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19th June 2013 - Views

Developing High Potential Employees

Right Management has a set of tools that not only support the identification of high potential individuals, but also ensure that the organisation knows why they are high potential and what they can do to develop this key cohort of talent. The outcomes we achieve with our clients include the development of a strong leadership pipeline; the validation and return on investment of the identification and development process; an increase in personal career ownership mapped to business needs; effective delivery of HR and business strategies and increased engagement of this valuable population.

We do this by:

Phase Description Output
Diagnosis Individuals undertake a number of diagnistics associated with the three areas of our potential model – career drive & aspiration, agility and organisational confidence/work perfonamce, mapped onto your leadership competence/critical roles – e.g. career aspirations interview, MVPI (Motivational and Value inventory), a 360 tool, other personality profiles (e.g. HPI, HDI). Validation of your identified high potential individuals.
A report for eachindividual indicating strength/development against each of three key areas of the high potential model
A composite report for the cohort against each of the three areas of the model
Planing A working session to discuss outputs for each individual and outline a coaching plan.
This phase would also include time for the coach to review the development plzn and diagnostics
A coaching plan for each individual validated as high potential against each of the three key areas of the high potential model
An alternative development plan for those not validated as high potential
Coaching Bespoke coaching programme for each individual – e.g. 2-6 coaching sessions with variable focus on each of the three areas – career drive & aspiration, agility and organizational confidence/work perfomance Discussion/feedback on the diagnostics & development report.
Achievment of agreed coaching objectives. These would integrate the development plan, diagnostics and outputs of a 3 way discussion with the coach, coachee and line manager
Review A repeat of key measures used at the diagnosis stage (e.g. 360, stakeholder feedback) to assess development across the cohort against the three of the high potential model.
An assesment of reported achievement of coaching objectives.
A review report describing:

  • Individual and group development against the three areas of the high potential model.
  • Composite scores of achievement of coaching objectives
  • Qualitative feedback on the organisational themes from coaches


Right Management’s model of high potential is based on a thorough meta-analysis of existing models and future talent trends. It has identified three critical characteristics of high potential; Career Drive and Aspiration; Agility; and Organisational Confidence & Work Performance. We have devised simple methods of measuring these qualities through a combination of interviews, questionnaires, psychometric tests and work simulations, that together result in providing the individual and the organisation with the information required to achieve personal and business success.


Right Management integrates developmental planning with a tailored and accountable executive coaching delivery. Right Management’s best practice is to initially have our certified assessors provide feedback from all of our validated instruments to each participant. Then each participant is assigned an executive coach to assist in building their own development plan and then meet with their manager for feedback and/or validation of this plan from a strategic business perspective.


We design and deliver a bespoke coaching programme focused on the specific areas for development. Programmes are highly flexible, so sometimes we will just be running 2 sessions to support an individual with career drive, other times we will be undertaking a 6 month programme focused on several aspects of the high potential model, or on an in-depth issue such as confidence or impact. We have an in-depth approach to matching coaches to coachees based on multiple factors (including similarity/difference, personality, background, experience, coaching discipline) to ensure the chemistry between coach and coachee is right.

Typical areas we work on with high potentials are:

  • Developing confidence
  • Reinvigorating career drive and aspirations
  • Broadening range of influencing skills
  • Scoping a career plan
  • Growing agility
  • Improving performance
  • Improving impact and presence
  • Reputation management/growing personal profile in the organisation

Coaching allows individuals some one-to-one time to tackle issues that are individual to them, plus the time and space to explore any blockers and work at a level of depth not easily achieved in group situations. One-to-one time also demonstrates to the individual that they are valued and invested in. People often tell us that coaching has developed them more than any other intervention they have experienced.

Our work with future leaders and high potentials has reinforced our knowledge that they are quite different in their approach to learning and development than other groups; they are more demanding, need to be stretched/challenged more, value ‘higher touch’ interventions, expect higher quality and so on. In addition organisations can place a different set of demands on such individuals leading to different pressures and challenges. We take all this into consideration in designing and delivering programmes with such groups. All assignments have a coaching plan, a 3 way meeting to define objectives and – for longer programmes – a 3 way meeting to review outcomes. The coaching tackles measurable, business relevant objectives and we use highly qualified coaches experienced in working with high potentials.

Where it is more appropriate, we are also able to identify and provide other forms of support including classroom learning, development centres, action learning, work based assignments and personal development planning. Our leadership development programmes can be designed from scratch, or be tailored from our Leadership Development Skills Suite (e.g. Influencing, Conflict Management, Motivating, Mentoring, Performance Coaching, Decision Making, Interpersonal Communication Skills, Problem Solving, Time Management).


Continual improvement is monitored and reviewed to ensure on-going validation and return on investment. Development KPI’s agreed are re-visited each 12 – 24 month period, with a selection of the diagnosis tools used to assess the cohort to ensure they are developing the three high potential characteristics and using them in their management roles.

For more information about our approach to and ongoing work with Hi potential employees, please contact