• Nov 08 2023

Don’t Let Your HiPo Program Fail: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Investing in a high-potential (HiPo) development program is a strategic move toward securing your organization’s future success. However, to ensure its effectiveness, it’s crucial to understand and address common challenges upfront, implementing strategic solutions to set your HiPo program on a path to sustainable success.

In our 10+ years of helping top companies develop their high-potential (HiPo) talent, we’ve observed these common pitfalls that cause HiPo programs to fail:

1) Unclear goals & objectives: A lack of defined success metrics and a blurry vision of “leader-ready” can leave programs directionless. Ensure your program is built to align with organizational goals and individual aspirations. Set measurable goals that track success and ROI required to secure the funding and resources necessary for sustainable development.

2) Inadequate buy-in & resources: Secure buy-in from all levels, including executives and managers of HiPo employees, who can participate in program design and provide motivation. This holistic approach empowers HiPos, ensuring they have the tools, time, and organizational support to translate learning into impact.

3) One-size-fits-all approach: Tailor your HiPo program to boost individual strengths, close skill gaps, and support development goals. Consider the reality of different learning styles, competing priorities, and busy schedules. Implement microlearning opportunities like bite-sized video modules or online courses that HiPos can easily integrate into their workday. Meanwhile, one-on-one guidance can provide the individual coaching, feedback, and support that HiPos crave.

4) Fragmented learning journeys & support: Isolated trainings are easily forgotten. Create a structured learning journey with interconnected courses, workshops, coaching, and projects that build on each other over time to build critical skills. Be there for your HiPos at every step, just like any successful journey demands.

5) Irrelevant to their jobs: Disconnected learning wastes investment value. Incorporate learning into your HiPos’ daily workflow where they identify projects on their to-do lists to immediately apply their learnings.

Investing in your HiPo talent cultivates a culture of learning, growth, and engagement. With clear goals, buy-in, tailored development, a holistic learning journey, and relevance, you empower HiPos to thrive. 

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