People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 9

Development at Lee Hecht Harrison,
concludes this selection with the strong
defense on behalf of talent management primary users, the managers.
Garcia concludes nothing we do will
succeed if we do not redesign the
existing over-engineered practices with
the busy managers reality in mind. The
science behind talent management is
persuasive, but the application is overdue for an upgrade.
Our opening Perspective is longer
than typical for this section. We wanted
to acknowledge the 10-year anniversary
that passed since Bob Eichinger wrote
the very first Perspective for this journal
and with 50 years of steady innovative
contributions to talent management,
our lead author has a lot to offer!
Anna Tavis, Ph.D., is associate professor
of human capital management at New York
University, Perspectives editor, and coeditor
of Point Counterpoint II. She can be reached
at anna.tavis@nyu.edu.

POI N T:

The War for How
to do Talent
Management or
is There Really
Anything New?
By Robert W. Eichinger
I have been in the talent management
business for 50 years with PepsiCo,
Pillsbury, CCL, Lominger, KornFerry,
HRPS and NeuroLeadership Institute. Attended hundreds of keynotes
and panels. I've coached hundreds of
executives and written over 50 articles, products and services. Trained
and mentored TM talent and studied
competencies, engagement, 360, the
nine-box, learning agility, 70/20/10 and
pool planning.
On my way out (hopefully up), I
thought it might be useful to comment
on the state of talent management.
There are still a number of open debates, like should we tell people they are

a high potential? Is it nature or nurture? Performance and potential? My
viewpoint on these issues is somewhere
in between a practitioner and a scientist
melded together by a long time observing. There are still unknowables and
some debates will never be settled, but
let's give it a try.

1. Is there such a thing
as potential?

It's real. People are different. Many
don't make a difference in work performance. Many differences that shouldn't
(race, gender and sexual preference,
religion, ethnic background) still
might. And a few characteristics do
make a difference (cognitive skills,
motivation, EI/EQ, perspective, learning agility, experiences).
Potential, a combination of x number (lists differ, but are similar) of characteristics, is real, is roughly normally
distributed, and is proven to be related
to performance and being promoted.

2. Potential for what?

For the most part, it is the potential
to manage people and processes in
complex changing conditions. There is
potential for innovation, product and
service creation, technical advances and
deep individual excellence (like AI).
There is also a special kind of potential
for international/global service. But it's
mostly about being an agile strategist
and people manager and leader during
times of challenge and change. The
characteristics that make a difference
are mostly about managing the people
proposition deployed against a winning
strategy.

3. Nature versus Nurture

I think this is settled science mostly due
to the many twin studies. What do we
know? In general, people characteristics
are 50% built in and 50% developed. If
you have a list of critical skills and competencies, there will be wide differences
in the ratio. IQ may be the most built
in. Something like perspective less so
with action orientation in the middle.
But, it doesn't really matter because
everything is able to be enhanced.
Given a willing motivated client, a
supportive environment and a skilled
coach, everything can be improved.

Given self-awareness, a plan and a goal
and a boss, mentor or coach to help,
mostly everyone can grow and develop
anything. Possibly the higher the nature
component, the harder the task, but not
impossible.

4. Potential versus
Performance

They are not the same short term, but
are more the same long term. Putting
aside the difficulty of how we measure
performance, the highest performers
today in this job, at this time, at this
level, in this set of conditions are not
necessarily people who can go on and
be exemplars at the next level up. In
general, high-potentials don't stay long
enough to be master performers until
they get into their last few jobs. They
move through roles and jobs faster than
others. There are master performers
who were there when the high-potentials get to a new job and remain when
the high-potentials leave for their next
developmental assignment. At the bottom and the middle of the enterprise,
the high-potentials should seldom be
the best performers. The high-potentials
should be the best performers at the top
of the organization. I (along with others
simultaneously) created the so-called
nine-box at PepsiCo because managers
confound performance and potential.
We created the performance-potential
matrix to educate and get a better estimate of potential. It was also designed to
defeat the manager's reluctance to rate
people low on anything. For the ninebox to work, it has to be rank ordered
estimates, top third, middle third, lowest
third on performance and potential. It
does not work with absolute placement.
That defeats the design. Additionally,
managers need a lot of education on
how to assess potential. Unfortunately,
most organizations do not use the
nine-box correctly and therefore, its
usefulness is diminished. And since
most of the estimating managers are not
high-potentials themselves, the estimate
process is very spotty.

5. Are men and
women different?

Yes. In very important ways. But political correctness does not allow this
discussion.
VOLUME 41 | ISSUE 1 | WINTER 2018

9



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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http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/HRPS/hrps_40_1_2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/HRPS/hrps_39_4_2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/HRPS/hrps_39_3_2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/HRPS/hrps_39_2_2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/HRPS/hrps_39_1_2016
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http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/HRPS/d47867_hrps_winter2015
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