Maintaining the leadership pool is a challenging task for an organization and its top leaders. There are a number of activities, as well as developmental exercises, that can be undertaken to grow leadership at every level within the organization. But how can organizational leaders measure leadership? And, more importantly, what analytics can be used to ensure that leadership talent is used efficiently and appropriately? Let’s look at some broad categories of leadership analytics.
First, behavioral profiling is an excellent analytical tool. There are two ways to approach behavioral analytics for leaders. First, you can identify behavioral characteristics of well-known leaders, either in the world at large or within the organization itself. These general characteristics can be used as a “yardstick” for leadership development and leadership measurement. There are many sources of popular leadership profiles, but how can you profile within the organization? Myers-Briggs type indicators are one example. A certified Myers-Briggs consultant can assess leaders, name their “types”, and help the organization build profiles, communication plans, and job-specific characteristics – and use these items as leadership analytics.
Along with behavioral profiling, the organization can make use of leadership assessment from the “other end”. What makes people within the organization successful? If this cannot be defined, those “high performers” can be profiled with their own characteristics. For example, if your organization has not used leadership analytics in the past, identify people at every level who seem to excel at their jobs, have a “following”, and who have consistently proven their worth to the organization and its vision. Take the time to interview these people to determine how they’ve accomplished a successful rise. The data you gather can be used to measure individuals and also to measure what characteristics tend to work within the organization itself.
Analysis of teams is also an excellent analytical tool. There are a couple of ways to go with teams, as well. If your organization is already in the process of formal leadership development, consider bringing the pool together in order to break them into teams and give them “real” organizational problems to solve. Observe how the teams work together, as well as how each individual contributes to the solution or the project. You’ll be able to create an analytical profile of team success at the organization from your observations. If you’re not conducting formal development, consider observing project teams specifically for the purpose of identifying leadership characteristics. What personal and team characteristics tend to propel the team forward, and what characteristics tend to mire the team down? As you record your data, you’ll also see a profile developing.
From the human resources standpoint, benchmarking individual roles for leadership characteristics is also an effective analysis tool. Examine individual jobs within the organization and first determine which incumbents have been “successful” at the job and which ones have had less than stellar performances. From that determination, you can look at individual behaviors that contribute to success within a particular job or role. Conduct this type of analysis at every level of the organization and measure incumbents and job candidates using the metrics you’ve discovered in your initial analysis. This type of role analytics can help the organization create individual leadership profiles for each job and for the organization as a whole.
Leadership training and development in itself can be used as an analytical tool. The program you develop will help you identify high potential and high performing leaders at every level. But along with this comes the ability to identify the organizational players that have the potential to develop – and those who simply do not. Using this analytic, you can begin to develop the “middle road” or “B” organizational players into top-level leaders. And you can begin to exit those non-performers or “C” level players at the same time. All of the analytics we’ve discussed can be part of your leadership development program. For example, you can conduct analysis of behaviors, leadership characteristics, team performance, and even roles within the context of the leadership development program.
Each broad area of analysis leads you to a set of measurements or analytics that can be used to measure existing leadership and to create a leadership goal within the organization. Not only this, these broad areas of analysis can also create a leadership profile by which you measure job candidates at every level, both internally and externally. Take the time to determine which analytics will work for you organization and begin to measure your leadership talent.
Copyright 2009 Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.
Bryant Nielson – Learning & Development Expert – assists executives, business owners, and top performing sales executives in taking the leap from the ordinary to extraordinary. Bryant is a trainer, business & leadership coach, and strategic planner for many sales organizations. Bryant’s 27 year business career has been based on his results-oriented style of empowering.
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