Organizations work hard to identify those team members who possess high potential. In the collective eyes of the organization, these are people who display a special talent. This X-factor distinction presumes a favorable pathway forward and those with the label are typically given more opportunity to shine.
Great post. I have made a similar argument for a while where I work. It has been difficult to get leadership here to see it.
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Re: Spaces conversation - What companies are doing a good job at this? I've heard Pepsi is good at this. I worked for an HR Leader (Pete Leddy) who came up through the ranks there. I remember he made a comment about Indra Nooyi's succession to CEO at a conference several years back. He said she was on 'the list' as a potential candidate going back 10 or 15 years. Allan Church leads their Pepsi's Talent Management function and is a highly respected person within the I/O community.