“Everybody” Is The New “High Potential”

Once, many, many years ago, aged 13 or so, I was called out as High Potential (Hi-Po) at my local school. I was put in some kind of brainiac class and given challenging mental gymnastics to solve. I am not sure for what end the class was conceived. I remember enjoying it, but probably its main outcome was that I thought I was more special than I was.

It took a few years for the arrogance to wear off – when I flunked my A level exams aged 18 and, instead of going to Cambridge to prepare myself for running the world or somesuch, I spent an existential decade trying to work out who I was , what everything meant.

Anyway, a tangential way to share that I liked this article from John Stepper (via Simon Terry) about the limiting nature of corralling HiPos (and, consequently, ignoring the “also-rans.”) I vividly recall the kids at school who were the quickest, who had the teachers on the run, who had all the smartest answers, who were steps ahead of everyone else – and to a (wo)man, they were kids who left school at 16 without a qualification to their name, but oodles of street smarts that set many on the path to great success, some of it legal.

I have an interest in OD shenanigans, but the main purpose of sharing this is Stepper offers “[a] better way to develop talent,” namely

“creating environments where people can make their work visible and discoverable.”

<Some more stuff about  working out loud.>

Yes, it is the social organization again, offering a reset of how to define organizational opportunity in the age of network thinking.

←This Much We Know.→

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