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High Potential Leadership Initiatives

Work experience has demonstrated to all of us that talent matters. High performers bring more to the corporate table than the typical employee doing the same job. One McKinsey study found that what they called “A Player” managers generated between 50 percent and 130 percent more revenue or profit growth in contrast to the flat performance of their B and C player colleagues.1 All of us intuitively sense that if we could recognize and develop high potential leadership more effectively our companies could reap the benefit of such talent. However, the idea is often full of complex challenges. A few of the typical questions that stymie such initiatives might be:

  • How can we more confidently identify high potential future leaders earlier in their career?
  • How should we define “high potential”? How does potential relate to current performance?
  • How can we accelerate the development of high performance leadership talent?
  • Who should determine whether or not an employee is “high potential”?
  • Should individuals identified as being high potential be told that they are “on the list”?
  • Should people previously identified as high potential but are not now performing up to standard be removed from the list?

Triaxia consultants can help you answer these and many other important questions as you consider designing and implementing the systems and processes to identify and accelerate development of your best talent in your workforce (see the case study: Accelerating the Development and Deployment of High Performing Talent). We will work with you to design a straight-forward process for growing/nurturing your high potentials in a way that serves both your succession planning objectives and overall leadership development strategies. TRIAXA consulting engagements regarding high potential strategies typically include the following: Provide a tailored definition of high potential and the supporting criteria used to recognize them early Design developmental resources , including assessment, assignments, coaching, mentoring, and compensation. Select/create developmental jobs and assignments that fit with your company’s culture and capabilities. Identify the underlying systems, and processes (i.e., roles ,responsibilities, timing, budget, measurement) essential to successfully implementing the high potential initiative. Integrate and align this initiative with the overall strategy, culture and values.

1 McKinsey’s Value of Better Talent Research, 2000 – As quoted in War for Talent, Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod, Harvard Business School Press, 2001