Who Will Drive Your Future Success? Highlighting Hidden Potential

Who Will Drive Your Future Success? Highlighting Hidden Potential

Who Will Drive Your Future Success? Highlighting Hidden Potential

Who drives the future success of a company? It’s an existential question every business leader grapples with at one point or another.

Often, they look to fancy new technologies or outside consultants as the saviors that will catapult them to the next level. But the hidden potential already within their own workforce could be the key. 

Like treasures buried just under the surface, overlooked employees with undiscovered talents and dormant superpowers may hold the power to unlock the next wave of innovation. The untransformed Clark Kents that walk among us may surprise us all if given the chance. With this in mind, mining your existing human capital could uncover diamonds in the rough that drive future success.

The Benefits of Identifying Hidden Potential


Uncovering the hidden potential within your existing workforce can catalyze incredible growth for your company. Like a logistics company realizing their accountant is an untapped inventing savant or an electronics store learning their sales clerk is a marketing prodigy, the untouched reservoirs of talent under your nose hold transformative power. Tap into this, and you could see:

Increased Innovation and Creativity 

That quiet quality assurance tester down the hall might have unseen creative juices that can be unleashed, birthing the next big product idea. Innovation often comes from unexpected places. Give opportunities for inner da Vincis to materialize with passion projects, innovation hours, or new idea programs. 

The next startup you acquire may already be in house. And you never know what ideas were left on the cutting room floor that your employees have been hesitant to pitch.

Better Employee Engagement and Retention 

Employees want to grow, learn new skills, and feel valued. Uncovering their hidden talents checks all those boxes. This builds loyalty and makes them less likely to jump ship since you’re investing in their development. They’ll repay that through their evolving contributions. They'll also feel more energized and motivated coming into work each day.

Greater Employee Lifetime Value

The longer employees with uncovered potential stay with your company, the more value they can contribute over time as they grow into new roles. Unlike external hires that switch jobs frequently, homegrown talent that you’ve invested in tends to stick around longer and compound their talents. This drastically increases employee lifetime value

Plus, they can then help train and mentor the next generation of rising stars behind them, multiplying their value generation further through knowledge transfer over their careers.

Loyal, seasoned employees who blossomed under your cultivation produce a cascade of returns over decades through their own innovations and by breeding a culture of talent growth. The gift keeps on giving.

Cost Savings From Developing Internal Talent

It’s far cheaper to mold the talent you already have rather than competing for pricy external hires in a scarce market. And internal hires adapt quicker with established company familiarity, saving additional ramp-up time. Why pay a premium for unproven external candidates when you likely already have the perfect candidate within your ranks? Spotlighting hidden potential may just be one of the best cost saving tools you have at your disposal. 

Where to Look for Hidden Potential

So you’re convinced uncovering dormant superstars within your existing team could be a game changer. But where do you start digging for this treasure trove of untapped brilliance? Here are some key places to explore:

  • Quiet, under the radar employees: The loudest voice in the room isn’t always the most creative. In fact, research shows the opposite. Probe your shyest employees with some gentle questioning—you may uncover some shockingly innovative thinkers.
  • Employees in roles not using their full skills: Someone handling accounts receivable likely has other abilities not utilized in that job. Maybe they have marketing chops from a past life or coding skills from a personal passion project. Ask around.
  • Those with transferable skills: Take inventory of all your employees’ educational backgrounds, past work experiences, and personal hobbies. Someone might have a music degree that makes them uniquely creative, a former career in biochemistry bringing analytical abilities, or builds mobile apps on the weekend suggesting technical talents. The idea is to uncover those with transferable skills that can be leveraged in a more meaningful way. 
  • Glimmers of brilliance: Even employees content in their roles may have shown sparks of genius like spearheading office events, solving complex problems when they arise, or brainstorming process improvements. Fan those flames with bigger opportunities and you might fuel up a high performer.

How to Draw Out Hidden Potential

Want to tap into all that untapped brilliance across your workforce? First, you need to open channels for those hidden talents to surface. Instead of top-down micromanaging, foster an open dialog. Ask questions, listen, and encourage ideas and feedback to flow freely up, down, sideways—wherever it takes you. 

Implement job rotation programs so employees gain exposure to different roles; you never know what aptitudes they’ll uncover when taken out of their comfort zones. Or set up internal mentorships to let those with niche talents pass the torch. 

Most importantly, carve out opportunities for people to showcase less utilized abilities—maybe through “innovation hours” for passion projects or “mastermind sessions” for solving company problems. Give promising ideas a chance to take hold through small experiments. When you provide space for budding talent to bloom, you empower people and unlock potential - and that’s a winning recipe for any business. 

Final Words

The key to future success already lives within your people. But that hidden potential must be nurtured through openness, opportunity and empowerment. Every employee has a spectrum of undiscovered abilities waiting below the surface—transformational skills that could take your organization to the next level. It’s time to start digging.

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Nitish Mathur

Digital Marketing Expert

Nitish is the CEO of 3Cans. A food blogger turned Growth Marketer, with a knack for tongue-in-cheek content and co-author of "The Growth Hacking Book 1 & 2", he helps companies hone their brands through everything digital. 

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