Are you developing effective leadership?
If your business is going through significant change, priorities have shifted or you’re facing persistent organisational frustrations, then how do you make sure you have the right leadership capabilities available to address those challenges and come out the other side in better shape? How do you assess and reset your collective leadership capability against a new business backdrop?
Tackling leadership assessment is complex and sensitive, but can’t be ignored if you’re trying to ensure effective leadership is an enabler of business success. Let’s consider how leadership capability is assessed, how effective that assessment is and how you might address some of the questions above. We start by re-focusing on leadership insights – who has which leadership skills, to what extent and how do they behave in a way that helps or hinders the organisation towards shared goals?
Leadership insights: assessment with intention
Leadership assessment is typically conducted at an individual level, but we should be looking at leadership capability across the team and how different skills and behaviours can be leveraged for greatest impact. In developing leadership insights, we are trying to establish how effective the organisation’s collective leadership capability is in a real-world context. We look objectively at what capabilities are available, how they might best be used and where a business might need to focus for future development.
Effective leadership – why would you assess your leadership capability?
Well, why wouldn’t you? Time? Cost? Don’t know where to begin? We never have enough time for the things we know how to do, let alone spend money on something we don’t fully understand. However, if leadership plays an important role in how your business moves forward, you need to make sure you have effective leadership capabilities available.
- Do you know if you have the leadership skills and behaviours to deliver on your strategy?
- Are you making best use of the leadership capability in the team to realise your ambition?
- Has the focus of your business changed and you need to realign leadership with new priorities?
- Are you able to meet changing client needs efficiently and effectively?
Leadership assessment can provide a boost in self-awareness but actionable leadership insights can ensure you really understand the capabilities of your team. Such insights help you work with your team to deploy leadership effectively – aligned to your business goals – and address capability gaps where they exist.
These insights can also be critical when considering the skills and behaviours you’re looking for in future leaders – both inside and outside your organisation. Most critically, it can also mean a clear effort to support leadership development in areas that your business needs most.
Actionable leadership insights
It’s useful to apply logical steps to ensure you conduct effective and objective leadership assessment and minimise the risk of bias or subjectivity creeping in.
- What are you assessing?
You need to identify and define the leadership skills and behaviours relevant for your business, or have chosen a leadership model that is relevant to your business priorities against which you are going to assess. Anything that over-simplifies leadership into labels is unlikely to lead to actionable leadership insight.
- How are you assessing?
Choose the methods that are most suitable for what you are assessing and what output you are looking for. You may need to do further research or get specialist advice on selecting the best assessment tools and methods to meet your needs.
- Who is involved?
You will need to include the people being assessed, the people providing input, the people conducting the assessment and the recipient of the assessment results. It is important to be clear from the outset who is going to be in which of these four groups, how they would be involved and what they should expect.
- Be objective
Treat leadership as a set of skills and behaviours that can be acquired and developed by anyone. If you don’t think someone has the relevant skills to lead, then don’t ask them to lead. However, don’t ask them to complete an assessment just so that you can use that against them.
Use actionable insight to develop truly effective leadership
Leadership plays a critical role in any organisation, but you need to start by identifying the specific leadership skills and behaviours that are relevant for your business. Identify your needs, assess your capability and then develop the skills and behaviours that will have the greatest impact on your business results.
If you want to hear more then please view this recording of a webinar we hosted on the same topic.
Blackmore Four are an independent Essex-based consulting company, offering specialist advice and tailored solutions to businesses looking to improve business performance. Our approach is based on a deep understanding of human behaviour at work and an ability to identify and address the specific leadership and organisational development needs of your business.