You know who your high performers are, right? They consistently receive the best ratings in the performance review process or they regularly hit their objectives.
But do you know who your high potentials are? This is trickier to determine. Most companies assume that their top talent has high potential, but research has shown this to not always be the case. High performers do well in their current job, which, by the way, is why they get promoted.
Yet many executives struggle once placed because they were not yet ready. Their potential had not been determined, and, as a consequence, they had not been prepared. So, for example, they put on their delivery hat when they need to be thinking long-term and strategically.
HR: take 10 minutes to speak with each of your customers about high potential people on their teams. Ask them to consider how well each direct report will perform 3-5 years out or 1 to 2 levels up.
Managers: take 10 minutes to explore each team member’s development goals and long-term interests. Ask them where they see their career going and how you can help them get there.
Connect these two pieces of information and you have the starting point for your company’s high potential talent pool. You can later add more rigor and structure by using standardized measurements to evaluate potential as well as a development program to target key skills.