Inside a belief system

Talent development systems - Part three
A continuing series on how the cultivation of hidden talents can be imagined as a responsive system

The delivery of any consistent service, value or experience is built around a closed system. There is a single loop that congratulates itself for doing what it's designed to do. The positive feedback produced by the system indicates it's always time for more of the same components, sequence and outputs. The underlying premise goes unquestioned. The system cannot change its own rules. There is no choice but to try harder, maintaining the success pattern as it insists on persisting.

Closed systems are belief systems. They manufacture self-confirming evidence of the underlying belief. They create experiences for everyone engaged in the system of how the belief is true, factual and unavoidable. The belief is ubiquitous and taken for granted. It's assumption "goes without saying" and "seems perfectly reasonable" to the insiders of the system.

Any functional talent development system operates a closed system. It believes without question that everyone has hidden talents to cultivate. It does not challenge this presupposition or test this hypothesis. It assumes hidden talent is true and proceeds from that belief. It goes round in circles of the basis of developing hidden talents. Here's one cycle that occurs in someone's mind, that can be externalized into conversations with others:
  1. Formulating hypotheses: What if you have many hidden talents to develop? What if you've already developed some hidden potentials and can replicate that success? What if your hidden talents are like seeds that need time to grow and that cannot be hurried? What if you've already had a glimmer of the next talent to develop and have experienced some encouragement to proceed in this direction? What if the discouragement you've received has nothing to do with developing your talent, only with other's needs to be in control or to avoid feeling envious of you?
  2. Strategyzing approaches: How will you verify that this possible talent is more than a passing fancy for you? How will you discover what comes naturally to you when you act as if you have this talent? How will you get practice exercising this latent ability to strengthen and refine it? How will you gain confidence in this potential in order to apply it more often? How will you recognize opportunities to utilize this talent before it's recognized by others as one of your assets?
  3. Biasing interactions: How was that recent conversation proof that you've got this talent in you? How is the feedback you've received confirming your suspicion about this new capability? How are the differences between you and them providing evidence of your hidden talent coming to fruition? How is the impact you're having on the situation showing your that this possibility is really worth developing further? How are those relationships, affected by this new trait of yours, revealing how it's valuable to others for you to act this way?
  4. Evaluating outcomes: How much confidence have you gained in this new talent? How much progress have you made in cultivating this ability? How much have you refined this potential in you to be valuable, effective and useful in situations? How have you gained practice at using this trait and discovered more depth to its possibility? How have you changed your initial ideas about this talent to appreciate it with more insight, complexity and fascination?
As this closed loop cycles around, new hypotheses will be generated. There will be incremental (first order) changes as the hidden talents get cultivated in steps and stages. The system can only deliver more of the same validation, encouragement and insistence. It maintains its belief in the development of talent.

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