Weizmann Institute: Harnessing Talent

IESE alumni session features Israel Bar-Joseph



“If you don’t harness talent with strength, discipline, tenacity and consistency, you may lose it.” This was among the caveats IESE Prof. Álvarez de Mon  provided during the recent Continuous Education session, “Research Talent – An Ecosystem Favorable to Innovation,” which also focused on the activities of the Weizmann Institute of Science.

A multidisciplinary research institute located in Israel, the organization leads projects in a wide range of disciplines including the life sciences, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science.

Prof. Álvarez de Mon described the “obsessive search” for talent carried out by the institution. “They don’t wait until there is a gap in the organizational structure: if they find it (talent), they hire the person and give them the resources they need to reach the top,” he said. Álvarez de Mon also stressed the value of learning from trial and error and the importance of not confusing mistakes with failure.

Long-term vision
A long-term vision is one of the characteristics most valued and supported by the Weizmann Institute, said Israel Bar-Joseph, vice president of Resource Development and Dean for Educational Activities, who discussed the goals of the institute.

Bar-Joseph said that great ideas are rarely conjured up spontaneously. Instead, science is a long forward-looking path, thus The Weizmann Institute’s goal is to help researchers carry out projects that have a long-term focus.

All too often today, scientific organizations focus primarily on delivering results and benefits quickly, he said. This increasing pressure among institutions to deliver short-term results is a trend that must change, he said.

Bar-Joseph also highlighted the need for more women scientists. “This is a global problem,” he said. “We simply cannot ignore 50 percent of the human talent that there is in the world.”
Also during the session, IESE Prof. Antonio Dávila discussed the structure of the Weizmann Institute, underscoring five areas: the selection process, motivation, environment, financing and commitment to society.