Whirlpool Corporation has a very sophisticated talent management process, using traditional talent pool tools such as the 9-Box to rate and calibrate top talent. The 9-Box is a matrix that many organizations use to evaluate the talent pool. The x axis of the 9-Box assesses leadership performance and the y axis assesses leadership potential. Employees are assessed by a committee or group as to where they fall on the matrix of high to low potential and high to low performance. The rating is based on the assessment by a group of more senior leaders based on hierarchical interaction. In my experience, the 9-box process tends to identify and assess the “usual suspects” of leaders that are on the short list of high potentials as assessed by the senior leaders. One problem is that senior leaders only have snippets of observation and often miss novel or renegade leaders that are held in high esteem by their peers. The 9-Box was made famous by GE and is seen by many talent managers as the preeminent talent assessment tool. We began to postulate additional ways to identify top talent, especially in a world of social networks. To test our theory, we conducted research on the social networks in twenty of our top strategic areas. Our findings were startling compared to the top talent rated by our traditional means. There was little correlation between those individuals who rated as central to the social clusters, the knowledge brokers, and those rated as top talents through the 9-Box. It made us curious about identifying talent and why those who seem to not only make things work, but who simulate social interactions against key strategic issues, are not more represented in the talent management results. Social networks may not replace 9-Box or other traditional methods but it does provide another lens to talent.