ThreeFish Consulting: 5 Questions on High Potential Talent

TFCTake5_PP1*This is an interview with Dr. Pradnya Parasher, Founder & CEO of ThreeFish Consulting, on High Potential Talent Development in India. 

In India, tenure and seniority have traditionally tipped the scales while creating a leadership pipeline. Now that old rules are being questioned, is it time to throw out all of the old and ring in everything new? Maybe not!   

Q1. Are you seeing Indian companies looking at identifying high potential employees?

Indian companies have valued tenure, loyalty, and seniority – this has its own due merit as experience and wisdom accompany seniority. With the advent of high-profile hires from management schools and diverse talent pools, Indian companies are looking at talent development differently. Accelerating the growth of high potential employees and scientific, methodical assessment of potential are therefore gaining traction. Newer talent management practices of assessment and diagnostics such as our personality-based tools now prove invaluable.

Tenure is not irrelevant – organizational knowledge, wisdom, the maturity which comes with age and experience are all products of tenure. Within the same system, the need isto additionally look for those who we can stretch more, earlier in their careers. High potential employees like to be challenged – if not challenged, they can get bored and seek their challenge elsewhere. Therefore, identification of high potentials is not just to accelerate careers but also to identify those gems who are ready to take on higher challenges; and should be challenged.

Q2. How has the Hogan High Potential Model worked for you in India?

The Hogan High Potential Model is well-researched. Leadership themes and competencies defined in the Hogan High Potential Model are quite universal and generalizable to the Indian work context. It identifies nine leadership competencies that are clustered under three themes.

  • Leadership Foundations
  • Leadership Effectiveness
  • Leadership Emergence

Traditional Indian companies seem to value effectiveness and foundations. Multinationals and fast-growing Indian companies value leadership emergence more. High potential identification processes are often biased toward noticing “Emergent” leaders and overlooking “Effective” leaders. Using the Hogan HiPo model, organizations are able to see if they are operating with similar bias.

Q3. Where have you seen the Hogan High Potential Model being implemented successfully in India?

We’ve successfully deployed the Hogan High Potential Model across multiple sectors – traditional manufacturing, insurance, andprivate universities are some cases. Indian companies are under tremendous pressure to grow their leadership talent. Many of them find value in using well-researched, standard models of leadership, even as they pursue defining their company-specific leadership competency models.

We are currently working with an Indian agribusiness company that has recently acquired companies in Europe and Americas, and are leveraging Hogan’s HiPo model to quick-start data-driven leadership development.

Q4. So how do you typically work with the Hogan High Potential Model in India?

It’s a simple online hour-long assessment of the same three Hogan inventories – HPI, HDS, and MVPI. A validated report is generated that gives people a range of scores on the set of nine competencies. In-depth, one-on-one coaching sessions are scheduled to debrief the results, generate insights, and build targeted development plans. Sometimes, development continues in the form of micro-learning modules or ongoing coaching for change.

Aggregate, group level data is analyzed to get a baseline of the current leadership talent pool. Group level analysis enables organizations to note strengths and gaps in talent.

Individual talent “deep dives” include triangulating data from Hogan assessments, current and past performance records, and self-reports from the concerned person. This combination aides the creation of robust career development and leadership development plans for individuals. The company is able to objectively understand each individual – a strengths and opportunities matrix with assessment of potential can be evolved.

Q5. What, if any, are the challenges in this deployment?

The Hogan High Potential Model is a standardized model. Wherever companies have their own leadership competency model, they would like to assess potential against their competencies. In that case, we recommend a mapping of Hogan scales to the company’s competency model for evaluating potential.

However, I see more opportunities and benefits than challenges. Hogan’s HiPo solution is reliable, scalable, and easy to deploy globally. That is the key advantage that all of our clients have valued when adopting this solution.