I am working on a project with 2 other guys in the group. They both have a lot of years of experience and have been working with each other for many years. But somehow they avoided learning much on the job. One guy is American. He seems to be the leader of the two. I can see he is quite capable technically even though he lacks a lot of knowledge. I can give him a block and tell him what I need. He can fill in the details and come up with ideas how to do it. But he is on vacation a lot. He also works from home on Fridays, or at least he claims to be. There is no sense of urgency from him. The other guy is indian. When I explain to him the architecture, he acts like he already knew it. But when I give him a block, he can only sit and wait for others to define everything for him. He likes to discuss everything. He would come over often and asked for advice on some low level design detail. When he encounters a problem, the first thing he would do is to come and discuss it with me or the american guy. He also works from home on Fridays.
That's the quality of the talent in the group. They came from that company where people are experts of not getting laid off. Their main goal in the office is self preservation. They couldn't survive anymore and got acquired. But the next time you look, they are the ones that are still around. That's natural selection at work in the office. The ones left are the best at what's important: self-preservation.