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Removing 9 box – replacing it with what?

Removing 9 box – replacing it with what?

Posted: 10th February 2020

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  • #5170

    Hi, Love the site and your articles have already contributed to some disruption in our organization. We’re looking at removing the 9 box this year but we still want to be able to “flag” employees as talents. What’s your recommendation? We don’t want to start with 2 “boxes” rather than 9 but we’re a big company so want to be able to flag people. For example that are ready for career move or someone to “watch”. Any thoughts are appreciated! Thanks.


    Hi Maria – and thanks for the feedback! I’m delighted you are loving the site.

    So, before we look at alternatives to the 9 box grid – I think it’s important that we challenge some of the assumptions around identifying ‘talent’. Our ability to rate other human beings consistently and objectively is fundamentally flawed – so any exercise where leaders are asked to rate their people and highlight the talent will always have huge limitations. (Check out this video!

    We would recommend that you think about moving away from a big set piece such as the annual talent review – and instead have informal and short discussions at every exec team meeting or leadership team meeting. This way you keep the issue of who’s ready for a move, who’s a potential flight risk, who’s worth trying out for something new etc ‘alive’ and current. It also helps leaders to calibrate regularly and gives HR the opportunity to spot any potential D&I issues. They also get better at it the more they practice! Watch out for our ‘Box of Meetings’ which we’ll be posting on the Club soon which has the talent discussion meeting tips and questions to help facilitate these. Whilst it doesn’t give you a definitive list that is produced once a year, it does give you an overview of where the talent moves should come from. HR can collate and discuss these on a quarterly basis to see where they should be focusing their attention.

    The other things that you can do are included within a couple of the films and webinars in the talent section of the Club. I’d have a quick look at this

    Hope this helps!



    Hi Lucy,

    Thanks for your response. I will review the videos you proposed.

    Looking forward to the  ‘Box of Meetings’.



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