Engagement is critical for implementing the organization's mission, vision, strategies, and objectives. It's most often achieved by meeting changing needs--of employees, leaders, and other stakeholders. Yet leaders often need formal development initiatives to develop required competencies for expanded roles or responsibilities; for the challenges brought about by organizational change; for dealing with a diverse workforce; and for ensuring the proper balance between value creation and value preservation. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
To get a total picture of what challenges leaders continually face, we look at organizational challenges as a whole. We find that it's often helpful to educate leaders with regard to the challenges that organizations--and that they, as leaders, within an organization--face, at particular stages of the organizational life cycle. Start-up and rapid change scenarios require different skill sets than leading in maturing, or even a declining phase on the organizational life cycle. We help leaders anticipate changes as the organization matures, and we help them in adapting to those changes.
When assessing leadership performance, we not only evaluate current leadership skill sets and competencies against what it takes to perform optimally in current roles, we look at the competencies and skill sets that will be needed for expanded, potential future roles. Individual assessments are useful for determining leadership gaps and for creating individual development plans, but individual performance is best evaluated within the context of the teams on which leaders serve and within the particular culture of the organizations in which they work. In this way, leaders can be evaluated on how well they perform against team expectations, organizational expectations, and within the context of the organizational structure and culture. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The "teaming" aspect of leadership is critically important when assessing C-suite executives and executive committee members of boards. Most important to team effectiveness at any level, however, 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 clients, in our efforts to close competency 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 internal or external coaching or mentoring programs. For more information about team performance assessment, action plans for improvement, and how teamwork is linked to innovation, see our Team Assessment & Developmentbrochure. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Career Management and Leadership Development
We've included a description of the career management process because we see it as being intimately related to leadership and team success. Career management typically begins with an assessment of skills, competencies, and areas of interest. Once this phase has been completed, leaders or associates construct potential career paths and personalized development plans that will effectively position themselves for career aspirations. The next phase of career development processes involves integrating individual career plans with an organization's succession plan. In situations where plans are incongruent, efforts should be made to reconcile the differences. In situations where there is congruence--and the organization believes there is value in developing the individual--a formal career plan should be incorporated into the organization's succession plan. In the final phase of career development, a timetable that summarizes development plans should be developed, monitored, and implemented on a quarterly basis, at minimum. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Linking Career Management to Succession Planning
In addition to identifying what people are good at, career management takes into consideration what they could be good at, in the future, with appropriate development. So what kinds of career management services are offered by the Innovation Outcomes?
Objective and validated assessments to identify potential assets and liabilities relevant to current and potential future roles
Career exploration based on assessment results
Evaluation of various career options
Identification of gaps in skills and competencies in either current or anticipated future roles
Counsel regarding career transition in cases of poor fit
Innovation and Enhanced Performance Through Leadership Development
We've said, on another page of this website, that it's important to keep in mind that there are differences between leadership development and training. Leadership development can include independent study, e-learning, rotational assignments, international assignments, cross training, action learning, executive development, and also coaching and mentoring.
Given the complexities of international roles, coaching is often employed as a way of building or enhancing cross-cultural competencies. (For more information about this, see our Coaching brochure.) We can safely say that most leaders benefit from formal training, particularly when it's customized to their organization versusoff-the-shelf training. To gain an understanding of all of the categories in which we provide customized training, see our list of subjects in our Leadership Assessment & Developmentbrochure. __________________________________________________________________________________________
Internal and External Coaching
With seasoned leaders, coaching is typically facilitated through onboarding/rapid assimilation coaching or one-on-one coaching with external
coaches. When working with CEOs and other C-suite members, coaching is
aimed at enhancing performance but also at meeting the needs
of multiple constituencies (e.g., Boards, leaders at all organizational
levels, associates, legislators, special interest groups, the media,
government and other compliance entities, etc.).
With entry-level or potential leaders, coaching is
often provided through internal mentoring programs. However, our services include work with high potential and emerging leaders as well as seasoned and experienced leaders. Almost all of our coaching scenarios fall within three
major categories: developmental, onboarding/rapid assimilation, and
remedial. Although we have a preference for the Hersey-Blanchard coaching model, we believe that the most effective approach is to
blend several different coaching models, particularly when our work involves clients at all organizational levels. __________________________________________________________________________________________
Innovation and Enhanced Performance Through Team Development Sometimes we provide team development services in conjunction with a business combination or strategic business alliance (e.g., a joint venture, business partnership, merger, or acquisition). Sometimes team development is done in conjunction with restructuring or downsizing. And sometimes we provide team building in conjunction with strategic or operations planning efforts. (See our Strategic Planning and Operations Planning brochures.) No matter what the scenario, however, team development is an excellent way of ensuring alignment--between individuals and organizations as well as departments, functions, and units. We've made reference to the concept of alignment on various pages of this website, as well as the role of alignment in supporting innovation and optimizing individual, team, and organizational performance. Alignment is important whether innovation is breakthrough or incremental.
At times, even highly functioning teams can sometimes find themselves out of alignment. This is most often due to ineffective methods of integrating new team members, an inability to resolve conflict between two or more team members, but it might also be due to a particular stage of the team's evolution. Most teams follow an evolutionary process that Bruce Tuckman, a professor at Ohio State University called "Tuckman's Stages," which consist of "forming," "storming," "norming," and "performing." Although Tuckman added a fourth stage that he called "adjourning," the model is best known by the first four stages. To learn more about the Tuckman team model, click here.
In closing, whether change is breakthrough or incremental, effective teamwork is critical for success. We work jointly with clients to assess team and individual leadership performance, as well as organizational performance. Sometimes organizational structures are in need of redesign to effectively integrate culture, processes, technology, and people. But If organizations aren't structured appropriately, and individual leaders are lacking in critical skills and competencies, no amount of effective teamwork will compensate. In summary, a solid infrastructure is needed for strong organizational performance. In addition to effective teamwork. This means well-functioning planning and strategy formulation, strong leadership, effective change management programs, and human asset management are all needed to form a foundation for growth, profitability, viability, and innovation.