How Office Politics Corrupt the Search for High-Potential Employees

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Garry Gay/Getty Images

Few topics have captivated talent management discussions more intensely than potential. The obsession with predicting who may be a future star or the next top leader has influenced academic research and human resources practices alike. But how good are we at evaluating human potential? The answer is, it’s mixed. On the one hand, science has given us robust tools and powerful theories to quantify the key indicators of future career success, job performance, and leadership effectiveness. On the other hand, in the real world of work, organizational practices lag behind, with 40% of designated “HiPos” — high-potential employees — not doing well in the future and at least one in two leaders disappointing, derailing, or failing to drive high levels of engagement and team performance.

The main reason underlying this bleak state of affairs is that HiPo nominations are contaminated by organizational politics. To be more precise,

Continue reading "How Office Politics Corrupt the Search for High-Potential Employees"

How Office Politics Corrupt the Search for High-Potential Employees

oct17-19-86962057-Garry-Gay
Garry Gay/Getty Images

Few topics have captivated talent management discussions more intensely than potential. The obsession with predicting who may be a future star or the next top leader has influenced academic research and human resources practices alike. But how good are we at evaluating human potential? The answer is, it’s mixed. On the one hand, science has given us robust tools and powerful theories to quantify the key indicators of future career success, job performance, and leadership effectiveness. On the other hand, in the real world of work, organizational practices lag behind, with 40% of designated “HiPos” — high-potential employees — not doing well in the future and at least one in two leaders disappointing, derailing, or failing to drive high levels of engagement and team performance.

The main reason underlying this bleak state of affairs is that HiPo nominations are contaminated by organizational politics. To be more precise,

Continue reading "How Office Politics Corrupt the Search for High-Potential Employees"

Analytics Training Isn’t Enough to Create a Data-Driven Workforce

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Vincent Tsui for HBR
When it comes to creating a more data-and-analytics-driven workforce, many companies make the mistake of conflating analytics training with data adoption. While training is indeed critical, having an adoption plan in place is even more essential. Any good adoption plan should focus on continual learning. This might include online or recorded refresher sessions; mentors; online resources for questions, feedback, and new ideas; or a certification process. It might even mean rethinking your organization’s structure or core technologies. Based on my experience, here are three ways leaders can shift a company culture from a one-and-done focus on “training” employees in analytics to an “always on” focus on analytics adoption: Form competency centers. At a high level, a competency center is a collection of domain experts who are given a goal to improve agility, foster innovation, establish best practices, provide training (and mentoring), and be a communications engine. These centers should be “owned
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When Coaching Finds That an Executive Isn’t in the Right Role

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In the traditional view of executive coaching, an executive, with her boss’s participation, takes personality assessments, receives 360-degree feedback, and creates and implements a development plan designed to address performance gaps, optimize her contribution, and prepare her for new responsibilities. This approach is based on the fundamental belief that enhancing performance in a role as currently structured, is the best way ahead. However, in some cases, the coaching reveals that the person is in the wrong role. Some people are qualified on paper, but for political, historical, or personality reasons can’t really succeed on a given team or in a particular job. Other people may have many talents and a great track record of past success, but are not thriving in their present role as it is currently defined. When this becomes clear, bosses too often prematurely conclude that they have to fire the person or that the
Continue reading "When Coaching Finds That an Executive Isn’t in the Right Role"

When Coaching Finds That an Executive Isn’t in the Right Role

jul17-31-567092167
In the traditional view of executive coaching, an executive, with her boss’s participation, takes personality assessments, receives 360-degree feedback, and creates and implements a development plan designed to address performance gaps, optimize her contribution, and prepare her for new responsibilities. This approach is based on the fundamental belief that enhancing performance in a role as currently structured, is the best way ahead. However, in some cases, the coaching reveals that the person is in the wrong role. Some people are qualified on paper, but for political, historical, or personality reasons can’t really succeed on a given team or in a particular job. Other people may have many talents and a great track record of past success, but are not thriving in their present role as it is currently defined. When this becomes clear, bosses too often prematurely conclude that they have to fire the person or that the
Continue reading "When Coaching Finds That an Executive Isn’t in the Right Role"

Nearly Half of Companies Say They Don’t Have the Digital Skills They Need

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The companies that think their employees’ digital IQs are unimportant are probably few and far between. After all, in just one decade the concept of “digital” has changed from a niche skill set to something that’s mandatory for virtually all blue-chip companies. If you don’t feel that your employees’ digital IQs are competitive, you have a major problem on your hands. Unfortunately, for many companies, that’s exactly the situation they find themselves in. On a global basis, companies are losing faith in their digital smarts. In PwC’s 2017 Global Digital IQ Survey, 52% rated their digital IQ as strong. Compare that with 67% and 66% in 2016 and 2015, respectively. The survey, conducted among 2,200 technology executives, identified critical skill gaps such as cybersecurity and privacy. It’s not that employees are getting less tech-savvy; it’s that the market demands more of each and every one of them. The word “digital” used
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