What is the 9 Box?
The 9 Box chart or grid is a commonly used tool for examining talent within the organization and making talent decisions. The 9 Box provides perspective or a way of looking at the relationship between the performance of individuals and their potential for the future. Most organizations use the 9 box as part of the succession planning process as this tool can help to guide in the identification of individuals who are considered to be high-potentials, successors for positions, and even individuals for whom a position change may be needed.
Placement in the 9 box chart is determined by ratings of performance and potential – both based upon a 3 point scale (i.e., Low, Moderate, High). The 9 boxes or categories derived from the ratings are typically labeled in some way; companies use a variety of labels. For example, the High Performer/High Potential category may be labeled “Consistent Star.”
The 9 box chart provides a simple and visually appealing way to look at talent during the Talent Review process. It can help leadership teams:
- have meaningful discussions around talent,
- calibrate and come to shared agreement on expectations and evaluations, and
- build shared ownership for development of people across the entire organization.