What a great question. It usually answers itself.
Over the years, I have had the privilege to teach talented people. When you work with people for the first time, it takes a while for them to become comfortable enough to speak out. I have always encouraged new hires or temporary interns to speak up and to ask questions. If that atmosphere is not created early, it could take months to for you to know where to place your staff.
You don’t group all of your employees in one category if you want them to exceed.
The boundaries need to be stretched and talent will rise to the top. You put them in situations which allow them to make decisions and see how they do. The decisions they choose to make will guide you to their proper placement.
If you are in operations and are afraid of making mistakes, the world of operations is definitely not for you. I refer to it as controlled mistakes as you are testing the ability to come up with solutions quickly and cost effective while being supervised at the same time. At some point, there will be no one to fall back on to bail you out so each decision during training is leading to the point where your decision is final.
Not everyone is cut out to excel in operations; it takes very exact abilities. Some can be taught but most not so much.
There is an intuitiveness concerning the situations which arise and the amount of time allowed to fix the problem; sometimes seconds, other times minutes. It doesn’t mean they can’t work in operations. It does mean you don’t want them in charge when a critical problem arises. That being said there are other areas of operations which aren’t quite as intense where they would excel.
Event operations require people who love what they do; otherwise they burn out quickly. These are the people who look forward to every day of work because every day is different and they are working with other people who also love their work.
It makes a difference.