The 9-box grid

The 9-box grid is a tool for talent management and succession planning.

The 9 box grid segments employees into 9 groups based on two dimensions – performance and potential. The purpose of the matrix is to align talent management and development initiatives to where they add the most value. When making talent management decisions, it is important to consider how well particular employees perform today and how well they are likely to perform in the future.


The 9-box grid helps firms to understand the growth potential of particular employees, in line with the firm’s strategic goals.


In talent and succession planning, the 9 Box Grid serves as a valuable framework for identifying high-potential employees, assessing leadership readiness, and making strategic decisions about talent development and succession. By evaluating both performance and potential, organisations can effectively nurture and retain top talent while identifying areas for improvement or development.


The grid’s horizontal axis typically represents performance, categorising employees into three levels: high performers, average performers, and low performers. The vertical axis assesses potential, distinguishing between employees with high potential for future leadership roles, those with moderate potential, and those with limited potential.


High-potential employees identified in the upper-right quadrant of the grid are prime candidates for leadership development programs, stretch assignments, and succession planning initiatives. By investing in their growth and development, firms can cultivate a pipeline of future leaders and ensure continuity in key roles. Conversely, employees in the lower-left quadrant may require additional support or performance management to address issues or develop their potential. The 9 Box Grid facilitates targeted interventions and resource allocation, enabling firms to maximise the potential of their workforce and mitigate succession risks