If we let them go?

It seems one of the main objectives of HR is to keep talent and also seems that by doing so, we are taking care of the company. Is that so?

I think the first importan question is who or what is talent in the company? How we answer this opens a lot of possibilities.

If we use “talent” to talk about a specific group of people in the company, what some people call “HIPO’s” is possible the company is focusing in a select group because of their potential or performance, without paying attention to the whole of the employees.

If “talent” means the group that has the “key positions” then we are making a similar distinction than before, although using a different parameter.

If “talent” is the know how of our people, their knowledge and skills (whatever these may be), we are getting close to a sustainable process. It’s just that we are still focused on the individual, and that is still a risk.


The interesting topic in this perspective is human autonomy. Many authors and consultant create huge lists of stuff the company “has” to do to keep talent, competitive salary, acknowledgement, working climate, flexibility, etc.

But none of these thing ensure that your employee will stay. If he or she receives an offer that gives them a better chance to contribute to the fullness of their lives, whatever that means for each of us, he or she will take it.

Then, if we cannot keep talent, because that is an autonomous choice which we can make an offer but never be sure of the answer, why do we want to take so much care of a strategy that is so risky?

If we focused on the individual, when it leaves and leaves a hole, it doesn’t matter if later someone else covers it, because the structure is not well thought.

Collective talent

What would happen if we change our focus? What would happen if we stop focusing on the individual talent and star to focus on the collective construction? In the nets of conversations than can create solid and flexible structures to take change and support movement?

The time need for a new person to take a new position, to learn the specifics of the new job is always higher than the force and capacity a team has to do the same and helping this person to catch up.

Additionally, despite my dislike for tags, it seems this group of people we now call “millenials” has a different structure to the one that we have regarding how to keep talent.

Maybe our old strategies are will face the new generations and we will discover they don’t work anymore.

Instead of asking yourself how to keep talent, what would happen if you let it go?! Just let it go. What would happen if your strategies begin to focus on strengthen the collective structure, the communication network, the team force, and then make possible the healthy movement of employees?

If you prepare well for it, you’ll discover the natural advantages of cycles. The riches of planting, growing and thriving, and why not, closing relationships with our employees to open space for a new rhythm.

At the end of the day, people will take care of themselves, because the company does the same. What would happen is we learn to take care of both with new forms and we stick together when we enrich each other and let go when is no longer like that? That implies to trust in our sufficiency and the sufficiency of the company that is created by its internal working networks.

It is time to realise than the era of the individual has come to an end, and enter fully to the collective era, specially in companies and business.

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