Developing Potential

peoplewise designed and delivered a development programme for a global insurance company's high potential leaders, in order to grow and enhance capabilities across the business.

Developing Potential

Business Need

The company realised that it did not have a good sense of its talent population across the whole business - it had previously invested exclusively in its actuarial pipeline, and consequently the general bench strength was weak. The organisation wanted a greater understanding of what talent and high potential within their organisation looked like.  It also wanted to develop a structured system for measuring and developing its talent to ensure its pipeline was fit for purpose for achieving key business targets and objectives.

What We Did 

In collaboration with the company, peoplewise designed a three-part programme which focused on the definition of what being a high potential looked like within the business, the measurement of high potentials to ensure that the programme was populated by appropriate participants, and a year-long programme aimed at high potential development.


peoplewise collected qualitative and quantitative data from across the business, stratifying by different workstreams and talent roles. We determined best-in-class and developed competency based profiles which were socialised across the business. These became the standard against which high potentials were measured.

2. Measurement

We developed a nomination process which required managers to use the competency profiles to propose high potential individuals. These individuals then attended a rigorous development centre, which included group and individual exercises, written papers, deep dive interviews and our unique psychometric PsyCap7 which measures confidence, resilience and drive. Participants who met the high potential competency profile were invited to participate in a year-long high potential development programme.

3. Development Programme

The development programme lasted twelve months and kicked off with a three day launch workshop.  Day 1 was attended by BU leaders and was an opportunity for participants to showcase their personal aspirations for the coming 12 months. The day also revealed participant groups for the year, their business mentor and peoplewise coach and the business project they would collaboratively work on for the year.   The remaining two days of the workshop comprised masterclasses for developing key business and leadership skills and creating 12 month development journals.  Over the next 9 months, participants engaged in implementing their personal development pathways, regular project meetings with their business mentor and peoplewise coach, one to one peoplewise coaching sessions, and networking opportunities with the company's executive leadership board. The two day close-out workshop saw participants present their group projects to BU leaders and present their twelve month development journey and their leadership legacy for the future.  Following graduation, participants were invited to join the alumni programme which involved them in mentoring and inspiring future cohorts of participants.


A 360 metric monitored participant's progress for 2 years from the point of programme selection.  As a result of the programme the company experienced a significant return on investment in their high potentials, including:

  • Increased engagement and reduced turnover
  • 30% average increase in performance levels
  • Increased resilience, with greater ability to regulate and manage emotions
  • Increased ability to personally deal with ambiguity and maintain full operating capacity under pressure
  • Increased ability to build readiness for change in others
  • Increased ability to function constructively under pressure
  • Increased ability to effectively manage risk