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4. A better use of time—no additional top-management time required for making job or development assignments.

Nearly all the midsize and large organizations we deal with have an annual or semiannual human resource review of some kind. Larger organizations conduct the review by SBUs or functions. Midsize companies might review promotions and people development for the whole organization at the same time. The Acceleration Pool system does not increase the number of talent reviews or hours devoted to them, but it provides additional data, structure, and focus to ensure that pool members get the best available development opportunities.

A Former Executive Describes a Now-Discarded Replacement-Planning Process at Xerox

Chris Turner, former Xerox executive and now a consultant, writer, and speaker, described her former company's promotion process in Fast Company magazine (1999) as follows:

Xerox had a horrible process for promotion. Each year, everyone in the organization had to fill out reams of paperwork about what they wanted to be when they grew up. You had to list your one-year, three-year, and five-year goals. And you had to name specific positions that you were shooting for. Well, whose life ever unfolds according to a five-year plan—or even a one-year plan? That practice was absurd—but one that we all completed like mules.

Finally, I said, "I'm not going to do this anymore. This process perpetuates the type of organization that I don't want to work for." So, for a few years, my boss, a good corporate soldier, filled out the paperwork for me. Other people soon caught on to the absurdity, and eventually everyone on my team quit doing it. Then I got a call from someone in HR who admitted that only 35 percent of all employees complied with the process. When that HR person asked me to start filling out the paperwork again, I told him that everyone knew that being promoted at Xerox had nothing to do with all that paper. To make a long story short, Xerox bagged the process (Muoio, 1999, p. 96).

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