Even if your company is not currently in the market for a team of entertaining mercenaries, that doesn‘t mean that you shouldn‘t be focusing on actively identifying and developing all-star employees and giving management the tools needed to form their own A-Teams.
Technically, organisations should strive to have nothing but all-stars on their talent roster; however, chances are that most companies are lucky if 10%-20% of their workforce is labelled as high-performing‘ (there are many process-related reasons that account for this but that is a whole other discussion). Unless you are willing to settle for an organisation filled with B and C Teams, you need to get tactical about the way you identify and develop top talent.
The first thing to consider is employee performance vs. employee potential. Historically, employee performance was the main driver in determining succession, rewards, and recognition; however, recent years have shed light on the importance of considering employee potential when creating development plans and performance strategies. Think of it this way – a seed doesn‘t look like much next to a plant but invest a little time and energy into it, and it has the potential to become a flower or one of those neat plants that kill flies. You should think of identifying your all-stars along the same dimensions – who is great now and who can be even greater sooner?