they have learned in the past.
What they’ve experienced in the past, but now can be aspirational. What kind of things do I wanna learn? What kind of things do I wanna grow into? What experiments do I wanna run with me? What areas can I delve into? And so we’ll see at people volunteering to move into areas they have very little experience in, because they know there will be a willing teacher there to pull them along.
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Managing Talent

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