Using the 9-box grid to fill succession gaps: hewlett packard


If pictures can “speak a thousand words,” what can a snapshot of an employee do? Nine-box grids offer employers a way to illustrate an employee’s job performance in the context of the specific skills, work ethic, and competencies that an organization is seeking. The 9-box grid also has the ability to track an employee’s current performance, as well as his or her potential for growth and development.

An employee’s placement in the 9-box grid can provide insight into whether that employee is a star achiever, a solid asset, or an inadequate performer. Nine-box grids can be used to identify high-potential employees, as well as those who have the talent and competencies to be promoted into key positions and leadership roles within an organization. Like the 360-degree assessment, the 9-box grid is often used for identifying and developing internal successors, and has the same ethical and systematic drawbacks as the 360-degree assessment.

In this week’s Assignment, appraise the use of 9-box grids to fill succession gaps. Before completing this Assignment, review the articles titled “On the Grid” and “Power Saw or Utility Knife: What Kind of Tool Is Your 9 Box?” found in this week’s Learning Resources. In addition, consider the information about 9-box grids presented by your colleagues in last week’s Discussion. Then, use the scenario below to determine how you would use a 9-box grid to rate chief executive officer (CEO) performance Hewlett Packard Enterprise that you chose for your Course Project.

As the board of directors examines your 360-degree assessment proposal, you have decided to explore another performance review tool, the 9-box grid, which could help your organization effectively fill succession gaps. You have heard a lot about the 9-box grid, and would like to examine its ability to accurately portray an employee’s current and potential contribution to the organization. As such, you have decided to create a 9-box grid for the last two CEOs in your organization.

First, you review the biographies of at least five of the past CEOs to determine the competencies needed to successfully fill such a prominent position. Then you complete a 9-box grid for the last two CEOs of your organization. By applying this tool to previous CEOs, you hope to determine if the 9-box grid method should be included in your succession planning for the future.

To complete this Assignment, respond to the following in a 2- to 4-page paper:

  • Analyze the use of 9-box grids to fill succession gaps.
    • Summarize the competencies required of the CEO position.
      • Explain whether the competencies of two of the last five CEOs aligned with the core competencies of the position. Include information about their previous position and/or previous company.
    • Use the 9-box grid to “rate” the two former CEOs.
      • Include each 9-box grid in your paper by making a table similar to those found in your own research or this week’s Learning Resources.
        • Cite specific references to the information gathered about the organization that you chose for your Course Project, and the information on each CEO.
    • Describe whether 9-box grids can be successful in identifying and retaining high-potential employees.

Caruso, K. (2011, April 20). Power saw or utility knife: What kind of tool is your 9 box? [Blog post]. Retrieved from

This article discusses why, if used right, the 9-box grid can be a powerful tool in an organization’s arsenal. In addition, this article includes an easy-to-read 9-box grid that many organizations use to chart the talent found within the organization. 

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