I’ve had a number of conversations recently with friends discussing the “potential” of their partners – or potential of desired relationships! This often centres around the recognition that, in many cases, they find themselves focusing on what could be … rather than the reality of currently what is. All wanting that perfect outcome! 

Got me thinking about the work we do as OD experts in identifying people with “potential” for organisations … same thing.. a focus on what could be. I’ve been working recently with the Thomas International Hight Potential Traits Indicator. I’ve taken a number of people globally through the HPTI diagnostic followed by personal coaching to focus on results and help them plan further development. The individuals completing the questionnaire and reflecting on their results absolutely love it. The opportunity to think about their personal approach to key traits that are considered optimal for senior leadership roles is welcomed. The traits measured by the assessment are Conscientiousness, Adjustment, Curiosity, Risk Approach, Ambiguity Acceptance , Competitiveness

A person’s responses to the indicator will be depicted along a continuum for each of the 6 traits, and results will fall into one of four scores: Low, Moderate, Optimal or Excessive. Disadvantages can be faced from both too much or too little of a trait – though certain advantages can usually be found. Particular trait levels can indicate a high potential to succeed, or show where specific characteristics could de-rail an otherwise successful person. Gathering this information is helpful for those individuals learning about their scores and can enable them to continue to develop those traits indicative of enabling them to reach their potential ( should they want to of course!!)

Using diagnostics such as this are also helpful for an organisation as part of a talent programme ( and we can debate the effectiveness of talent programmes another time!) The point is… we have options for identifying potential in the workplace based on analysis of identified critical traits, and people have the opportunity to develop and showcase those traits as part of a career plan. Just thinking about how I transfer this to help those looking to enjoy the potential of their love interest! ( but maybe I’ll save that for another day too.. that’s some complex stuff!)