Now this is great feedback . . .

We’ve just completed the first run of a Talent Development Centre [TDC] we designed for our client. David, the General Manager for that Division has just shared this internal feedback on the experience. Apart from taking out references to the company this is exactly what he wrote to his CEO today:

Many thanks again for the TDC, both for my involvement as an assessee, and as the “line manager” of other assessees.

I’ve participated in a number of “training”/”self-development” courses over the years.  For me, the TDC could be the most deeply influential – for assessees, line managers, and the organisation as a whole.  I learnt a lot about myself, and probably will continue to for quite some time … so much rich, helpful feedback, some of which will only sink-in with time and maturity.

We have discussed the need for our international business to be more forward-thinking and growth-oriented than we have the last few years.  The TDC, as part of a more general talent development programme, could make a significant contribution to achieving this.  In particular, focusing attention on “potential” (a future state), will encourage individuals and the organization to be more forward-looking and growth-oriented.

Below are my feedback/suggestions.


  1.  One of the most powerful features of the programme is the quality, depth and breadth of the assessment of individuals.  Each behaviour/criteria is assessed in more than one way, to improve the reliability/accuracy/objectivity/detail of the assessment.  For me personally, I found the quality/depth/accuracy of my own assessment results to be very challenging, perhaps even confronting (in a good way).
  2.  A GM and our CHRO  were involved as assessors – in particular, assessees presented case studies to them.  The involvement of a cross-section of senior leaders (ie senior leaders other than their line manager) promotes objectivity, and broader exposure (leaders to HiPots and vice versa).  In turn, this can facilitate calibration of candidates’ potential across business/functional areas, and may create a greater variety of opportunities for HiPots.
  3.  For my division, the existence of the TDC, and my people’s participation in it, energised both participants, as well as non-participants.  There were certainly many non-participants who questioned the selection criteria and felt disappointed not to have been selected.  On the other hand, the excitement/motivation from the fact that they may have an opportunity to participate in the future in the TDC and the demonstration/evidence of the organisation’s investment in individuals/development/growth, created a “net” positive attitude and strong support for the TDC and the broader focus on developing HiPots.  They are excited to be part of a dynamic and supportive organisation and view a longer-term future with the company.
  4.  As a line manager I received extensive, detailed, insightful feedback about my team – in some cases new insights, in other cases reinforcement/greater detail of previously identified issues.  This involvement reminded/refocused me on actions I need to take to support the team – eg, behaviours I should promote among my direct reports and the organisation generally; how I can assist individuals’ development; and perhaps most importantly, reflecting on/assessing my own behaviour and performance.

Many thanks


Can’t ask for much more than that!