Is a game changer hiding in your company?

You can find transformative people in unexpected places, writes Ben Walker 

There’s not many game changers about. New research reveals that only around one in ten company employees have the personality traits necessary to turn around businesses and push through meaningful change. Yet so unusual are these people that company structures are rarely set up to nurture them and exploit their potential.

“Our study has shown that game changers exist in the corporate world but they are being neglected, not always fulfilling their potential because they don’t readily conform to traditional definitions of talent,” says Nathan Ott, chief executive of recruitment firm eg.1, which has created the GC Index to identify game changers in organizations. “Today’s employee can be tomorrow’s competitor – so identifying and embracing these game changers is critical to long-term business performance.”

Being a game changer is nothing to do with status, he adds: “It doesn’t matter whether the individual is a successful chief executive or just about to finish school, if they are a game changer they are a game changer.” The index uses advanced personality tests to identify those rare character types that have a “special something” and are able to “rewrite the things we do”, according to eg.1.

The chief psychologist behind the index, Dr John Mervyn-Smith, says that for 30 years talent development has focused largely upon identifying individuals who can progress through traditional organizational hierarchies, rather than change them from within. “This approach has been elitist and exclusive,” he says. “And it leaves organizations and individuals missing out. The GC Index defines talent as the contribution that an individual can make to a team and organization, regardless of hierarchical position.”

Leaders should check out the index. Maybe they have a game changer in their midst, perhaps out of sight – but brimming with potential.

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