This working paper explores the challenges of accelerated development of organizational talent. The meaning of the word 'accelerated' is that such development takes place at a pace that is significantly higher than that of 'traditional' development that allows an individual to learn the intricacies of the current job, observe incumbents in a higher level position (usually, one level up), practice elements of the boss' job when being delegated tasks, undergoing formal training, or benefiting from the knowledge accumulated by others and codified in the knowledge management systems. Accelerated development means, contrary to the usual, more traditional developmental path, bypassing traditionally expected career steps, stretched over a longer period of time learning opportunities, and/or age-related developmental progression. Accelerated development is a necessity for organizati of qualified individuals in the internal or external labor markets, and significant pressures from other organizations that are ready to 'poach' talented executives and employees and offer them even higher levels of responsibility and remuneration. Organizations also respond with accelerated development initiatives to the individuals engaged in career entrepreneurship, i.e., those who make alternative career investments in order to enjoy quicker returns in terms of career growth and progression. This paper discusses the challenges of accelerated development programs, such as not only learning the competencies required in the new position, but also developing a new identity. The paper discusses the process of going through an accelerated development program and identifies its important elements: preentry experience, initial surprise of getting into the accelerated program's environment and learning to use it, engaging in identity exploration through examining past and present identities, staging identity experiments, and, finally, stepping out of the program into the real world.
organizational behavior human resource management executive education identity accelerated development