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Letters to a Young Manager

Brain Drain, #347

Please note that this letter is in-process; the following are my notes

Malcolm Gladwell tells the story of a museum curator who invites a colleague from another museum to come and preview the ancient Greek kouros they acquired*. When the colleague arrived and saw the statue, he replied in an instant, "oh, that's a fake." His friend was incredulous, "what do you mean it's a fake; we've had it tested for age and authenticity. "It's too clean," was the reply.

Gladwell talks about this kind of intuitive knowledge that comes with thousands of hours of experience. That kind of knowledge is hard to acquire, and easy to lose--especially from an organization's perspective. We read about talent wars and brain drains, but do we value this in concrete ways? To be the "employer of choice" is a noble goal; but if you can't retain talent, and the knowledge of talent, it is a hollow statement.

*In Ancient Greek kouros means "youth, boy, especially of noble rank."



Value concretely the intuitive knowledge that comes with experience

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