Is your organisation at the top of its game in terms of selecting, developing and managing HIPOs?

Organisations today are functioning in a fast-paced, competitive and turbulent environment caused by various factors such as: The impact and speed of change, the ever-changing economic environment, hyper competition and globalisation.

At the heart of every organisation is its people and we know that an organisation’s competitive advantage lies in strategic human capital management (King, 2009 in Human Capital Review). A significant portion of the organisation’s future performance and success rests on the shoulders of those elite individuals identified as high potentials (HIPOs). HIPOs should however not be confused with high performers. HIPOs have the aspirations, talent and potential to be future leaders in the organisation whereas a high-performer, although important, does not necessary constitute a future leader or executive.

According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, high potentials (HIPOs) are defined as individuals who “consistently and significantly outperform their peer groups in a variety of settings and circumstances. While achieving these superior levels of performance, they exhibit behaviors that reflect their companies’ culture and values in an exemplary manner. Moreover, they show a strong capacity to grow and succeed throughout their careers within an organization—more quickly and effectively than their peer groups do.” (Ready, Conger & Hill, 2010).

HIPOs add value to the organisation if there is a clear HIPO strategy

In researching 45 companies world-wide on their practices in terms of identifying and developing HIPOs, Ready et al. (2010), found that 98% of the companies reported that they intentionally identify HIPOs. The Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) found, after interviewing 199 leaders attending the CCL’s leadership development programmes, that 77% of the interviewees indicated being formally identified as a HIPO is important (Campbell & Smith, 2010). The CCL (Campbell & Smith, 2010) study also showed that HIPOs expect more support, development opportunities and investment from their organisation; they are more committed and engaged to the organisation when they have a clear career path and they themselves help develop the next upcoming HIPOs as well as the general talent pool (Campbell & Smith, 2010).

If this is the case, it would be expected that organisations would be proficient in selecting , developing and managing HIPOs, but Bersin by Deloitte found that fewer than 15% of organisations are successful at all areas (plan, identify, develop, transition and manage) of a HIPO strategy (Deloitte Development LLC, 2013).

HIPOs are critical for the survival of organisations

With the current skills shortage, finding, developing and retaining HIPOs have to be part of every organisation’s strategic priority. Developing and retaining HIPOs is the best weapon organisations have to overcome the war for talent (Fernández-Aráoz, Groysberg &  Nohria, 2011 in Harvard Business Review)

Recognising there is need for organisations to be adept with all the specific areas of selecting, developing and managing HIPOs we have asked industry experts from Discovery, Microsoft, Vodacom, Accenture and more to share their expertise and learnings with others. These experts will be speaking at the Selecting and Developing High Potentials Seminar on the 28th of May 2013 and will address topics such as:

  • Challenges for selecting and developing High Potentials
  • The importance of innovation as a competency for High Potentials
  • An integrated assessment strategy to identifying, selecting and developing High Potentials
  • Unlocking your High Potentials’ talent and Retaining High Potentials

If your organisation is not at the top of its game in terms of selecting, developing and managing HIPOs, this is an opportunity to listen to thought-provoking presentations, learn from industry experts and engage with like-minded people.

For more information – click here now.


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