The DNA of a game changer

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'Game changers' can make a huge difference to a business, but do you know where to find them?

Game changers are people that anyone would want in their team. Creative, innovative and generally brilliant, they can be the difference between your business surviving and thriving.

Yet around half of organisations in the UK admit that they would define less than 5% of their workforce as game changers, according to the business insight and talent consultancy eg.1 report The DNA of a Game Changer. This becomes less surprising when you realise only 18% say they are actively looking for this type of employee.

This in itself may be slightly misleading, as more than half (60%) of respondents said they were looking for high-potentials. These are people who could one day be game changers, but are not quite there yet.

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Eg.1 CEO Nathan Ott told HR magazine high-potentials might be more popular because managers see them as malleable.

“While money is almost definitely a factor, a proven formed game changer isn’t going to be cheap to hire. I think there’s always an element of wanting someone that is easier to mould to fit the company’s culture,” he said.

Another aspect of the research focuses on gender. More than one-third of those polled would expect any game changers to be male, compared to just 7% who believe they are more likely to be female.

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Ott believes this may be down to male and female game changers having different focuses. “A big part of what makes someone a game changer is obsession,” he said. “The things men get obsessed with are often more visible.”

This obsession can also hold people back in terms of career progression, according to Ott. “These individuals are driven more by passion for their favourite field than by reward or progression, so they may not always get to the most senior positions as quickly as you’d expect,” he said.

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