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1. Acceleration Pools are 21st century programs.

They are based on assumptions that differ significantly from those that have long underpinned traditional replacement-planning systems. We contrast these two sets of assumptions in Table 3-1.

2. Pool members' buy-in is built in.

In the past large organizations were able to freely move their people around the world without much consideration of their employees' personal needs or desires. IBM was once known by the nickname "I've Been Moved." J.C. Penney would tell a manager on Friday to report to a new assignment in another town on the following Monday—and expect that it would always happen. But today, it's simply not appropriate—or realistic—to assume that people are going to accept assignments without question. More and more people want to match their work situations to their lifestyles, which makes them much more selective about new assignments.

The Acceleration Pool approach acknowledges that reality: Nominees decide whether they want to be in the pool. Once they are in, pool members have a voice in determining what they do. Their career interests and views on their own development needs are collected as part of the diagnosis phase of the Acceleration Pool process. They are told about proposed assignments and why each is a learning opportunity—specifically what development gaps they will be able to fill in a given assignment. Then they can make intelligent decisions about taking on that task. People tend to agree to such assignments because they see how the experience will help them grow.

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