Your Business is Changing – What About Your Leadership?
Successful business leaders know you have to constantly ensure you are optimizing the performance of your leadership team. You need to have the right team in place and the right players in the right positions. In family businesses, the designation of the “leadership team” is often not as cut and dry as it is with other businesses.
When it comes to family businesses, the dynamics of the leadership team can be particularly challenging:
- Sometimes you inherit senior managers from the previous leader
- Sometimes people don’t keep up with the changing needs of the business
- Sometimes family members may not have the skillsets required for the current demands of the position
Evaluating the effectiveness of your leadership team’s structure and its members on a regular basis is not only critical, but can have incredibly positive results.
What is Leadership Evaluation?
Organizations are dynamic, we know that. With a business that is constantly changing and evolving, there needs to be periodic examinations of the overall leadership, the people in various leadership roles, and if the various roles are still the right fit for the current growth trajectory of the company.
Our leadership assessment involves a thoughtful look at the current business objectives, the leadership roles and skills that are needed to achieve those goals, and assessing your current team. Sometimes things need to be shifted to achieve better effectiveness – for everyone.
What Leadership Evaluation is NOT
When we mention the words “assessment” and “evaluation”, people often assume something bad is going to happen. We get it, people hate change! However, leadership assessment is not about cutting and slashing people and jobs – it’s about taking a thoughtful look at the overall business needs, and then figuring out if you have the right people in the right places.
Regardless of your industry and business dynamics, a leadership assessment can give you an objective idea of the proficiency of your leadership team. It’s important to know more about the competencies of your leadership because:
- It will help you capitalize on your team’s strengths.
- It will assist you in mitigating your team’s weaknesses.
- It will give you clear goals for leadership development.
What is involved in a Leadership Assessment?
At Quad Group, our approach to Leadership Assessment is a very inclusive process. We find by involving key staff members and the leadership team in the process, we actually create a very dynamic and positive experience for all involved.
We begin by gathering all the information we can. We review the documents that are available including: job descriptions and performance reviews, the organizational chart and reporting relationships, the website and communication documents such as newsletters, and company resources. This provides us with the “current state” of your business and your leadership team.
Utilizing the outside resources a consultant offers provides impartial feedback regarding the effectiveness of your leadership structure.
We also take the time to interview individuals on the leadership team, as well as key staff members as necessary. Our process is specifically designed to honor privacy and confidentiality. Our questions are designed to identify trends and patterns in order for us to aggregate consistent feedback. We never share the specific comments of individuals.
How do I handle my team’s concerns about this process?
We know introducing a leadership assessment and evaluation process can be a tough subject to introduce. It’s important to realize all the positive aspects of going through this effort. Remember, this is an investment in the success of your leadership team! Focus on the fact that you want your leadership to feel supported and recognized for their contributions to the business. You want what is best for everyone – that is the point of the exercise.
Let’s look at some common misconceptions about the Leadership Assessment process:
Misconception: This is going to be awful!
Reality: It can actually be a pretty fun and interesting process! We find once people begin to participate that they feel supported, listened to, and acknowledged for all the hard work they contribute to the organization.
Misconception: Who are these people?! They can’t possibly understand what goes on around here – they are outsiders!
Reality: Bringing in outside consultants, experienced in not only leadership assessments but in facilitation of group process, is tremendously beneficial. We have no vested interest in the outcome so we can provide neutral, objective analysis of what is working and what is not. We are professionals who hold confidentiality at its highest.
Working through this process with the help of outside consultants allows everyone to participate fully in the process, making for more complete and thorough information from which to determine new best practices.
Misconception: I’m going to be interrogated and put on the spot.
Reality: Everyone involved will be invited to participate in confidential interviews with members of our team. We take note of common themes and perspectives, not the specific comments of individuals.
Misconception: I am feeling threatened, and I’m really worried about what changes are going to happen as a result of this process.
Reality: Everyone has trepidation about possible change. It is actually a gift to be part of the process and have a voice! It feels much better to have some influence over the outcome.
Why would you want to do an assessment of your leadership team?
Businesses are changing all the time. Your business may be scaling and growing, or even downsizing or potentially closing a division. You may have someone who is managing a lot of people when in reality they don’t enjoy managing people; they enjoy managing processes. Or perhaps you have someone who describes how they see themselves in the organization, but it doesn’t really match what they are actually doing.
This very positive process tends to bring staff together and bond them as a stronger team.
It is inevitable that at some point there will be a lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities within your organization. Sometimes this points out a lack of clear job descriptions and responsibilities. At other times, the company’s growth is no longer aligned with your leadership roles. None of this is bad, it simply presents a great opportunity to step back and determine what leadership model fits your business now.
How Quad Group Can Help
We help clients work through an assessment of the leadership roles, needs and opportunities within the company. From the aggregate information we gather through the interview and research process, we create a leadership model for your current needs, and professional development plans for individual leaders, and teams to function effectively and work toward unified goals.
Depending on size of the company and your leadership group, the process takes typically 4 – 8 weeks. Because of the interactive nature of our approach, getting time with everyone is crucial, it takes some time, and we never short-change the value in speaking with everyone.
Working on leadership effectiveness – that is the goal of assessment and evaluation.
After our information gathering phase, Quad Group provides a detailed report that includes opportunities for improvement, critical challenges of leadership, and recommendations for next steps.
We are happy to help with the implementation as well, including an overall plan, talking points, timeline, and a communication and implementation strategy. We can also offer support for the implementation of the new leadership model that includes executive coaching and professional development plans.
We hope you will contact us to discuss how we might help you achieve a leadership team working at peak effectiveness!