Blog: The Dynamic Duo is Hardly a Joking Matter

Learning & Development

The Dynamic Duo is Hardly a Joking Matter

Outside the comic books, in the real world effective partnership of assessments and development can give companies the edge
The Dynamic Duo is Hardly a Joking Matter

It is said that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” and that is what Dynamic Duo is all about. It was back in the 1940s when the term ‘Dynamic Duo’ was coined for the superhero partnership of Batman and Robin after they came together to dominate and destroy evil. Since then, whenever two great people came together for the larger good, they have been referred to as the Dynamic Duo.

So what has this interesting term got to do with assessments and development in talent management?

Have you ever wondered why the comic book writers started having more than one superhero in a plot together? The audience always imagined it would be fun. But if you take a closer look, you will observe that the plots created were such that the challenges could not be dealt with by the power of any single superhero.

Now, let’s fast forward to the organizations and challenges leaders face today. These challenges are complex and are, in many ways, similar to the plots the comic book writers used to work on, the big difference being these challenges are real and have real consequences attached to them.

We have heard organizations talking about “departments or people working in silos”. Similarly, assessment and development, the two superheroes, work in silos. What today’s corporate world needs is for these two strong systems to work together seamlessly and have a greater impact on the organization’s development.

DDI’s research shows that, globally, only 15% of organizations have a strong bench to fill future positions immediately and only one-third of all the HR leaders in India have confidence in the quality of leadership their organizations have (DDI GLF 2014). The data becomes scarier when one finds out that while Indian corporates do a decent job of high-potential identification, more than 60% of programs are ineffective.

Organizations spend too much time getting the design or the content right, but what they don’t understand is that assessment and development are strongly connected to each other. Does the output from assessments serve as an input to development? Do the organizations ensure that both these systems are neither disconnected nor inconsistent? How many times have we seen that the initiative starts with a great bang but dives off the cliff the moment it is launched?

Our extensive research at DDI has shown that those organizations which can get the combination of assessment and development to dance well have a lot of things going right for them. Some of these are:

  1. They have 20% higher than average leadership quality and bench strength

  2. They have 26% more critical positions can be filled immediately

  3. They are also 2.3 times more likely to outperform other companies on financial metrics


Assessment and development, seen in the light of these findings, are indeed the Dynamic Duo of talent management, and organizations would do well to pay attention to them.

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Topics: Learning & Development, #ExpertViews

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