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High Potential Development ProgramThe purpose and design of high-potential development programs varies widely from company to company as does the definition of a high-potential employee.

The Nielson Group specializes in customizing and delivering development programs that meet the client's objectives and significantly exceed the participant's expectations.


High-potentials are everywhere in an organization.

According to a 2014 CEB survey, more than two-thirds of organizations report they misidentify high-potential employees. Perhaps it isn't the misidentification of candidates. Perhaps it is the timing and effectiveness of the high-potential development program.

We offer "specialized and customized" programming to support senior-, mid- and early-level high potential programs.


Many companies have implemented Senior Leadership Development Programs (SLDP). A common approach applies a 70-20-10 model for learning delivery. The model is based on 70 percent of learning through on-the-job experience, 20 percent through informal conversations and 10 percent through formal learning programs. A typical SLDP program may involve a year-long cohort that starts with a two- or three-day face-to-face kickoff, virtual sessions that focus on readings from thought-leaders, case studies and virtual lectures from respected universities. Executive interaction is designed into to the program modules.

To address the 20 percent learned informally, topic-specific mentors are identified and partnered with participants to address a development gap.

We offer SLDP support
We offer a comprehensive leadership talent assessment and learning delivery around the assessments appropriate for an SLDP kickoff that enable each participant to focus on identifying their development needs. We also offer one-on-one coaching services.


Not seen as often are high potential development programs for mid- and early-high-potential programs.We refer to mid and early as descriptors for the employee level. With either of these programs, we recommend including Personal Insights for Accelerated Growth.

Early High-Potentials
For early high-potentials, those coming out of school or with less than five years of career experience who have been identified for a fast track development program, we suggest focusing about 35 percent on role awareness, 35 percent on self-awareness, collaboration and other role-required soft-skill development, and 30 percent gaining institutional knowledge. We offer best-in-class solutions for the first two components. We typically offer these in modules effectively delivered in seminar, webinar and triad (boss, employee, coach) format. Cohort interaction with senior leaders is a valuable component as well.

Mid-High Potentials
For mid-level high-potentials, those with at least one year with the company and five years of career experience (this can be a mix of managers and non-managers), we suggest focusing on self-awareness and soft skill development specific to the needs of the individual, career planning, role awareness and organizational influence. Our typical cohort design is four to six months with a 2-day kickoff, one-on-one coaching and 2-day closing summit, Each cohort has a designated senior executive sponsor who plays a role in the kickoff and closing as well as stays in touch with participants throughout the duration of the cohort.


To contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your needs and learn more about our offerings, call 972.346.2892.