To try and motivate someone by saying, ‘go and read this book’, when they don’t learn that way, is going to be as frustrating for them as it is for you. Especially when you find out later that they can’t do what you expected the book to teach them. However, if you recognize that they need to watch you do something to learn how to do it, then you will organize your time differently to achieve your objectives.
As a leader in a group you need to be aware of your own style too, because it has implications for the impact you make on the team. Without acknowledging your own style you may encourage your team to focus on issues from a certain perspective and miss the opportunities that result from different approaches. A team has a collective learning style all of its own. For example, if you have a group of sales managers who all share a preference for action, they are less likely to stop and think about the underlying framework
and rationale for their actions (with a tendency for headless chicken syndrome!). As their leader, your job is to guide this group and help them to understand the strengths and potential weaknesses or blind spots associated with their learning styles.
Hay Group can help you look at your own learning style and those of your team so you’re better able to tune into the needs of others, to the aims of the group and to the optimal way of using your collective time, resources and capabilities.
Nothing stays the same–ever–and your current leaders won’t be around forever. So who are the people who will lead your organization in the future? Having identified them, how do you develop and retain them? Which critical activities will provide the right experience for the fastest growth and development?
Talent Q Dimensions and Elements are unique, online, work-focused psychometric assessments for assessing large talent pools.
Developed by Roger Holdsworth, a pioneer in the field, they measure personality and ability using the latest adaptive testing technology. Talent Q assessments gather data quickly, efficiently and with minimum investment. And they report in ways which can inform a range of talent decisions: screening and selection, matching people to jobs, coaching and development, identifying high potentials, leadership development and team building.
CEOs at the world’s most successful companies know that they can only safeguard their business’s competitive future if they have the right leaders to develop and implement their strategy. While CEOs know they can also hire external candidates, they also know that the track record of outside hires can be very unpredictable. CEOs and HR Directors from those organizations seen as best by their peers for managing talent, prefer to ensure they develop a good bench-strength of talent from inside their own organizations.
For many years CEOs at the world’s most successful companies – such as GE, P&G, BP – have seen the importance of securing their long term competitive future by investing large amounts of money and time in identifying future leaders. Using a whole battery of assessment techniques and processes they have attempted to recruit the best graduates and to see, early in their careers, which managers had the long term potential to make it to the top: what the British army has called: ‘finding the General’s batten in the knapsack of the new recruits.’
But in recent years CEOs have become more concerned about their more immediate competitive future: do we have the talent and capability to develop and implement the strategies that will enable success in today’s highly competitive and changing business world? Today the pressures for change are greater than ever – from globalization, competition, technology, break through business models – which means that the shelf life of both strategies and leaders can be much shorter.
And here is the CEOs real concern: the ability of leaders to implement one type of strategy may not be the type needed to implement another: the skill sets may be different, the behaviors may be different, the experiences needed may be different. For example those needed to lead a nationally based, fully functional company, operating in a stable competitive and technological environment, will be very different from those needed for a leader in a highly matrixed global organization facing rapid competitive and technological change. But this is the transition many businesses are going through.
Some major companies have responded by throwing out or downgrading their programs for building long term bench- strength because they have lost their confidence in their ability to predict the type of talent needed. But our research shows that it is the companies that can resist this response and combine a focus on both the long term and the short term which have enduring success.
Bob Geldof ’s achievements suggest that he might have a lot to teach us about how to achieve goals through new leadership techniques. After all, here is someone who assembled one of the biggest pop concerts in history and – as a result – the way we think about Africa, poverty, fund-raising and the way rich and poor nations live alongside each other has never been the same since. He did it by anticipating a change in the world environment, working outside the formal structures of the economy to energise people around a shared vision and using his connected global leadership skills to create success.
Geldof might not look like a corporate leader and not many people could or would be able to address shareholders and employees with his colourful language. But I’ll bet those stakeholders would be pleased with the outcomes he achieved. More interestingly still, the way in which Geldof brought about this change of thinking and energy of action resonates with much of the research we’ve been doing at Hay Group into what makes truly exceptional leaders.
For the last ten years, Hay Group has been carrying out research with Fortune magazine into the ingredients for global success.
We’ve all heard the one about the CEO who was asked how many people worked in his organisation. “Oh, about half of them,” he replied.
Joking aside, how true is this within your organisation? If you don’t know chances are it’s not being measured or at least not being measured in a way that gives you the same top line data such as profit, debt days outstanding and units shipped. It’s interesting that many organisations just don’t know, even when perhaps half of their salary bills, their biggest costs, are going on people either not contributing
– what we call non-engaged – or, worse still, those who are actually pushing in the wrong direction. In other words, actively disengaged.
After all, who needs competitors if you’ve got actively disengaged employees on your payroll?
All of our research shows that employees want to work and want to work hard, it’s what human beings naturally want to do. That’s the good news. Given that the vast majority of us want to work, what then is the driving force behind those that want to work in the same direction as the employer and those that don’t? That’s the question a good engagement study seeks to answer. And the answers matter. A well aligned workforce results in better bottom-line performance. It delivers higher scores on pretty much any business critical key performance indicators you care to mention, whether they be profit, innovation, safety or anything else. It also means comparatively better share performance.
To the question of whether employee engagement matters to the CEO the answer is undoubtedly ‘yes’. Highly engaged workers make for better business outputs, more loyal customers, fewer ‘problems’ and better financial performance. What’s not to like?
Our world-class clients ask themselves two questions:
The demands inherent in working across boundaries have made traditional operating models and rigid, bureaucratic business structures obsolete. At Hay Group, we work with clients to understand the challenges and create innovative approaches that reduce time to market, increase speed of response and channel innovative ideas more effectively throughout the enterprise, not just in R&D.
We apply our expertise to multiple levels of the organization: vision, business and inter-relationships between levels. We build collaborative capability at each of these levels and, in addition, we assess where breakdown occur across boundaries.
Both formal organizational design features and informal cultural influences impact the ability to build the collaborative potential of the organization. Other constraints, such as limited time, information, tools, experience and so on also have an impact. Hay Group works towards building collaborative solutions based on shared values, connected structures and work practices that make effective collaboration possible at every point.
By focusing on the bottom-line value of our work, we help clients improve their organizational fitness in practical ways, introducing cross-functional working; removing layers of rigid and expensive hierarchy; and clarifying roles, work flow and accountabilities across the enterprise.
The whole purpose of leadership development is to get people to do something different when they get back to work – to find a new style of leadership, to approach problems in a different way, to raise their game. This is where most programmes fall down.
Ours don’t. We connect development objectives to individual targets and the performance management process. We bridge the action gap with data that focuses attention on the things that make the difference for each participant; with structured action planning; with peer to peer support processes; and with follow up re-measures of key variables to gauge impact. Above all, we focus on things within the manager’s control. Whatever the strategy, culture or market conditions, they can then leave the programme and immediately make a difference.
Hay Group has a remarkable research tradition. From Mr Ed Hay himself and Professor David McClelland, with Richard Hackman at Harvard and our work with Daniel Goleman on Emotional Intelligence, we have changed the way people at work think about people at work. We bring this thinking to each project.
Many organisations have unique needs for leadership. Different roles, in different contexts, face particular challenges. Culture and terminology matter. Change brings new demands: collaboration, cultural sensitivity and mental agility.
When we meet something new, before we design a programme or get in front of participants, we engage in practical research with our clients. This can mean defining the specific accountabilities and impact of the jobs in question. It may mean discovering what outstanding performers actually do, and translating that into a customised competency model for leadership.
Through research, leadership development becomes a tool for making strategy real – discovering and describing the distinctive behaviours and values that produce a competitive advantage for the organisation. It makes the vision concrete.