A pragmatic definition of the term potential would be "something that is present but is not yet being used." It, thus, denotes the (concrete) possibility of "being able to do something" that, in the business context, is not yet being demanded or executed. By expanding responsibilities, this potential can unfold. In order to shape, develop, and utilize potential purposefully, it needs to be assessed.

This is what we call a potential analysis: With a team of managers and representatives from the human resources department and the personnel development we define criteria for assessing the potential of staff, e.g. for future leadership tasks. A superior initially forms assumptions about the potential of one of her staff members according to his everyday work routine. These assumptions are later evaluated through means of a standardized process.

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