Remember your first day – in what was identified by peers as the hardest class with the toughest professor – in your freshman college year?

The professor with the scary reputation always started the class with “Look to your right; look to your left.  One of you will not be here by the end of the semester.”

Your company’s Human Resources team is much more sophisticated than that scary college professor and today, they use some variation of a Leadership Talent Management Model to:

  • Assess leadership bench strength
  • Identify the ‘keepers’
  • Move those employees – with the potential to provide an excellent return on development dollars invested – through a series of broadening assignments
  • Offer job-related training to those employees and leaders who are the “bedrock” workers but will never move beyond their current level of contribution
  • Make ‘keep or release’ decisions about those employees and leaders whose skills are out of date.

In 1957, Igor Ansoff, known as the father of Strategic Management, introduced what has become known as the 9 Box Model.  The original 9 Box Model matrix was a useful framework for analysis or planning. For many companies, a 9 Box Model is  a sophisticated business-oriented matrix for designing and implementing strategies for recruiting; orienting; on-boarding; developing; assessing; rewarding; promoting and even terminating employees and members of the leadership team.

Here’s a typical 9 Box Model used by HR teams to form the lens with which to assess internal talent:

Now that you know one method for how talent is assessed, you should take the opportunity to assess yourself.  How would you rate your leadership Potential and Performance?

In your current role:

  • Are you an Under Performer leader with low potential and low levels of performance?
  • Are you an Enigma – you have great potential but for some inexplicable reasons, you are not performing?
  • Would you rate yourself as a Core Employee or Core Leader – part of the ‘stronger than steel’ infrastructure of a highly performing company?
  • Are you part of the company’s ‘gold standard leadership’ – an acknowledged Current Leader or Future Leader?

If you are honest in your self assessment, it will help you to develop a strategy to move the perception of your value to the company and your career to the top right-hand box.

In an article entitled What Have You Done For Your Career Lately? – I recommended  some actions for you to take to move your leadership career in the top right-hand box of the Talent Management 9 Box Model, including: assessing your performance in 2011, identifying opportunities for development and growth in 2012 and enhancing your reputation internally and external to your present company.

You are responsible for moving your career trajectory in an upward position. You now have a better model for seeing what your company sees when they conduct a talent review.

A Question for you to consider:

  • How are you viewed – as an Under Performer, Core Employee/Leader or Current/Future Leader or somewhere in between?
Have a Happy Thanksgiving! 

© All rights reserved.

Christine M. Glasco consults to company executives, business owners and non-profit leaders on career management/career transformation strategies and strategic leadership development solutions. To provide you with clarity on how to achieve the next steps in your career, go to and request a complimentary copy of Is Your Career on Track? Assessment and e-Workbook

Email: Phone: 1.940.367.0837

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2 Responses to How to Use a 9 Box Talent Management Model to Assess Your Future Potential

  1. Holly says:

    Hi Christine,
    Just stumbled upon this as I am filling one of these out for my employees. However, it does make me wonder what my company thinks of me. They just informed me they want me to head up a new, small team and that I am one of the “stronger” team members. They are also putting me through leadership training, at my request. That said, I dont believe that they view me as a ‘strategic’ leader or though leader. I dont see myself that way either. What are your thoughts? How do you recommend I am improve and how can I find out where I fit in the 9-box?

    Appreciate your thoughts,

    • Holly, since you are completing an assessment of your employee, this is a normal approach for your organization. Rather than wonder, schedule a meeting with your manager and ask how he/she sees your competencies. Tell him/her your career goals. Ask what else you should be doing to prepare for leadership roles.

      I just wrote two Blogs, Career Transformation Plan: How to Get a Promotion -Part 1 & Part 2. These two posts should help you develop a strategy. Check out: Good luck! Let me know what happens.

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