Organizational Excellence Series – Best practice guide to assessing leadership teams

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While traditional leadership assessments can be seen as complex, subjective and even threatening exercises, there are other simpler approaches that sponsors can use to a get a fact-based understanding of leadership competencies.

Some of these best practices include:

ASK THE SAME QUESTION TO DIFFERENT LEADERS

A simple but very effective way to understand alignment and how the management team works is to ask the same question to different team members. This gives quick insights on whether information and opinions are shared, how communications works and whether or not the leadership team is aligned.

ASK FOR THE “WHY”

A good leadership team knows what the driving force behind their company is and how to use this “purpose” to motivate and energize the workforce. Leadership teams that are unclear about their company’s purpose and/or values, and can’t crisply articulate them or how they are translated in practice, fail to engage their workforces and create high performance organizations.

SURVEY THE ORGANIZATION

An anonymous employee survey capturing best practice leadership and management behaviors like Humatica’s altus, is an efficient way to get a fact-based benchmark on leadership team performance at all levels in one go. It is a great platform for delivering complete transparency as a basis for trust-building and collaboration between sponsors and management.

OBSERVE INTERACTIONS AND BODY LANGUAGE

Close observation of how the management team interacts during meetings is also a good barometer of excellence. Who is present in the meetings, who is not? Observe how the CEO interacts with and addresses his or her team. Gestures, eye contact, body language and behaviours often speak louder than a blue-chip CV or presentations.

TALK WITH CUSTOMERS & SUPPLIERS

The way customers and suppliers perceive the organisation is shaped by their interaction with senior managers. Do they have any interactions with the leadership team at all? The answer says a lot about how hands-on senior management is and how aligned they are when talking to external stakeholders.

This article is part of our series on Organizational Excellence.

Other articles in the series:

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