The Talent Grid


The Talent Grid Whitepaper
The Talent Grid Whitepaper

Recognising leadership potential is no easy matter. It is one of the major research subjects in management literature. In this whitepaper you will find a description of the Talent Grid. What does this model have to add? It is an accessible and simple model, which has evolved from practical experience. The model has proved to be one that is easy to use by both professionals and management for the selection, assessment and development of talent. The added value of the Talent Grid lies primarily in the fact that it provides the opportunity for communicating in one ‘language’ on the issue of management qualities.


“Ambition and risk-taking are not easy to develop, but organisational sensitivity often is.”

The Talent Grid has a variety of practical applications. In assessing potential, the grid can help to determine the directions of development of (future) managers. It can also contribute to an objective approach to the discussion of comparing people, for example in personnel planning and promotion issues. It can be used as a general indication of differences between people (the axes), but also to identify the finer differences (in terms of behaviour) between people. Determining the behavioural characteristics makes it possible to approach the dimensions in an objective and measurable fashion. The manager can form a good impression of his (future) employee through criteria-based interviews and observations. The STAR methodology is often used in this interviewing technique. By posing specific questions on practical examples and specific situations, tasks, activities and results (S.T.A.R.) within those examples, quite accurate conclusions can be drawn regarding the competencies of the applicant or employee. The point is to collect examples of proven past behaviour as a prediction of future behaviour.



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P4PE Limited | Institute for Professional Excellence
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The American Shoe Size Won’t Fit The Nigerian HR Feet

Being in the talent measurement and management space, I was curious to see the standardized tests used by Nigerian organizations. These assessments were offered by talent measurement organizations headquartered in America or UK and are deployed widely to assess middle and senior management in Nigeria. I wrote a 30 minutes Leadership Personality Test and I could not help feeling amused after the assessment came to an end.

A particular section of the assessment probed me on my behavioural attitude towards a game of baseball and rugby. How can I relate to the sport for which I have mere fleeting ideas? How can a homegrown, Nigerian leader serving the Nigerian business context answer situational questions about baseball? The assessment intended to assess my leadership skills in a game of baseball. I am still wondering as to how could I be the intended audience for these questions.

This is where we need a correction. Nigerian organizations that deploy assessments which probe respondents on West-specific scenarios can never be valid for assessing the white collared Nigerian audience.

Simply put, the American shoe size does not fit Nigerian feet.

Yes, we need to come home.

Let’s talk if you are considering localizing your talent management to be in touch with local reality.