There's nothing new about companies wanting to find and keep the best talent. The East India Company which was founded in 1600, actually used competitive examinations to recruit alpha minds. The company's employees included James and John Stuart Mill, two of greatest minds.
Today something new is in the air. Companies have become more preoccupied with talent than ever before. And even companies in more ordinary businesses have begun to think they cannot manage and compete without a lot of deep smarts.
What kind of behaviors actually produce intelligence? We now know that the notion of innate intelligence is bonkers. That being the case, what are the behaviors that produce intelligence? What behaviors are indicative of the efficient, effective problem solver? Just what do human beings do when they behave intelligently.
Here are 14 intelligent behaviors, many of which were originally compiled by Arthur Costa in a paper entitled, Teaching for Intelligence.
1. Persistence: not giving up when the answer to a problem is not immediately known.
2. Overcoming impulsiveness: planning, clarifying goals, exploring alternative strategies and considering consequences before you begin.
3. Listening to others: some cognitive psychologists think that the ability to listen to another person and understand their point of view is one of the highest forms of intelligent behavior.
4. Flexibility in thinking: considering other points of view rather than running with the first possibility.
5. Metacognition--awareness of how you're thinking, knowing what's going on in your head when you're thinking.
6. Checking for accuracy and precision: not letting speed surpass your desire for craftsmanship.
7. Questioning and problem posing: asking questions and finding out problems for yourself.
8. Applying past knowledge to new situations: calling upon your store of knowledge and experience as sources of data, theories to explain, or processes to solve each new challenge.
9. Precision of language and thought: using more descriptive terms to distinguish objects, and providing criteria for value judgments.
10. Using all the senses--feeling, seeing, hearing, even tasting in order to more effectively problem solve.
11. Creativity--using ingenuity, originality and insight: developing the capacity to generate original, clever or ingenious products, solutions and techniques.
12. Living with a sense of wonderment, inquisitiveness and curiosity: openness to beauty, intricacy, complexity and simplicity.
13. Cooperation: taking advantage of the thinking and learning that can only come as a result of social relationships.
14. Sense of humor: able to look at situations, opportunities, problems and relationships with nonchalance and fun.
The oncoming global war for talent is likely to intensify. Many firms are already struggling to find enough well-trained, inventive professionals. Which of these characterize your behaviors? And which do you need to start working on?