The ability to accurately identify and develop high-potential employees is considered by many to be the holy grail of talent management. But as noted by Allan Church in this article, it’s never simple. And rather than continue to struggle with methods, such as the classic 9 box model, that have shown to be less effective over the years, this article offers three different alternatives to the classic 9 Box model. The models vary in terms of simplicity, but they all rely on some talent categorization and answer the question: Potential for what? They include:
- Potential by mobility in which talent gets categorized by a three- or four-category mobility framework, such as global: mobile to any location in the world. regional: only mobile to locations within certain areas (U.S. only, Latin American only). local: not mobile and needs to remain in his or her current location.
- Potential by behavioral science insights. Involves looking at leadership competencies and behaviors that measure future success. When done right and legally valid, it can help “uncover hidden gems that would probably otherwise be overlooked.”
- Potential by future destination, which is mostly associated with senior levels, succession needs, and factors in knowledge, skills, ability, and career interests aligned with specific roles. Organizations can easily combine these alternatives depending on their needs.
I am also including a link to one of my posts that covers another one of Allan’s articles where he describes aspects of Pepsi’s approach to HiPo identification.
One thought on “Think Outside the 9 Box | TalentQ | Allan Church”
This article poses a very relevant and vital question. The 3 approaches it outlines to assess potential are interesting. I immediately started to think about how I could apply them. For the last decade or so I have been at high growth tech companies that have ~10K employees. One of the challenges in High Tech is that average employee tenure is about 3 years, so any approach that has a long term horizon seems to be at odds. Secondly, there is an intense focus on growth, aka execution (equated to performance).
In my company, we have all three – 9-box, leadership competencies, and succession planning. However we do not do a very good job of connecting all three in a systematic way.