I am a frequent reader of magazines like FORTUNE. In the recent Aug 15 issue, it celebrated various people in tech for their contributions and talents in 2011.

Jess Lee, a young scientist, Google and Stanford alumni, was featured. The feature story highlighted 2 words: “love” and “addicted”, all in the good sense. She exhibited a trait of the current younger generation that can be engaged successfully if they are excited, passionate, and even, “fall in love” with an idea, a concept, or in a larger scale, an organization and its culture.

Perks and remuneration certainly still attract people. But if you want to attract the best, it is insufficient to simply dangle cash and bonus carrots in front of REAL talents. Those who simply want money and perks, may not be who you are looking for to excite and bring fire to your environment. Therefore, what can you do to engage these talents?

1) Provide a conducive environment for them to exercise their talents and passions. Do not micro-manage talents. If these creative types are getting frustrated with a manager who micro-manages, have the creative brains report to a manager who knows how to manage (or more correctly, NOT manage) them. If you are running a factory, that’s a different matter. But if you are engaging creative and inventive talents, give them space and time, and budget.

2) Be knowledgeable. If you want to seriously engage these creative and inventive types, you have to be on your toes. You can’t be a manager sitting in a vacuum and know nothing a foot outside your cubicle. Get your hands dirty in the field, read voraciously, and… practice what you learn.

3) Most importantly, only engage creative types if they are a good fit within your organization. Not every creative talent can survive or thrive in your organization. If you are a industrial automation company, it will be difficult to retain a creative marketing genius or a Social Media guru. You may want to have a sound human resource recruitment process to find only the creative and inventive types that fit your organization.

It is a different world. Manage differently. Better yet, don’t manage, lead.

Copyright(c) 2011 Seamus Phan. All rights reserved.