Taking Potential to the Maximum

January 19, 2018

Taking Potential to the Maximum

Assessment and development of potential continues to be a key priority of almost all organizations.  Early identification of potential is nearly an industry in itself.  Those designated as having high potential receive greater attention, although what this actually means can vary widely across organizations and executives.   As business models transform, and as careers and the very design of work evolves, we need to also understand where and how the application of potential assessment and development is also changing. 


If you are in the business of leveraging people and strategy, then you surely have given considerable thought to maximizing the potential of your best talent.   There is no shortage of business books, pundits, and blogs, with programs and instruments that promise to help you achieve your aspirations.  With so much advice available, you likely wonder which of it really stands the test of time, what have we learned that is new over the years, and how do you make it all work for yourself and your company.


We are fortunate to have Allan Church and Jay Conger join us as guest editors for this issue.  Allan leads Global Talent Assessment and Development for PepsiCo, and Jay is the Henry Kravis Chaired Professor of Leadership Studies at Claremont McKenna College.  Each is widely recognized for their quality of thought and ability to get beyond fad and fashion.  When they speak at conferences, whether the topic is leadership, high potential assessment, or organizational development, you can be sure the room fills early and there will be a standing-room only crowd.  


Busy as Allan and Jay have been collaborating on a new book, The High Potential’s Advantage, they made the time to reach out to some of the most reflective researchers and practitioners, inviting them to weigh in on this issue of the journal.  As you read the feature articles and columns, I’m sure you will want to share this entire issue across your talent management function, and that there will be specific articles you want to provide to leaders where you work.  


The HRPS website maintains a blog so you too can join the conversation.  Let us know how you and your colleagues are maximizing the potential of those who work with you, and what really makes a difference.

The Authors: 

Marc Sokol, Ph.D., is executive editor of People + Strategy and the principal and founder of Sage Consulting Resources. An organizational psychologist, consultant, executive coach, writer, and speaker on workplace dynamics, Marc has worked in both the public and private sectors, with leaders and companies across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. He is also on the advisory board of the University of Maryland’s Masters of Professional Studies in Industrial Organizational Psychology. He can be reached at marc.sokol@sageHRD.com.