The Nine (9) Box Tool: Document and Facilitate Future Leader Identification and Discussing Actions in Succession Management Processes.

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Wowledge Expert Team
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A matrix designed for both use throughout and as a result of the future leader identification portions of the succession management process. It is meant as a tool to 1) capture data of each targeted individual's job performance and 2) an assessment of each targeted individual's potential for higher leadership roles. The higher the performance-by-potential combination, the more the company views the individual as having potential for increasingly higher roles and responsibilities. It serves the primary purpose of summarizing the strength of future leadership capabilities in the organization. By placing all targeted employees (at a certain organizational level, job function, or department) on a single form, top leadership can see the relative volume of potential leaders or promotable employees. It is used as a tool to review the strengths and weaknesses within a company, business unit, or function, and as such informs future action planning relative to talent gaps and development priorities. 

How to use this tool   

A four-step process is typically followed with this tool:

  1. Each functional manager asks each targeted employee to complete a "Talent Profile" that details the education, experience, performance, and related data.

  2. The manager adds ratings and insights into the employee's competencies, promotability/potential, and development needs.

  3. The manager places each targeted employee into the most appropriate cell on the nine-box tool matrix according to their (previously) rated performance and manager-assessed future potential.

  4. All functional managers who employ the same or similar level and types of managers participate in calibration sessions where each employee is discussed, and managers align on the most appropriate placement in the nine-box tool (which may differ from a functional manager's initial assessment). 


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