Topgrading is a branded approach to building a team of all high performers.
The components of Topgrading include special principles for hiring, developing, redeploying, and retaining employees. The practice of Topgrading helps business leaders to build valuable companies, and helps individuals to achieve greater career success.
The origin of Topgrading dates back to 1972, when Brad Smart launched Smart & Associates, an executive assessment and development consultancy. Brad pioneered the approach to employment interviewing that is today called the Topgrading Interview. During the 1980s and 1990s, Brad advised Jack Welch (then the CEO of General Electric) on the development of many of the talent management practices for which G.E. is now known.
In 1995, Brad’s son Geoff Smart launched ghSMART & Company. In 1997, the pair teamed up to publish the article “Topgrading the Organization,” in which the Topgrading principles were codified into a unified approach to talent management, and in which the term was used for the first time.
Subsequently, Brad’s book Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching, and Keeping the Best People (Prentice, 1999, 2005) and Geoff’s book Who (Random House, 2008) have become the best-selling and most-acclaimed books in the field of talent management.
Brad and Geoff have helped countless managers around the globe to build higher performing teams, through their Topgrading articles, bestselling books, products, seminars, keynote speeches, board memberships, and consulting engagements via their respective firms.