Innovation Outcomes Brochure Capability Assessment ___________________________________________________________________________ Innovation and Enhanced Performance Through Formal Assessment
Through a variety of assessment instruments, we ensure that individuals and teams have relevant skill sets and leadership competencies to implement organizational strategies and mission. Assessment is also a good method for determining the degree to which the interests of individuals, teams, and organizations are aligned. In situations where there are competency gaps or misalignment, assessment can target potential problem areas in early stages, when they are easier and less costly to correct.
Our experience tells us that assessments are key to supporting innovation and to identifying the potential barriers that suppress or stifle it. When we assess organizations for their innovation capacity, we often find that key leaders and associates have insufficient skill sets and competencies and also that certain leadership styles may reinforce entitlement cultures or coercive cultures that inhibit innovation and strong performance.
A Foundation for Gap Analysis and Organizational Planning
Assessments have historically helped individual leaders, teams, and organizations in evaluating their potential assets and liabilities. In particular, assessments provide a foundation for gap analysis that enable clients to move from current reality to where their organizations need to be in the future. When an accurate picture is produced through formal assessment, organizations are better positioned to define desired outcomes and formulate strategies to achieve them.
With greater levels of understanding about where their organizations need to go, and the strengths and weaknesses that must be taken into consideration, client organizations are also better able to build and maintain agile and robust organizations. When they do this--and they leverage strengths and address or compensate for weaknesses--they're well positioned for competitive advantage and an expanded capacity to respond to and manage change. We also find assessment useful in M & A integration services, for assessing the compatibility of leadership styles between key individuals at both acquiring and acquired organizations and in merging the different cultures of those organizations. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Organizational Assessment In addition to assessing obvious indicators and tangible criteria such as the organization's financial growth, market share, effective use of technology, etc., Innovation Outcomes consultants focus on two simple questions when conducting formal assessments: "What's working?" and "What isn't working?" However, those questions typically prompt many other questions, such as, "Does the organization effectively solve problems? Communicate solutions? Set well-understood goals and objectives? Make well-informed decisions? Anticipate future challenges? Resolve conflict effectively? Demonstrate flexibility, resiliency and agility? Reward performance fairly, both tangibly and intangibly?"
When conducting an organizational assessment, one of the first questions that we typically ask is, "Where does the organization need to be in the future?" Other questions are: "What are the organization's strategies for moving from current reality to the future?" "What are potential obstacles?" "What risks is the organization facing?" "How are these risks being managed?" "Is the organization structured appropriately?" "How effectively is the organization anticipating and managing change?" "What kind of change does it need to be managing?" "Is the organization responding to the particular challenges that are associated with the phase that it's in on the organizational life cycle?" (For example, "Is the organization managing rapid growth in the start-up phase? Or is it restructuring, redesigning, downsizing, or divesting, in a mature phase?") As previously mentioned, we utilize assessment to identify compatibility (or incompatibility) issues between acquiring organizations and target organizations or organizations that have been recently acquired. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
We look at the current organizational challenges that leaders are dealing with as a whole, in addition to their individual skill sets and competencies. We also believe that it's important to evaluate how well leaders are likely to manage future challenges, given their existing skill sets. So we evaluate strategic plans and interview key decision makers, to identify critical competencies that will be needed in the future and evaluate current and anticipated capacity. This is particularly important when assessing executive performance. Equally important are the relationships that senior leaders, particularly CEOs, have with their Boards. On other pages of this website, we've described how different phases of the organizational life cycle require different leadership competencies and skill sets. But individual assessments can only provide a partial picture of leadership and organizational effectiveness. Why? Because individual leadership performance is best evaluated within the context of the teams on which leaders serve and the cultures of the organizations for which they work. When teams and organizations are also assessed, leaders can be evaluated on the basis of how well they perform against team expectations, organizational expectations, and within the context of the organizational structures and cultures that support (or don't support) those expectations. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The "teaming" aspect of leadership is critically important when assessing leadership performance, particularly that of C-suite executives. It is also critical for boards, and we have experience assessing board leadership, structure, and function.Most important to team effectiveness at any level is the concept of alignment. Consistent with the idea that "no man [person] is an island," neither leadership performance nor organizational performance can be effectively separated from team performance. . The sole problem solver and decision maker of the past is no longer capable of functioning effectively in today's complex environments. Innovation Outcomes provides formal team assessment and team development services that assess team alignment and evaluate teams on the basis of:
congruence in strategy and actions
problem solving ability
role definition, role clarity, and role overlap
many other variables that impact team performance
In addition to designing customized instruments to assess team performance, we assess team capability by constructing and evaluating team profiles. These profiles are a composite of individual profiles that provide detailed information about assets and liabilities. Team profiles typically reveal gaps in team performance and provide valuable information to us and to our client organizations that wish to close gaps.
Gaps are typically closed in a number of ways. One is to play to individual strengths and find ways to complement weaknesses. Another is to close gaps by filling future vacancies with individuals who have the competencies that are currently missing. Sometimes organizations utilize outside assistance to provide services that exceed in-house capacity or capability. And still another way to close gaps is by developing or enhancing existing skill sets through coaching or mentoring. For more information about team performance assessment, action plans for improvement, and how teamwork is linked to innovation, see Team Development. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Leadership Assessment Methodology
We've mentioned, on other pages of this website, that leadership today is much more complex than in years past, particularly with the need to manage geographically dispersed teams and diverse multi-generational and multi-cultural workforces. As a result of this increased complexity, more comprehensive assessments are used today. In addition to instruments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), FIRO-B, Birkman, emotional intelligence assessments, the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, and many others.
Although assessments that identify preferences and skill sets are helpful for general purposes, we find that 360-feedback instruments and the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) are especially useful in identifying individual skill in identifying and dealing with differences. These instruments can also determine whether individuals are well suited to their current roles and identify the particular leadership assets should be leveraged, or compensated for, in potential future roles. To see how leadership plays a role in innovation, see our Leadership Assessment & Developmentpage. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
In addition to formally assessing current capability and performance, it's important to assess how well individuals, teams, and organizations are meeting goals and objectives; whether they're responding effectively to the unique challenges that correlate with the organization's position in the organizational life cycle; and whether the culture is supportive of high performance.
well-understood performance scorecard is basic to high performance of
individuals, teams, and the organization itself, but the design of the scorecard is critical. We at Innovation Outcomes,
believe strongly in the importance of a "balanced scorecard" that
defines performance in dimensions that go beyond mere financial
performance. In addition to providing key indicators for financial
management, a scorecard should focus on customer satisfaction and
customer relationships, human capital utilization, process improvement,
innovation, and other key areas defined by specific client needs.
On a final note, we believe that, to obtain full value from any kind of assessment process, organizations need to be prepared to take action in addressing the particular issues or problems that might be revealed. This typically means leveraging strengths and ensuring that high performing teams and individuals are developed appropriately and recognized and rewarded for their efforts and accomplishments.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ To see the specific assessment instruments that we use, to assess individuals, leaders, teams, and organizations, click here. To read case studies about our assessment services, click here.