High Potentials

Every company has it’s list of high potential mid-level managers and directors, the people you hope will be able to step up to the next level of leadership.

Managing and developing a high potential talent pool is an art…

For senior executives, it’s the question of creating scalable leadership across the business – people who can be trusted with complex out-of-the-box assignments, who can keep their day job running smoothly while they take on new challenges, who can separate the forest from the trees without losing sight of either.  You want to grow leaders quickly for business needs as they arise, but don’t want to elevate expectations such that your talent pool of high potentials become disillusioned with their likely progress or start to consider opportunities elsewhere.

For the person designated as “high potential” this opportunity is exciting but also challenging, as they often feel they must continue to execute flawlessly on today’s assignments, make time to actively participate in readiness programs, while casually figuring out the rules of stepping up to the next level.  Some take this in stride, while others see it as their big shot to move up to a new level of responsibility, influence and reward.  In some cases, temporary assignments and action learning projects, may appear as extra work or as a journey with many trap doors – people will remember your mistakes more than what you learn.

For the best talent management teams, working with high potentials is more of an organizational intervention than just a set of training programs and events.  They make sure the following occur

  • Establish is process and criteria to determine who is high potential and what that means in this company.
  • Provide guidance to managers how to communicate the implications and expectations of the opportunities provided to high potential or invited to participate in a high potential program
  • Design events and experiences that foster learning and anchor that learning to current and future business
  • Pay attention to the interpersonal dynamics:  how high potential employees interact with each other, with senior executives, and across the business
  • Continue to assess performance and potential of these employees over time

Sage Consulting Resources has helped clients with every aspect of developing a high potential talent pool