PepsiCo’s Formula for Leadership Potential |ATD

Talent Management

The identification and development of high-potential (HiPos) employees have been a long-standing pursuit of many organizations and talent management professionals. However, this pursuit is an elusive one that presents several challenging questions to answer, such as what is potential, how do we measure it, and how do we develop it? In this article, Allan Church and Sergio Ezama provide insights on this topic based on their work at PepsiCo. Concerning measuring potential, PepsiCo’s framework is based on three core dimensions 1) Foundational – includes cognitive skills (e.g., strategic thinking) and personality dimensions (e.g., interpersonal skills). 2) Growth – includes factors that enable an individual’s ability to be successful in new roles, situations, and environments, and includes things like learning agility 3) Career – leadership capabilities and functional expertise a person needs to be successful in a given organizational context. (Note: For those interested in this type of framework, you can check out Rob Silzer’s and Allan Church’s book chapter in Strategy-Driven Talent Management). A multidimensional approach, such as the one used at PepsiCo, to assessing potential is far superior to those that rely heavily or exclusively on one aspect of the construct. Allan and Sergio also provide insights into PepsiCo’s GREAT 5, which describes what it takes to go from being a good to a great leader. This framework establishes the basis for leadership development programs and talent management practices. Other insights are discussed, such as their approach to developing HiPos as well as the outcomes/metrics that are tracked over time to measure the impact of development efforts. Overall, this article provides several insights for those practitioners who are looking to evolve their approaches to HiPo identification and development.

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