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‘Potentials’ – do you have them in your organisation?

So, ‘Potentials’ – do you have them in your organisation? I’d like to explore this thought with you in a little more detail.

Think about two questions for a moment:

  1. What is meant by ‘potential’?
  2. How is your organisation utilising ‘potential’ within the workplace?

If you define ‘potential’ you get something along the lines of “showing the capacity to develop into something in the future”. We often get excited by ‘potential’ in business today. Whether that’s identifying potential in new market opportunities or potential new ideas, but its people I’m most interested in.

In organisations I regularly hear comments like ‘he or she has amazing potential to be the next manager of department/team/area’. This is great, however when I ask the question, how are you developing this person into the role? I usually get the response “we aren’t”. Have you heard the same?

I often challenge this approach as personally I don’t feel this is right (you may feel differently). I feel if you have identified someone with ‘potential’, then organisations should create a clear individual development plan which will provide support in developing the required knowledge, skills and behaviours to fulfil the role successfully.

This got me thinking about why aren’t organisations investing in the succession planning of their talent within their organisation, my initial thoughts are:

  • There isn’t a clear achievable succession strategy in place – yes there may be a talent strategy in place but is it clear and achievable? Is there the drive to carry it forward? Personally I think not, but I am more than happy to be challenged on this.
  • The good, the bad and the ugly – I know there are many Management Development and Graduate programmes out there but do they provide the right skills, knowledge and behaviours?
  • There isn’t the time to develop talent – whilst many organisations do allow a certain percentage of time to development, is it the correct development?
  • Is there the support available? – whilst I hear lots of organisations use different support models – are they always being utilised in the correct manner?
  • Is there a sense of being scared? – In the words of Richard Branson, “What happens if we invest in these people and they leave, well what happens if you don’t”?
  • Maybe organisations don’t care – they know if they need a certain skill then they can recruit externally – there is a mass market of skills within the market place.

So where do we go from here on the impact this may have on the ‘potentials’ within your organisations:

  • How does this make them feel?
  • Are they motivated within their role to progress?
  • Are they aware of their own skills set to progress within the organisation?
  • Will they stay?
  • Or are they just happy to continue with the way they are working?

I feel there are many discussion points to be had on this topic and I am just at the start of my learning journey but would really like to get your thoughts and ideas on what you think. just get in touch!

‘Potentials’ – do you have them in your organisation?

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