Identifying High Potentials
High-potential employees are defined as those designated by the organisation as having the potential to assume high-level leadership roles and are put into a special talent pool. This talent pool is identified as a leadership pipeline. Typically, these employees are placed in accelerated development programmes to prepare them for their future roles.

The best way to ensure a qualified group of leaders in the ‘leadership pipeline’ is to begin developing potential leaders at the bottom of the leadership pool. Failing to assure that those with the highest potential rise into each rung of management could leave organisations with a less than optimal pool of candidates for higher-level positions.
In the past, people would move up to specific, often specialist, jobs. Now (although some jobs will always require specialists) the main focus is on identifying and developing groups of jobs to enable potential successors to be identified for a variety of roles.

Jobs might be clustered by role, function and level so that the generic skills responsible for particular roles can be developed. The aim is to develop pools of talented people, each of whom is adaptable and capable of filling a number of roles. Because succession planning is concerned with developing longer-term successors as well as short-term replacements, each pool will be considerably larger than the range of posts it covers.