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Developing High Potential Talent

Developing High Potential Talent



Presentation Delivered at 2011 International Personnel Assessment Council (IPAC) Conference ...

Presentation Delivered at 2011 International Personnel Assessment Council (IPAC) Conference

Following several high-profile leadership failures, increasing pressures from corporate boards and general dissatisfaction with development offerings, all companies are paying greater attention to the quality of current and future leaders. This paper presentation will reveal best-practice research, approaches and challenges faced when identifying, grooming and retaining high-potential talent.



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    Developing High Potential Talent Developing High Potential Talent Presentation Transcript

    • Key Insights for Developing High-Potential Talent Todd C. Harris, Ph.D. Director of Research PI Worldwide IPAC Conference July 18 th , 2011
    • Session Roadmap
      • The new leadership cocktail.
      • Leadership data points.
      • The HIPO perspective.
      • Key organizational questions.
      • Science-based best practices.
      • Mistakes to avoid.
      • Q & A.
    • “ Potential means you haven’t done anything yet.” - Bill Parcells Former NFL Head Coach
    • “ It’s hard to make predictions – especially about the future.” - Yogi Berra Hall of Fame catcher
    • If you were asked to pick the defining characteristic of today’s business environment, you would surely point to its turbulence – unprecedented, unstoppable, and, apparently, unlikely to go away. Globalization, technological innovation, regulatory restructuring, demographic shifts and environmental pressures have all conspired to continually redraw the competitive landscape. Everyone notices these changes, but little is being done to help companies cope with them. Michael G. Jacobides Professor of Strategic and International Management London Business School Harvard Business Review – January-February 2010
    • The New Leadership Cocktail
      • “ I personally feel as if I am leading in a permanent state of crisis, and whether it is a good thing or not, I know that is what we are expecting our younger leaders to be able to do.” – CLO of Fortune 500 retailer.
      • Leaders who can:
        • Help their people adapt, change and evolve, while not losing sight of today’s operational demands.
        • Inspire and restore trust, which is at all-time low levels.
        • “ Use the dial correctly – change without panic.”
        • Push leadership downward – everyone needs to help us get back on track.
        • Deal with uncertainty, ambiguity and properly calibrate risk.
    • Leadership in a Changing Workplace: An I/O Psychologist’s View
        • Teams & Groups: Leaders must not only influence individual workers but teams and groups as well.
        • Telecommuting: How does a leader influence an employee that they don’t “see?” Proactive communication on both sides may be key.
        • Temporary Workers: How does a leader influence an employee unlikely to have the same commitment or share the same values as full-time workers? (FYI, BLS reports 2.2 Million contingent workers as of November, 2010, up from 1.7 Million in September, 2009).
        • Fuzzy Boundaries of Jobs: The meaning of a “job” is changing. This puts more pressure on leaders to anticipate how work and job demands are evolving.
        • Leadership Around the World: Cultural universals versus cultural specifics (e.g. Project GLOBE).
    • Do You Have The Right Leaders?
      • PI Worldwide survey conducted with 770 client organizations around the world clearly indicated that “leadership development” was #1 HR/Talent Management priority.
      • BCG Survey: Leadership Development is key future priority, but current capabilities/programs are often ineffective.
      • High-performing companies filled 60% of executive slots with home-grown talent, whereas only 13% of low-performing companies did.
      • Critical talent gap for senior managers’ successors – internal talent pools are often too shallow.
      • High-potential employees have more options, so how do companies identify, retain and motivate the “best and the brightest”, including women and other “protected classes”, who are often underrepresented in high-potential programs?
      • Where is the most risk?
        • Geography: U.S., Western Europe and Japan.
        • Industry: Health Care, Education, IT and Business Services.
    • A Disengagement Ring
      • Some recent survey findings from the Corporate Leadership Council:
      • 1 in 3 high-potential employees admits to not putting all her effort into her job.
      • 1 in 4 believes he will be working for another employer in a year.
      • 1 in 5 believes her personal aspirations are quite different from what the organization has planned for her.
      • 2 in 5 have little confidence in their co-workers and even less confidence in the senior team.
    • Spotting Potential is Hard
      • Some data from the NFL: (Massey & Thaler, 2010)
        • The probability that the first player drafted at a given position (e.g. Quarterback) is better than the second player drafted at the same position is 53 percent.
        • The probability that the first player drafted at a given position is better than the third player drafted at the same position is 55 percent.
        • The probability that the first player drafted at a given position is better than the fourth player drafted at the same position is 56 percent.
      • The NFL is a $ 9 Billion industry, and selects high-potential talent at a rate only 6 percent better than chance.
      • The financial implication? Teams typically pay at least four times as much to get the first player relative to the fourth player.
    • From the NFL to Corporate America
      • What potential implications do Massey and Thaler’s work in the fields of economics and sports have for high-potential programs?
      • Among others:
        • People tend to be overconfident in their abilities to assess potential talent.
        • Confidence and accuracy tend to be inversely related.
        • People tend to overvalue present performance and discount future performance, especially in high-pressure situations.
    • Key Organizational Questions
      • Potential for what and when?
      • Who owns them?
      • To tell or not to tell?
      • Fluid or not?
      • What types of developmental assignments?
    • Components of Potential
      • What Needs to be Assessed? (Silzer & Church, 2009)
        • Cognitive abilities.
        • Personality variables.
        • Learning variables.
        • Leadership skills.
        • Motivation.
        • Performance record.
        • Other?
      • Do these change or develop?
      • Do these facilitate or hinder growth in other areas?
      • Can these indicate/predict later career skills?
    • Science-Based Best Practices
      • Improve talent review sessions.
        • Clear definitions and criteria for high-potentials?
        • Objective and open process?
        • Awareness of potential biases and errors?
      • Hold managers accountable for developing talent.
      • Monitor the progress of high-potentials frequently.
        • Are robust and targeted development plans in place?
        • Are goals being met?
        • Are feedback and support being provided?
    • Developmental Obstacles
      • Flatter organizations with fewer “stepping-stone” roles.
      • Managers often lack information regarding the positions that are most likely to offer significant developmental opportunities.
      • Many developmental roles are “plugged” by individuals who are performing capably but may have limited advancement potential.
      • HIPO’s often lack a clear sense of direction once they are placed in a role – they need direction and support.
    • Developmental Possibilities
      • Expand Their Horizons: New regions, customers and products.
      • Fast-Track Them: Can they “skip a base?”
      • Develop Their Skills: Experiments in authority, subject to frequent review.
      • Inspire Them: Social causes, sabbaticals, special projects, personal passion and growth, etc.
      • And BTW, do these things in a way that is tailored and customized to the individual.
    • Mistakes to Avoid
        • No program at all.
        • Assuming high-potentials are highly engaged.
        • Equating current high-performance with future potential.
        • Lack of senior management personal involvement and ownership.
        • Treating high-potentials like everyone else (e.g. compensation).
        • Not linking to the company’s overall strategy.
        • No link to learning objectives.
        • Lack of talent-tracking metrics.
    • “ The most important responsibility that all of us have is to develop the leaders of the future. It’s the greatest challenge that we have, and the most important legacy that we can leave behind.” William C. Weldon Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Johnson & Johnson
      • Q & A
    • Thank-You! Todd Harris: 1.800.832.8884 [email_address]