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'Talent Wants To Be Free' — A Look At Innovation In The Workplace

Talent Wants To Be Free by Orly Lobel
Talent Wants To Be Free by Orly Lobel
'Talent Wants To Be Free' — A Look At Innovation In The Workplace
GUEST:Orly Lobel, law professor, University of San Diego, specializing in employment and labor law

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We have returned after a brief evacuation. The all clear has been sounded. Now when creativity meets corporate control, creativity usually loses. That is the message of the new book about how innovation happens in the real world. The book is called ìTalent Wants to be Free.î It's a pleasure to welcome Orly Lobel. Welcome to the program. You write that his position allow the talent to be rated by other companies and even allow them to go to work for competitors, why? ORLY LOBEL: I have seen so much directionality happening when employees see their best employees leave and lose a lot of opportunities that come with increasing with your business footprint in an area where you can have a lot of ongoing collections with the people that have left you. One thing is that talent wants to be free in the sense of if you support the leave it is better not to hold onto them by restricting them legally and try to threatening them. They get very demotivate people who are not going to perform as well as people who really want to be there. Another thing that we've learned we look at the industry in here in San Diego, when there is an ethos of talent flowing and knowledge flowing over time, different companies that connect the same industry, everyone wins. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: What about the time and energy at business invested its employees. That is why they have these restrictive contracts and they don't want to see their employees rated by another company. What to businesses, how do they need to rethink this? ORLY LOBEL: There a lot of ways in which we can motivate people to stay. We know these days that employees want to be at a place where they feel like they are part of a mission. They want a purpose that goes beyond just the tangible fixed salaries that they have to. There a lot of performance basis incentives performance-based incentives. There is also very important focus on the promise of continuous learning of professional growth and development that businesses can offer to make sure that employees have invested and continue to be part of the business. Is it true that you invest a lot and you want to keep people that are doing a good job. You have to continue that effort here there a lot of ways that are positive ways that increase performance and increase motivation and energy, and really increase the joy of work that has actual results. And the bottom line, it's not about being in this control mentality that sees every movement for every loss as something that is completely negative. I think that prevents businesses from keeping in touch with their ex-employees and thinking about opportunities the bring them back into the company. I think that the best companies these days are thinking about back kind of relation and the manic much more than in the past. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Not only letting employees themselves go, but the idea of letting creative ideas and innovations while there an employee let they let the employee move on with them. That is very and threatening to a lot of businesses. Give us an idea of the kinds of creative ideas they use a employees should be alert take with them from one company to another. ORLY LOBEL: We have had for a long time the ability to patented innovation. We have copyright protections and we have had trade secret protections although I think that the scope of trade secret reduction should be thought about and we should think about whether we're trying the right lines. We have always understood the intellectual property as a bargain between the initial incentives seven testing in innovation and doing those incentives set up as a temporary monopoly. But there's also a always a price. There's a price of not allowing knowledge and a price of not allowing information to be used for the next company. The next progress in the next step in innovation. Return to balance those two things, overtime and the initial investment. I think that we have shifted off balance when we think about the ability of people themselves to use the skills that they have gained in the work waste. So, when I was talking about about the balance between trade secrets that are clearly trade secrets, information about methods to create a specific drug, the voice and idea. Those should be kept secret and we do that California and we do that throughout the United States and across the world. More and more we see different states pushing for an even more expensive idea of what it trade secret is or any relationship that uniform data region, and he wouldn't you know, that is a trade secret that you can't use. These personal connections as you move on. You have to stay off and you have to exit the industry. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: What is your research? What have showed you about the idea of allowing, what happens you allow free reign on employees to for their careers from one business to another and take some of their innovations with them as they travel, what kind of business plan does that create? ORLY LOBEL: It creates a very vibrant and fast but great business environment. We see more startups and more entrepreneurship in a region like the Silicon Valley and throughout California where he have this exceptional idea that we do not enforce non-competes. Unlike the rest of the country that California has a very strong stance against non-competes. People like the CEO of Yahoo, and a few years ago she was the sexiest Googler and that was always on the website, and she goes to a direct competitor everybody understands that's part of the business, and everybody wins over the long-term because there is new blood that is ñ and the research is robust on this ñ businesses need that new blood flowing and to avoid stagnation and to avoid harmful groupthink phenomenons. Psychological phenomenon is of not being able to see great ideas because you're so focused on the inside. There is more of an energy because everybody has a greater career trajectory. People are very focused on growing their talent. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And briefly, to be the point of the book that employees themselves, people envision careers very differently than they did a generation ago. They are looking for the career not to be in one place but to be in one industry going from place to place and being able to develop and to improve on their innovations. ORLY LOBEL: We talk about a talent show. We're concerned that we do not have enough people around that are graduates that can fill in high skilled professions. On the other hand we are really suppressing automation when we do not allow people to fulfill their dreams of going independent. I see a lot of my students at the University of this generation takes about managing their career and a very different way than previous generations when it used to be the get one job and you expect to have job security until you retire. You cannot expect that, and so the flipside is that you have to have some trajectory of expecting to be up to go off on their own and continue their profession. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Very interesting. We will tell everyone again that Orly Lobel's book is called Talent has to be Free. Thank you so much for standing outside during the drill with us. And coming in to speak with us.

Could innovation be suffering in our high-tech world of employment contracts, non-compete clauses and intellectual properties?

In her new book, University of San Diego law professor Orly Lobel suggests that for innovation to flourish — people must have the freedom to leave jobs, work for competitors and take skills and ideas they've developed away with them.

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And the book proposes that the increasingly tight reign business is using on its employees, is actually making dynamic growth and change less likely in the marketplace.

Her book is called "Talent Wants To Be Free, Why We Should Learn to Love Leaks, Raids and Free Riding."