Too much tal­ent

Finweek English Edition - - ENTREPRENEUR -

We’ve all heard the catch­phrases thrown around the work­place: the war for tal­ent, man­agers need­ing to be tal­ent mag­nets that at­tract A-play­ers, and so on. At­tract­ing top tal­ent should be a top pri­or­ity for com­pet­i­tive com­pa­nies be­cause the more talented your team, the bet­ter the re­sults you’ll get, right? Wrong. Ground­break­ing new re­search in­di­cates that there is a limit as to how much tal­ent is good for your team. Too much tal­ent can ac­tu­ally hurt rather than help you. Here’s why: THE TOO-MUCH-TAL­ENT EF­FECT In their re­search pa­per, The too-much­tal­ent ef­fect: Team in­ter­de­pen­dence de­ter­mines when more tal­ent is too much ver­sus not enough, re­searchers Rod­er­ick Swaab, Michael Schaerer, Eric Ani­cich, Richard Ronay and Adam Galin­sky, at INSEAD in France, Columbia Univer­sity in the US and VU Univer­sity Am­s­ter­dam, ex­plored an in­trigu­ing ques­tion: when and why does ex­cep­tional tal­ent di­min­ish team per­for­mance? The team looked at real data from na­tional teams dur­ing the qual­i­fi­ca­tions for the 2010 and 2014 FIFA Soc­cer World Cups. They also pored over reg­u­lar sea­son play data from all US Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (NBA) teams from 2002 to 2012.

Their re­search un­cov­ered the coun­ter­in­tu­itive too-much-tal­ent ef­fect in sports

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