Heard of catchphrases such as the ‘war for talent’ and the ‘skills gap’ and like many, you’re probably wondering how much of it is real? Some surveys & reports will show, the skills gap is very real. Organisations are increasingly feeling the talent pinch as it continues to be the most significant barrier to growth.

But is this the real reason- talent & skill gap? OR it is credible talent at right opportunity?

This is story of “How a Stray dog(Thenga) when trained by Uttarakhand police outperforms expensive breeds & becomes top dog in dog squad.

In a first of its kind experiment in India, a stray dog that was trained by Uttarakhand Police got recruited to their sniffer squad. They generally train foreign breeds such as German Shepherds, Great Swiss Mountain Dogs, and Labradors. To everyone’s surprise, the strays outperformed expensive breeds of dogs, looked disciplined and synchronized.

“Thenga is a full package. At present I am training two dogs, one is this street dog and another is a German Shepherd. Frankly, ‘Thenga’ is better than the Shepherd. He is full of energy, remains alert and happy during training sessions” Pant said.

The official Twitter account of the Uttarakhand Police shared pictures from a training session of the street dogs:

Stray dog, trained by Uttarakhand police, outperforms other breeds

The Twitter handle of Uttarakhand Police also carries a video of their sniffer dog squad:

Uttarakhand Police Twitter Handle

It was IPS Sanjay Gunjiyal who had first come up with the idea of training a street dog. According to the Inspector General, Thenga had all the traits of a professional.

Be it the police force or defense forces, Labradors and German Shepherds have always been the preferred choice given their alertness and prowess at sniffing out untoward elements. But with this, it has opened the doors of many others like Thenga. It showed how Pedigree means nothing if you are up against Credibility.

It’s just because of the traits like Adaptability, Quick Learning etc Thenga possessed, he was quick to adapt to the situation and acquire new skills which was given to it through training & succeed in the workplace.

A professional’s credibility for an opportunity has always been important, they are increasingly vital today. A particular programming language may go out of fashion, but creativity, adaptability and collaboration traits will always be valuable. And these factors are increasingly important to organisation success.

In the workplace, people get hired for skills and knowledge but get fired for traits. “Skills” refers to the “how-to’s” of a role; Whether you know how to use MS Office, Social Media Marketing, Photoshop, and so on. “Knowledge” refers to literally knowing something, and can usually be quantified in a degree or designation, like a Btech, MBA, or Marketing manager. “Traits,” however, are recurring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior. Traits or Strengths include Time Management, Team Player, Adaptability (and more), and they’re how we understand and measure professional potential.

Ideally, for the right opportunity a right fit credible professional is someone who has competent skills for the opportunity; is interested in the nature of the job and who fits into your company’s work culture. It is what true matchmaking is about.


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