Case Study

Identifying High Potential More Accurately

The Problem

A financial services company knew it needed to invest in a leadership pipeline that would build its ability to compete in a rapidly changing environment.

It needed to identify which of its existing well-performing leaders would be the “best” investment for a comprehensive leadership development experience.

The Solution

Executives at the company identified 41 managers who were seen as performing well and considered to have potential for development toward higher level management roles. The RBL method was then used to further sub-group these nominees into three ‘levels’ of potential:

  • Hi-potential leaders: Considered most likely to currently possess, or to grow and develop, the ability to handle the conceptual complexity characteristic of higher levels of management work, and also to have personality attributes that would facilitate success in, and growth towards, higher level roles.
  • Versatile leaders: Not high potential, but with a wide array of options to take on expanded roles within their function, or in an area which leverages their strengths but requires adding new skill and knowledge
  • Specialized leaders: Leaders whose growth opportunities will most likely continue to focus narrowly around a single domain of expertise, often because of strong professional interest in that domain.

Participants also received individual reports with clear development suggestions.

The Outcome

When compared with internal current performance-focused rankings, several critical differences were identified where leaders with higher potential had been overlooked internally while others had been over-rated.