This brilliant Harvard Business Review article below covers two critical aspects when it come to identifying talent and developing people:
First of all, the inconvenient truth that not everybody has potential, as 21st century self-improvement theories like to suggest.
Second, it gives highly valuable advice on how to actually identify high potential in your organization.
Based on my own corporate experience as well as in my work as Leadership Advisor and Executive Coach, many companies take a wrong approach in identifying talent. That is first and foremost confusing performance with potential, and related to this, the wrong assumption that past performance in one role can predict future performance in another.
If you are in a leadership role or in HR, you should focus on ability, social skills, and drive when you lookout for talent in your organization.
In our view, HiPo interventions should focus on predicting who is likely to become a key driver of organizational performance. That is, they should define future stars as the people who will “consistently generate exorbitant output levels that influence the success or failure of their organizations.’’ Fortunately, science reveals that regardless of the context, job, and industry, such individuals tend to share a range of measurable qualities, which can be identified fairly early in the process. In a review that compared scientific research on predictors of job performance to the qualities in highest demand for the 21st century workforce, we identified three general markers of high potential: Ability (...,) Social Skills (... and) Drive