Every company has some high-potential leaders in their midst. The challenge is to identify them and nurture their development, a task much easier said than done. High-potential development is a critical talent management priority for many organizations and doing it well is a practice of high-performance organizations.
Recently we hosted a webinar in conjunction with Training Industry where Ellen Foley and I explored this topic and provided some best practices to develop a high-potential leadership program.
Here are four priorities for optimizing return on investment in high-potential development, based on our 40 years of leadership development experience and a close review of recent high-potential research.
- Clarify the stretch that is being asked of high-potential leaders. What are they being asked to do and how will they do it? This clarity is too often missing and limits the ability of high-potential programs to deliver on planned outcomes
- Match the people with the right traits with the right learning experiences. Failure to effectively match capabilities with experience means that graduates of a high-potential program are not equipped for bigger roles and job failure results.
- Help participants overcome challenging skill application situations with mentorship from senior leaders and expert facilitation new business and interpersonal/leadership skill development. Expert coaching/facilitation and mentoring from senior leaders are vital investments in successfully completing the trial and error process of learning to think and do differently.
- Build an ecosystem of reinforcing connections that facilitate high-potential career advancement. When career advancement does not follow career development, modest outcomes occur.
Interested in more research and best practices for developing and amplifying high-potential leaders?