Magazine article Talent Development

Kevin Carroll

Magazine article Talent Development

Kevin Carroll

Article excerpt

Kevin Carroll

Founder, Katalyst LLC

Portland, Oregon

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Kevin Carroll is a consultant, speaker, and change agent. He is founder of Kevin Carroll Katalyst LLC, and has worked with organizations such as the National Hockey League, ESPN, Nike, and Starbucks. Carroll also is the author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, What's Your Red Rubber Ball? and The Red Rubber Ball at Work.

HOW DO YOU CONVINCE ORGANIZATIONS THAT THEY SHOULD BE INVITING PLAY?

When businesses start to see that play is serious to the business of advancing an idea, they will not marginalize it anymore. They'll celebrate it.

There is plenty of research out there: the National Institute for Play; and Sparks of Genius, a wonderful book written by Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein, that cites the stories of Nobel laureates and MacArthur Genius Grant recipients.

I think organizations and enterprises will be pleasantly surprised with the outcomes of investing in more play, specifically play with purpose, play that has more direct outcomes. You want more teamwork? Let's design something to help you get that, but let's do that around playing a game for coming together. "Oh, we want more innovative spirit, we want more ingenuity. Let's design play, let's design moments around that."

That's why I use the term "playing with purpose," not just play for play's sake. You can do that on your own time. In business you need to have an outcome or an idea behind it.

HOW CAN TALENT DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONALS INSPIRE OTHERS TO TELL THEIR STORY?

They have to have the courage to share their story, the why behind them.

Talent development professionals also should be a curator of stories; they should collect more stories about others and have them at the ready so they can share them.

Why are you endeavoring to raise people up? As a talent development professional, why are you in the business of bringing the best out of people? Someone probably did that for you, and now you want to do that for others.

In your own way, you're that wonderful teacher. You're Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society. You're that encourager and the challenger; that person who holds people accountable.

If you can recount your own journey and tell people, "That's why I'm investing in you, because someone did that for me. And I wanted to be that teacher, that encourager. …

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