Facilitating Culture Changes
Miriam Luke

Miriam Luke

Lead Consultant

Leadership Potential: Identifying and Developing Talent

The Covid-19 pandemic and resultant crisis has highlighted the importance of ensuring your organisation’s current and future leaders are fit for the evolving challenges being presented to them.  In fact, according to the latest research from McKinsey, top companies recognise that talent is their scarcest form of capital and pursue its development with the rigor of any other business strategy. They create diverse, inclusive, and energising environments, and match top talent to critical roles to stay ahead of rivals 1. But how do you identify potential, hidden talent that already exists within your company and develop it to have a real impact on the success of your organisation?

GFB’s data driven approach to talent identification can accurately predict leadership potential, enabling you to identify where you can get the most effective return on your learning and development budget. Developing leadership needs investment and is a topic that needs to be prioritised if an organisation is to succeed or even survive in a challenging and ever changing environment. HR’s role in developing leaders is design and governance. A clear and measurable framework gives leaders a currency in which to invest. Accurate leadership data is critical to succession planning, with effective leadership delivering tangible competitive advantage.

The GFB approach

The GFB approach to assessing leadership potential is a 4-stage process, which can be adapted to suit the specific requirements of your organisation:

The Overall Behavioural Index produced enables you to identify where you can get an effective return on your learning and development budget.

GFB leadership potential assessment process

Our leadership potential assessment process combines questionnaire, interview and observational data, providing personalised feedback to individuals in the context of their role, their aspirations, the organisation and the business that you operate. This integrated approach leads to improved accuracy of decision making, as demonstrated in the predictive validity for various assessment methodologies shown below.

Assessment method


Combined observation, interview, questionnaire

0.89 (GFB approach)

Combined interview and questionnaire


On job observation


Assessment centres


Behavioural interviews

0.48 – 0.61

Ability tests


Personality tests

0.39                        Source: British Psychological Society

Diversity and Inclusion Diversity is often thought of as male/female diversity or racial diversity. High performing teams that are agile and adaptable are made up of individuals who are likely to think and operate in diverse ways. This diversity of personality and motivation along with leadership skill preference can help a team and an organisation to be more successful and to drive change and innovation rather than fall behind or try to keep up. Profiling talent populations is not only about identifying high performers but about identifying a diverse range of talent with different preferences and skills that enable organisations to be adaptable and future ready across the spectrum. Our approach takes diversity of operation into consideration and can help to inform the diversity of your future leadership population in how they think, are motivated and prefer to operate. Leadership potential assessment options We have a variety of leadership potential assessment options available which can be tailored to meet your exact requirements, including: Virtual individual assessments: We have a well validated approach to interviewing and an accredited suite of online psychometric tools. We work with you to identify the most suitable tests and key behaviours for your organisation and/or a specific role but areas assessed within our approach would include: Virtual Behavioural Event Interview (BEI):  a semi-structured competency-based interview designed to elicit the behaviours they exhibit in a live work situation, based on the Schroder High Performance Behavioural Framework. Psychometric assessments: a mainstay of modern assessment, all of our psychometric tools are delivered online and can be used to assess for aptitudepersonality and motivation. Delivered individually or combined into an online test centre these tools are proven to provide accurate individual data.   Remote assessment centres: In line with COVID-19 restrictions, our assessment centres can be delivered remotely, providing a cost effective and efficient way to assess large numbers of candidates. As well as the BEI and psychometric assessments detailed above, a remote assessment centre may also typically include: Presentation Exercise: this provides valuable insight into how a candidate presents themselves and information in a professional environment. Again, a presentation can easily be delivered remotely using standard web conferencing tools with screen sharing capabilities. Online Group Exercise: a vital part of a traditional assessment centre is viewing how candidates interact with each other when tasked to deliver a group objective. Although it’s not possible to get candidates together in a physical environment, a group exercise can be organised and delivered online. Tasking the group to overcome a logic-based task as a group and observing how they work together (or not) to try to overcome a problem can help to highlight behaviour traits that may be missed in individual assessments. Development centres: Development centres enable you to see your talent pool in action in a variety of different situations. They provide quantitative data on your talent pool that allows you to rank the individuals against a competency index, thereby enabling you to accurately identify your shining stars and potentially some hidden gems. Development centres can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your organisation. As well as the BEI and psychometric assessments detailed above, a development centre may also typically include: Business Simulation: a business simulation provides rich background information upon which delegates can make decisions, solve problems and demonstrate their ability to get the best from others. Participants are asked to conduct a number of simulated business tasks, which provide the opportunity to demonstrate their capability to manage and deliver exactly as they would in the work environment. The development centre would utilise an analytical exercise that would form the backbone to the delegates’ experience, interspersed with various other activities. We can develop a business simulation tailored to your organisation or we can run an “off the shelf” programme incorporating one of our ready-made business simulations. Planning and Feedback: this virtual session would take each delegate through their reports, help them to make sense of the data and link it to the priorities of their role and future aspirations. Coaching: a virtual coaching programme, consisting of six sessions over six months with the frequency to suit individual needs, that will be specifically focused on the areas for development identified during the business simulation. Development Courses: our virtual courses focus on skill as well as knowledge development with more emphasis on skill practice rather than classroom learning. Our courses are perfect for delivering training to develop a specific behaviour or skill to a group of individuals where it has been identified as a skills gap. Facilitated Workshops: our remote facilitated workshops focus on delegates finding their own solutions. They are very much delegate led with the facilitator asking questions to help the participants explore issues more deeply and find solutions within the group. Facilitated workshops are informal and fluid and are perfect for teams of high performing individuals looking to solve business critical issues or develop new ways of working more effectively.   For over 20 years (and covering a couple of recessions) GFB have been working with our clients across the globe to help develop and support the success of their talent strategies.  We use data driven insights, supported by our fully-qualified human and personable consultants, to deliver personalised programs that address client specific challenges.  Please visit: www.gfbgroup.com to find out more.

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