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.
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.
Talent Q’s Dimensions provides a cost-effective way to measure the capability of sales staff, especially when assessing large numbers in revenue-critical roles.
Selecting the best :
Two recent studies demonstrate the contribution that a carefully chosen personality test can make to the tricky business of predicting performance – especially when in-depth assessments of behavior are too difficult or costly to carry out.
Talent Q ran assessments with employees in sales roles – 60 in telecoms and 29 in a pharmaceutical company – and compared the resulting predictions with employees’ actual performance against sales targets.
The test chosen was Dimensions, an online assessment that measures the key, work-related aspects of personality covered by a range of other personality measures. Participants undertook a single assessment that explored how they approached tasks, how they managed relationships and what motivated them.
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.
Future winners are investing in the right leaders today. As in past recessions margins are being cut, costs pushed down, currencies are shifting – and future winning organisations are starting to reposition themselves. These winners invariably see the writing on the wall first, take advantage of market movements and realign their resources to where they can make most money. This is the message from our annual Best Companies for Leaders research which shows that these winners are already thinking about, and investing heavily in, the future leaders they need to identify and grow.
The big difference this time round is that they want to know the odds: to place bets on the right employees to invest in and to do so at significantly reduced cost. To put it simply, once they have worked out how to re-organize and operate differently, they are investing heavily in redefining what that looks like for the people agenda, particularly their leadership competency frameworks. They see this as the first step in re-aiming their talent management processes on their new success criteria. They also make sure they keep their next-generation leaders engaged and energized despite the difficult market conditions. That way, when the economy swings back, they will be ready for repositioning growth and stealing a march on the competition.
This article offers our best thinking on the most cost effective way to identify future leaders – those who should get the cream of your development budget.
An organisation can be destroyed by its own culture. There’s the slow route to decline, where outmoded assumptions and practices render it increasingly uncompetitive – a dinosaur which just doesn’t ‘get it’. But there’s also a swift route to catastrophe. In these circumstances, institutional collusion in interpreting key facts leads to pervasive managerial delinquency. We’ve seen it in the collapse of Enron and more recently in the fall of Northern Rock. We’ve seen tragic consequences in the Challenger space shuttle disaster, caused more by managerial than engineering failure.
Organisational culture therefore belongs firmly on the risk register for any significant organisation. Directors need to ask not just whether they are being given facts, but whether they are also being given the story. Their legitimate role is to challenge assumptions which lie under the facts. The over-arching question should be “what is the true story of what is happening here, and why is it happening?” In this article, I draw on my experience in executive coaching to unearth the main risks and identify the strategies to address them.
In the privacy of a coaching engagement, leaders often share vignettes of executive dilemmas like the one highlighted on page 82. Anxiety caused by navigating uncertainties at pace and scale sets up unconscious defensive responses. I call these defences a ‘flight into deviance’. We avoid thinking about, talking about and therefore addressing, the results we fear the most. And in complex, fast moving, ‘go-getting’ cultures there are many excuses to avoid reflection or asking the awkward questions. Eventually, executives cross the line from silent discomfort (a regular feature of life at the top) to flight from realities they should confront more openly. And when things beyond your control change as fast as they do these days, you might find it’s best to know whether the common ground, on which you thought you were all standing, has got any earth beneath it.
What do effective leaders do? Do they berate, cajole and plead? Do they collude, or do they simply lead by example? The truth is that they probably use a variety of different techniques to get the best out of people. Hay Group research shows that the most effective leaders use a collection of distinct leadership styles – each in the right measure, at just the right time. The ability to combine these styles and put them into action is not easy, but does pay off in performance.
Effective leadership eludes many people and organizations. One of the reasons has been a lack of understanding about the precise leadership behaviors that yield the best results. Fortunately we have the research and the data to remedy that problem.
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.
The concept of organizational culture is highly appealing to business leaders. Indeed, many globally admired companies credit their success to their unique organization cultures. Representing ‘how things are done’, organizational cultures are important drivers of employee behavior, particularly when employees must be relied upon to act on their own initiative in a way that is consistent with the company’s objectives, culture and values.
But managing and/or transforming organizational culture is not for the faint-of-heart. Nor does it merely involve a cosmetic sleight-of-hand. Efforts to change organizational culture often face three significant obstacles.
Firstly, culture is challenging to grasp as it is an inherently intangible issue. Secondly, changing the behavior of one person is already difficult enough, let alone trying to sustain new behaviors throughout an entire organization. Finally, attempts to transform culture are often met with cynicism – the culture snaps back to old habits if initial changes are not sustained.
Traditionally, executives look to their HR department and their tools – from reward to training – for help to change culture. But even experienced HR professionals get frustrated. The reason lies in the fact that successful transformation does not depend on the number of tools used, but rather how deeply the efforts penetrate.
Culture transformation is a journey without a final destination. If undertaken in the right way, it is a process of continuous improvement and adaptation that will lead to increased employee engagement and improved business performance for everyone involved.
Emotional Intelligence helps you measure and develop high performance behaviors.
Hay Group’s research, in partnership with Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis, continues to demonstrate that emotional and social intelligence differentiates outstanding performers from average employees.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) helps you measure and develop these star qualities in your employees. It uses the Goleman and Boyatzis Emotional and Social Intelligence Competency Inventory (ESCI) – the most validated measure of EI behaviors on the market.