Opening Keynote: A Networked Perspective on High Potential Talent

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High potential talent today spans boundaries– they thrive in networks where information and expertise flow laterally, diagonally, and in spirals. Until recently, however, networks were seemingly invisible and underappreciated in comparison to formal, hierarchical structure. Leading edge technology in organizational network analysis has changed that, yielding new and critical insights into how to assess, develop, and reward high potential talent. In this session, Chris will share how Juniper Networks in Silicon Valley reimagined high potential talent from a networked perspective. Drawing upon the best-selling book Boundary Spanning Leadership, participants will learn how to embrace a networked perspective in order to:

• Identify five types of boundaries that limit or constrain high potential talent
• Assess high potentials based on their network attributes as connectors, brokers and energizers
• Develop high potentials based on a case example from Juniper
• Reward high potentials through new approaches to performance management


Chris Ernst
Head of Talent Management and Organizational Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Former Vice President Leadership & Organization Effectiveness, Juniper Networks 
Chris Ernst, Ph.D. currently oversees talent management and organizational development for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Previously, he served as Vice-President of Leadership and Organization Effectiveness at Juniper Networks in Silicon Valley. His life’s work is to develop new social innovations and networked environments that empower people to collaborate across wide-ranging boundaries to solve pressing problems, innovate, and lead transformations.

In a fifteen year career at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), he served in multi-year expatriate roles in Asia and Europe, advised executives in leading Fortune 500 and nonprofit organizations, and designed and facilitated leadership interventions in diverse contexts across six world regions.

As an active writer and speaker on global issues, Chris' thought leadership is published in top academic journals and magazines such as HBR, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Chief Learning Officer and MIT Sloan Management Review, and in two books, including CCL's best-seller, Boundary Spanning Leadership: Six Practices for Solving Problems, Driving Innovation, and Transforming Organizations.