Capturing Career Capacity

Potential is measurable and predictable

However, past performance in itself is not an adequate guide. We need to know not just how people have behaved in the past, but how they will think and act in the future. So how do we recognise whether someone has potential and how far they can go in an organisation?

Our starting point is that known problems do not require a great deal of thinking about. Future, unknown problems do. Potential is future career capacity.

Higher Levels of "Thinking"

As a person moves to more senior jobs, their work demands change in quality as well as quantity. Solving problems at higher, more complex levels is different from Problem Analysis at lower, less demanding levels. It requires more than analysis, it needs the addition of Creative Thinking and Judgement. The capability to integrate larger and larger amounts of information becomes essential to success, which in turn calls for higher levels of capability to generalise and conceptualise.

Higher Levels of "Doing"

To undertake an action, the first requirement is to accept personal responsibility and have the Drive for producing a result. Life in general and working life in particular is rarely straightforward - there are setbacks and disappointments along the way, and it is personal Resilience to persist with alternative approaches that helps us through them. Finally, we often need to get things done with and/or through other people and the capabilities involved here are associated with Emotional Intelligence. The capability to handle increasingly complex projects and relationships is the key to success.

Potential for what?

To answer this question, after many years of research and experience, we have designed a Rolescoping™ framework of eight core transferable leadership qualities:

Intellectual Qualities
Temperament Qualities
Transition Qualities
(Transfer of "Thinking" and "Doing" into outcomes)
Problem Analysis
Creative Thinking
Emotional Intelligence

Together, they provide a very precise understanding of career step changes associated with:
  • Moving from operational delivery to operations leadership of others to deliver.
  • Handling higher levels of problem-solving, creative thinking and decision-making.
  • Thinking through tactical and strategic considerations, alongside operational ones.
  • Coping with broader and deeper business issues.
  • Working with new relationships: peers, stakeholders, senior management etc.
  • Adapting to diverse organisational contexts.
Because we are scoping the level of capability in just eight core transferable qualities, the outcomes from the process provide a shared organisational language for talent identification and development. This overcomes many of the barriers associated with complicated competencies and cross-border transfers.

Development Centres ++

Line Managers are the "eyes and ears" of an organisation, so they are generally in the best position to identify people seen as having potential. They are also best placed to "test" this potential by providing "stretch" opportunities. In most organisations, all of this is formalised through the Performance Development Review process. However, in our experience a focused, one-day Development Centre can bring that additional confidence needed when organisations are seeking:
  • Reliable career path and succession planning information for the organisation, which can be fed into the Leadership "Pipeline".
  • Focused personal and career development planning information for participants, which helps them to grow in their current role; make decisions regarding most appropriate career routes and prepare for future higher-level roles.
The outcome of all Wadenhoe Assessment Centres is an extremely reliable measurement of how individuals will think and act in the future, in order to accurately identify the extent of their leadership potential.

For an insight into case studies of some of the organisations we have worked with and more information on the research and practical experience we can offer, please contact Sue Bell at:

The Wadenhoe Consultancy Ltd

Prama House
267 Banbury Road

Phone: 01865 339558
Mobile: 07899 796993
Fax: 01865 339301

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©2015 The Wadenhoe Consultancy Ltd