Attracting Talent: The Innovation Implication

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Written by Amy Brann on 15 April 2016

Many organisations desperately want to attract the best new talent. How can they do it better?

Recently I was speaking at a conference in Serbia organised by a training and development company. They have exceptional talent.

From the moment I arrived to the moment I left all the employees of that company (indirectly) did an amazing job of selling the organisation to me. They were so welcoming, open, friendly and committed to delivering a very high standard of service.

No one said anything overt, but each demonstrated through their behaviours that they loved what they do. Some did even say they feel very fortunate to live the life they lead.

Something that stood out a long way to me was the picture above.

Something different

When one guy in the company had a vision of what he wanted to create he enlisted the support of two colleagues. He went to his boss and said “I need a big bit of wood, 7000 screws and 1.5km of wool.”

What did his boss do? Gave it to him (granted he thought it was a bit odd!) The three man team worked on it for three consecutive evenings and the resulting visual impact was fantastic.

Combine this with the photo booth that was available outside for people to get their pictures taken and then pin up on the board – you get great engagement and connection.

I bet that this wonderful resource, which represents a team of hardworking individuals pulling off something brilliant, will occupy a prime location back at the office.

The biggest implication for organisations though is the message they are sending to potential team members:

  • If you work here then we will listen to your ideas
  • We will let you bring your ideas to life
  • Then we will celebrate your creations

This is attractive to humans. We want the flood of dopamine that we get when doing something new and exciting. We want the oxytocin helping us feel more connected to those we’re working with. We want to feel proud of creating something cool.

Trusting employees

Many organisations just don’t recognise how beneficial it can be to recognise that you hired human beings.

Actually, when you believe that they have brains, good brains that they are pretty good at operating, then you can start to trust them more.

Giving people permission to follow their gut and experiment is a risk. The challenge is, at least in part, to recruit people that you believe will pay back that risk many times over.

Innovation and creativity don’t occur easily in an over-crowded brain. Prior to writing this blog post I was writing a neuroscientifically-dense webinar. My brain was pretty full.

Despite being on a tight time schedule I took a break - the sun is shining… never know for how long in England! I treated myself to a hot cross bun and moved out of my normal work environment. As I relaxed I felt inspiration strike. Everything flowed from there.

The Innovation Implication Takeaways

  1. Encourage innovation
  2. Let others know when people have been innovative
  3. Celebrate


About the author

Amy Brann is the Director of Synaptic Potential and author of books about using the brain. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @Amy_brann


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