These 8, self-explanatory categories of people are the natural focus of traditional HR and management systems . They are needed for good governance. They all sit in the formal organization, similarly the traditional focus of those HR/management structures.
Talent pool member
Leadership (several layers)
Next generation leaders
Team leader/management position
The next 8 categories are off the radar of HR/management in a range that goes from ‘I don’t know what you are talking about’ to ‘I know some of these folks, what am I supposed to do?’ and anything in-between including treating them as good/bad anecdotes, necessary evils, curiosities and ‘ok, good managers know how to deal with them’.
Mavericks and rebels, even without a cause
Deviants (positive). Do things differently, have another playbook and succeed
GPAs (General Pain in the Back Side; acronym non PC)
Contrarians, because they can
Nonconformists. Good ones, less good ones, but see things through glasses nobody else has
Sceptical for all seasons
Hyper-connected. Good or bad, they spread behaviours, role model at a scale, set mountains on fire and multiply anything they get their hands on
Hyper-trusted. Multiple reasons, it does not matter which ones
Neither list is good or bad, they are two categorizations of people. Whilst the A list refers to the visible and formal, and it’s crucial as governance and overall performance management, the B list has the potential to make or break anything.
Entire cultures are shaped by the B list whilst the A list watches the show almost hopelessly. An entire HR/OD/culture shaping/company building platform could be set up exclusively on the B list. There are tools and processes and systems to deal with the less powerful A list, but we treat the B list as an Amusement Park.
The B list is the Hard List.