People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 30

well with the unique culture and created a positive impression often had a profound impact on being selected as a
HiPo. One organization, for example, had a cultural trait
of "nice" people being highly valued. Employees in this
organization who showed high consideration and concern
for others would often be considered as HiPo's even though
they lacked other leadership skills.

What Did the Misplaced HiPos Lack?

Many of the misplaced HiPos lacked interpersonal skills.
They did not excel in their collaboration and teamwork and
were not good at building relationships and reaching out to
other groups. As a result, they did not inspire their co-workers to perform at their highest level and were not perceived
as developing others. They tended to have an inward rather
than outward focus and lacked good communication skills.
Other skills consistently missing in the misplaced HiPos
were strategic perspective and the ability to inspire and motivate others. Research done for several other studies has
shown that strategic perspective is the biggest difference
between leaders at the highest level in organizations and
those in mid-management. Inspiring and motivating others
is a close second. These must be acquired for a person to
succeed in a position two or more levels above their current
role.

What are the costs of misplacing
people in a HiPo program?

We know of no research that has attempted to rigorously
quantify the cost of misplacing someone in a company HiPo
program. That may be because it is an extremely complex
calculation, as well as highly subjective. Some of the costs
include:
1. Personal costs. Strong and effective individual contributors can be encouraged to pursue a management path that
is the often the wrong place for them to be, which often
results in a career detour. The company clearly pays some
price, but worse yet, the individual's career is mistakenly
diverted or interrupted. They often pay the price for that
in dollars, satisfaction, and personal happiness.
2. Impact of wrong promotions. Nearly everyone knows
about or has worked for a bad manager sometime in their
career. Worse yet, most have worked in organizations with
one or more ineffective executives. To the extent that the
wrong person is promoted in part because of their inclusion in the company HiPo program, there are consequences. Poor leaders diminish:
* Employee engagement
* Personnel retention
* Customer satisfaction
* Productivity
* Innovation
* Profitability
3. Opportunity costs. Money and time spent on the development of the wrong person is diverted from that same
time and money being spent on the right candidate. The
consequences of lost opportunity costs are obviously hard
to calculate with precision, but they clearly exist.
30

PEOPLE + STRATEGY

It is hard to ascribe an exact dollar cost to each of the
above factors. No two situations are alike. What is known is
that the costs are real, and sometimes catastrophic. Senior
leaders create the culture of the organization and culture
determines its success in the long run.

How Can Organizations Minimize Making
Bad Selections for HiPo Programs?

Participants in a company's HiPo program are most often
selected by a group of executives who have in turn solicited
input from their colleagues. Managers are often asked to
nominate participants, and the power and persuasion skills
of the nominator have a strong influence on who is included
in the program.
How do organizations improve their process in selecting
the right people?
1. Be clear about the characteristics of a true HiPo. Many
organizations have competency models that have been
developed for purposes of providing direction to their
leadership development activities. This is a good place to
begin. Place emphasis on the candidate's ability to think
strategically and to provide inspiration and energy to
those whom they would manage, given that those are the
most notable deficiencies we found for those who did not
belong in the HiPo group. Organizations need to ensure
that their competency model reflects where they aspire
to be, versus where they have been. If the organization
aspires to become more global or to move into digital
products and services, the competency model should ideally reflect those changes.
2. Seek data from several raters rather than relying on any
one person's views. Much has been written about rater
bias. The evaluation a person receives is often strongly
influenced by who does the rating. It can be nearly as
much of a determining factor as the individual's actual
performance. While the manager's rating is the single
most accurate and predictive rating, it is not always the
best measure of the person's performance or potential.
The way to combat single rater bias is to obtain data from
multiple raters.
We are convinced that this is the best explanation for
the one company described earlier that had far fewer
misplaced people in their HiPo group. That organization's
managers had access to their subordinate's 360-degree
feedback data, and each 360-degree feedback report
included ratings from an average of 13 colleagues. Having
access to that report gave the company the benefit of
seeing how multiple raters perceived this person's performance and their potential.
The best predictor of the future is the past. But is all past
performance equal? Does it matter if the performance is
recent rather than decades old? Does it matter if the past
performance was in a similar role? Does it matter if the organizations were similar? We are convinced that past promotions received should be given greater weight as predictors
of potential. Indeed, they may be the best single measure of
performance and potential.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1

From The Executive Editor
From The Guest Editors
Perspectives
So You Want to Be a High-Potential?
How to Identify and Grow High Potentials: A CEO’s Perspective with Proven Results
Getting the Right People in the Hi-Po Pool
Wherefore Art Thou All Our Women High-Potentials?
Are Your HiPos Overrated?
Executive Roundtable
In First Person
Linking Theory + Practice
Insight into Action
Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Cover1
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Cover2
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 1
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 2
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 3
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - From The Executive Editor
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - From The Guest Editors
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 6
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 7
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Perspectives
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 9
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 10
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 11
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 12
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 13
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 14
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 15
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 16
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - So You Want to Be a High-Potential?
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 18
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 19
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 20
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 21
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - How to Identify and Grow High Potentials: A CEO’s Perspective with Proven Results
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 23
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 24
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 25
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 26
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 27
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Getting the Right People in the Hi-Po Pool
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 29
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 30
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 31
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Wherefore Art Thou All Our Women High-Potentials?
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 33
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 34
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 35
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 36
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 37
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Are Your HiPos Overrated?
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 39
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 40
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 41
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Executive Roundtable
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 43
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 44
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 45
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 46
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 47
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - In First Person
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 49
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Linking Theory + Practice
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 51
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 52
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 53
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Insight into Action
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 55
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 57
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 58
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Cover3
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Cover4
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