November 2017
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Word Wiz: Polyhistor

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Do you consider yourself well-read, not just in one subject but in many? If so, then you should think about giving yourself a new label: polyhistor.

Defined by as "a person of great and varied learning," polyhistor is a great term to characterize many talent development professionals: More than half of practitioners have a master's or doctorate degree (according to the Association for Talent Development's 2017 report How Does Your Pay Stack Up?), and most people who excel in the profession combine several areas of knowledge—ranging from pedagogical wisdom to general business smarts, from technology know-how to company-specific expertise.


Good talent development professionals aren't just polyhistors themselves, either. One purpose of the profession, some might say its main purpose, is creating more of these individuals. After all, polyhistors have business value. When workers learn about a wide variety of topics that affect their roles, they can better see how they fit into a business. When people acquire a diverse set of skills, the organizations that employ them can become more flexible and adaptable.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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