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Identifying talent and potential

A global multinational in the beverages industry regards talent management to be one of its four pillars of competitive advantage.  It has implemented one of the most robust and sophisticated processes for identifying potential and managing talent currently on the market.

The Australian subsidiary of this multinational introduced a process in 2012 for identifying the potential of its talent to move into more senior roles in the future. The process is called the Career Path Appreciation (CPA) and it involves assessing the person's underlying cognitive capability or capacity to handle increasing levels of complexity.

This factor is well researched to be a valid and reliable indicator of a person's capacity and potential to work in more senior roles. When a person moves into higher levels of management the constant variable that they all face (despite their technical background or core competence) is needing to manage increasing levels of ambiguity, complexity and uncertainty. Time-frames for decision-making expand and a person needs to be able to model or anticipate what the business world, competitors, customer demands, systems and technologies will look like in 2, 5, 10 years and beyond.  

What has worked in the past is no longer a blue-print for success in the future.  This also means that organisations cannot rely on evaluations of current and past performance and competence as an indicator of success in the future.

The capabilities which become fundamental for charting new strategic directions and overcoming organisational competetitive threats are those which deal with capacities to handle increasing levels of complexity and ambiguity.

The CPA process is an objective, robust and proven measure of potential and future capability. It also provides valid and unbiased metrics to incorporate into succession planning and talent management decisions within the company. It avoids the subjective nature of managers making judgements about potential based on assessments of current and past performance.  Such decisions are not valid indicators of a person's potential.

Over the past three years most senior executive, senior managers and managers above a certain salary band have undertaken this process. The CPA has also been used for all new senior executive and senior manager recruits.  

The data from the CPA has been incorporated into the talent analysis and succession planning process for managing talent.

The key benefits of introducing this process has been:

  • much more robust and objective judgements on the potential of talent.
  • key inputs into succession planning decisions such as identifaction of future successors, timing of recommended transitions into new roles and development experiences required to actualise capability
  • providing rich insights into the development of meaningful longer-term development plans.

If you would like more information about the CPA process then click here.

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