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Performance Assessment and Succession Planning

Talent Assessment Options

There are many Talent Assessment Options. Some of the ones considered were:

The Performance/Potential Matrix

Performance Potential →
Leadership Competencies ↓
Performing at Expectations
High Performance
Lagging Leadership Below average performance and inconsistent leadership behaviors; operating from previous business models despite feedback focus is on performance management Solid business performance today but with risk of falling behind due to lack of leadership capability Good current performance but with risk of inability to grow leadership capabilities, expertise and future focus as required by the business; focus is on developing leadership capability with emphasis on
Leading for Today Average to below average performance with limited capacity to increase performance through management and leadership capabilities; focus is on evaluating fit in the role; development is on improving performance Solid management and performance for today’s business challenges; potential to maximize contribution in current business model; focus on development of leadership capabilities and maintaining required expertise Strong business performance and strong day to day management of the business/function; management style is focused on today’s challenges; focus is on developing leadership capability with emphasis on innovation
Horizon Leadership High Potential leader who is underperforming due to newness of role, business strategy or management team: focus is on enhancing contribution and leveraging leadership capabilities Solid Performance with high potential to make significant contributions to the business; positioned to excel by leveraging leadership capabilities in challenging assignments Exceptional performance coupled with strong leadership capability to drive innovative growth of business; focus is on leveraging against critical needs of business

This matrix is an individual assessment tool that evaluates both an employee's current contribution to the organization and their potential level of contribution. It is commonly used in succession planning as a method of evaluation an organization's talent pool, identifying potential leaders, and identifying any gaps or risks. It is regularly considered a catalyst for robust dialogue and is considered more accurate than one person's opinion. The performance/potential matrix can be a diagnostic tool for development.

What is "Potential"?

Potential here refers to the ability for a team member to move to the next level and scale with the company compared to peers.

Talent Placement

The Talent placement process is loosely as follows:

From beginning to end this process is typically 4-6 weeks.

Competencies →
Accountabilities ↓
Less effective
Most Effective
Less effective 9 8 6
Effective 7 4 3
Most effective 5 2 1

Boxes 1, 2, and 3 consistute your high performers, which are usually about 25% of the company. Boxes 7, 8, and 9 will require focus to improve and sustain performance. These are usually 10-15% of the organization. Roughly 60-65% of the organization will fall into Boxes 4, 5, and 6. These are your Core Performers. All distributions are suggested by level (i.e. you wouldn't compare an Intermediate IC with a Director).

Employees in Boxes 1, 2, 3, and 4 are those who consistently demonstrate the highest potential for future success and promotability.

Skill/will matrix

The Skill/will matrix is used to determine what is the best management approach for a given person, based on their level of skill and their level of will. This is a snapshot, not a a holistic assessment. A person is rarely in one quadrant all of the time. This is a guide, not a mandate.

This matrix is best used when assessing a team member for a specific task or role, where skill is how competent or able (i.e. experience, training, knowledge, talent) a person is to do something, and will is how motivated or eager (i.e. desire to achieve, initiative, security surrounding task/job, confidence in abilities, feelings about the task) they are to do something.

Skill →
Will ↓
Low Manage Out Train & Develop
High Action Plan Delegate & Promote

Up and coming

When completing this exercise, it is worth also presenting up and coming, high performers in the org. These are made up of more than just people who report directly to the leader at the center of the exercise, but can be someone in the function at any level of the org chart. These may be people who are "up next" for promotions but also may not be. This can help the leader's peers provide feedback on the developing leaders in a function.

Succession Planning

The succession planning process starts with leaders doing a performance/potential matrix of each of their direct reports.

The resulting charts are reviewed with peers, e.g. all other executives, all other senior leaders in the function, etc. Then 1 succession planning table

Person Jane Doe John Doe
Role Job Title Job Title
Emergency Someone who could take over this role if the current person were affected by a lottery factor or had to take emergency leave  
Ready Now Someone who could be promoted into the role today  
1-2 Years Someone who could be trained and elevated into the role in 1-2 years  
3-5 Years Someone who could be trained and elevated into the role in 3-5 years