I have been intentionally quiet about the tanking economy and how it might offer Challenge Dividend lessons. The reason is that it seems far too early to draw conclusions, as we seem to be still in the midst of the storm. But I recently came across an interesting piece of thinking that makes sense for any business crisis.
Fortune magazine senior editor, Geoff Colvin, recently published a book called Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else. In a blog at Fortune, Colvin explains his key beliefs:
- "Scientific research on great performance has shown persuasively that high abilities of all kinds are developed...They don't occur naturally."
- "The key to this development is pushing people - or people pushing themselves - just beyond their current abilities, forcing them to do things that they can't quite do."
- "The great thing about a financial crisis and a recession...is that they offer everyone the opportunity to be stretched in their current jobs."
It is difficult to accept the rallying cry that "the good news about the economy is that you will be pressured to improve!" That really doesn't help anyone get to sleep at night. However it is an important lesson to remember - that the hard work we have and will continue to do is not just helping us save our jobs and companies, but it is making us tougher and smarter every day.