The Power of Potential

How valuable is potential? What is personal initiative worth? Can we combine - insanely - demanding jobs with organizational development? What is the power of potential?

2015 10 02 1104


Let’s ask Sharon.

Sharon is an attendee in one of the talent management / development programs that I helped design and still deliver. The program aims to bring potential to promotion and to aid in the organization’s mission to fulfill 80% of all vacancies with homegrown talents. A key workplace ingredient is what we’ve started to call “PlusProjects”. These organizational projects are undertaken in an 8 month period and are undertaken with the footnote that the PlusProject will either augment and at best not endanger any key performance indicators. How are these projects drafted, you may wonder? Not by handing them to our potentials, but by inciting managers and directors into an active dialogue on this topic with their potentials. Sharon and her colleagues have access to just-in-time training and performance support. Call this our 70 trump card, or our 70 and 20 intervention: that’s up to you.

Sharon takes the stage to deliver her TED talk. How had she fared,since the start of the program in February 2015? Where had she seen personal growth and organizational development?

Picture this. Sharon stands next to a flip-over where she had drawn the road she had travelled. Twisty, winding, rocky. And then, as a final waypoint, she’d written the metrics of her organizational development project:

Her team was active for:

  • 5 clients in 2014
  • 12 clients year to date in 2015

This amounted to:

  • € 38,000.- in revenue in 2014
  • € 600,000.- in revenue year to date in 2015

These numbers are staggering, aren't they? Even more interesting from a development standpoint, is that it took Sharon just one realization, just one insight to get the ball rolling. She saw that her incredible strength and stamina had placed her ahead of her pack, but for the team this had disastrous consequences. Sharon’s realization that she could focus her strengths on igniting the talents in her team turned a sputtering motor into a flywheel, or a Dual Drive Tesla model S, whichever you prefer.

I’m ready to break down any organizational silo, paradigm or (HR) culture to unleash the power of potential and help potential to flourish. Are you?

Tags: talent development, innovation, talent management

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