Leadership team assessment is an important part of the leadership development process. It identifies and quantifies the leadership traits within your company. Knowing the leadership values and deficiencies within your company will help your leaders, and future leaders, learn from past mistakes, sustain current strengths, and anticipate needs and opportunities. In other words, leadership team assessments provide the data crucial to understanding your company’s internal trajectory. To get the most out of your leadership assessments, you’ll want to schedule them at a frequency that maximizes your company’s leadership development process.
Monitoring You Leadership Development Efforts with Assessments
Your leadership development process likely includes things such as formal and informal education, coaching, and active learning tasks. Your assessments will then need to coincide with those activities, first to establish a baseline, and then later to evaluate for change.
The length of time between each leadership team assessment will be dependent upon your leadership goals and the developmental process you use to reach those goals. In general, you’ll want to allow for enough time to let your processes(education, coaching, and active learning) take effect but not so much time your effect becomes non-testable. Ideally, your leadership development process would be cyclical, so your assessments should be performed before each new cycle. This will give you data on your present efforts while establishing a baseline for your next.
Preparing for the Future with Assessments
A leadership team assessment isn’t just for evaluating your current leaders. They’re also useful for discovering and encouraging your future leaders. The realities of modern business all but guarantee some of the leaders you train today won’t be with you tomorrow. You will naturally lose some to retirement, to failure, to competitors, and even to illness or death. Due to this attrition, assessments are vital to ensuring your company’s leadership has successors.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, “Organizational survival in a globally competitive environment depends in part on having identified and developed replacements (i.e. successors) for key positions.” With that in mind, you’ll want to perform leadership assessments on potential successors often enough to anticipate employment shifts within your company, your region, and your market.
Often companies choose a “results-oriented” approach to evaluating their leadership capabilities. This approach runs the risk of giving your leaders too much credit for successes and too little for failures. It fails to account for factors outside of leadership’s control, nor does it actually identify the leadership qualities you want to perpetuate throughout the company’s existence. Further, it does nothing to prepare your company for future, inevitable leadership changes. Leadership assessments, on the other hand, provide relevant data so your teams can repeat and improve upon their leadership successes. Why guess about what’s working or not working when you can know? To learn more how a leadership team assessment can fit into your leadership development process, please contact EGL today.