Make A Difference: The Growth Formula

Talent Plus Talent Plus

September 04, 2017 Blog Talent Lifecycle

We believe there are three primary factors driving a person’s growth and development:

  • Talent
  • Fit
  • Investment

Those three factors come together into an equation is the GIFT Formula. It looks like this (read backward, the first letters of the elements of the formula spell GIFT):

(Talent + Fit) x Investment = Growth

Most people know talent when they see it. We define it formally as natural ability or aptitude – the potential for excellence. In last week’s podcast, we discussed how to find top talent. This week’s podcast focuses on fit.

Fit is a little trickier. Put simply, it’s about context. Fit is the extent to which a person’s talent aligns with his or her context – the expectations, goals, cultural values and other factors that define that person’s role on a team and within an organization.

Talent and Fit together are multipliers for Investment. What this means is that whatever level of investment you’re going to make in people (training is the most common investment), you will get a greater return on that investment when you maximize both Talent and Fit.

Listen in to this week’s podcast as Larry Sternberg, Kimberly Shirk and I discuss:

  • Real-life stories about how ensuring the right fit makes a difference in people’s performance.
  • Job sculpting. What is it, and how does it optimize performance?
  • How does ensuring the right fit diminish the odds of burnout?
  • An experiment you can try on your own to figure out what defines a good fit on your team or in your organization and then use that information to make better future hiring decisions.
  • How to train horses to dive from high platforms … and how matching the right training to the right people helped one retailer achieve $1.7 million higher sales in just three months … and how those two things are related.

On all our podcasts and blog posts, you have an opportunity to talk back to us through comments and emails. We hope to hear from you! Until next time, manage to make a difference every day!

+ Larry Sternberg, J.D. and Kim Turnage, Ph.D.


This post highlights Chapter 19 of Managing to Make a Difference (Wiley), a handbook for hitting the sweet spot of middle management. Next up: Emphasize the Why. Connect with Kim Turnage and Larry Sternberg on LinkedIn to see their latest updates.

Latest Posts: Blog

Individual taking a Talent Plus Talent Online Assessment

Blog June 20, 2024

Integrating Talent Plus Assessments with Your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) 

Learn how integrating Talent Plus assessments into your ATS can streamline your talent acquisition process and improve candidate volume.

Fran Westfall Fran Westfall

Read More
Mother with two kids on school break working at home.

Blog June 03, 2024

How Workplaces Can Support Working Parents During Summer Break

Summer breaks rarely match up with work schedules, affecting working parents. Leaders must adapt & accommodate or risk losing good employees.

Zack Robertson Zack Robertson

Read More
Employee who has great well-being at work.

Blog May 09, 2024

Well-Being, Burnout and How To Invest in Your Employees

Boost employee engagement and well-being with these four strategies. Learn the keys to fostering a dynamic and flourishing workplace culture.

Zack Robertson Zack Robertson

Read More
Happy individual at work

Blog May 03, 2024

Unlock Your Potential With the Talent Card

Unlock your potential with the Talent Card. Discover the benefits of understanding your talents and learn examples of how to leverage them.

Talent Plus Talent Plus

Read More
Diverse employees congratulate man on business achievements, excellent work results or promotion.

Blog May 02, 2024

DEIB Strategies for Fair Promotion Processes 

Maribel Cruz explores the impact of unbiased evaluations and standardized promotion processes within organizations.

Maribel Cruz Maribel Cruz

Read More