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3. Less paper, time, and bureaucracy.

A major benefit of the Acceleration Pool system is the drastic reduction of the overwhelming paperwork associated with traditional replacement-planning systems. Gone are the annual replacement plans and the bureaucracy associated with compiling and defending the plans. Gone too are the Individual Development Plans (IDPs) that individuals on their way up in an organization traditionally had to complete after an assessment center or 360° feedback. Acceleration Pools replace the IDPs with two short forms and replace the bureaucracy with a streamlined system.

Table 3-1: Contrasting Assumptions About Traditional Replacement-Planning Systems and Acceleration Pools

Assumptions About Traditional
Replacement-Planning Systems

Assumptions About the
Acceleration Pool System

Consistent business strategy.

Frequent changes or flexibility in business strategy (e.g., new competitors, distribution channels, and alliance partners)

Stable organizational structure.

Fluid organizational structure (frequent changes).

Fixed jobs.

Fluid jobs (frequent changes in responsibilities and reporting arrangements).

People move vertically.

People move vertically and horizontally.

Upward movement is automatic, as long as people avoid making big mistakes.

People must pass through an effective selection system for each job they take on.

Jobs can be planned two or three positions ahead.

Impossible to plan future jobs with any accuracy. Thus, the ocus is on the next assignment—and the balance between organization needs and individual development needs.

Training is a "rite of passage" (e.g., university executive programs).

Training is integrated with assignments to provide skills and knowledge that can be used immediately on the job. At higher levels, short one-on-one training experiences are used. University executive programs often are replaced by organizationally specific, action-learning programs.

People can be moved anywhere, anytime. If they said "no," they were often considered "not active candidates" for future positions outside their current location.

Family, working spouse, and other circumstances might make physical moves unacceptable

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