Most of our senior level assessment work is for selection. Our executive assessment process is ideal for selecting among final senior leader candidates. Healthcare is catching on. In other industries, robust executive assessment for selection is the norm. As healthcare organizations are realizing the challenges require a different level of leadership, they see the value of executive assessment.
Recently, we are seeing growing interest in employee assessments for leadership development. This is also common in other industries – usually as part of an individual development plan. What is interesting recently is the growing demand for assessment to improve group function.
A recent interesting project: The leaders of an academic medical system recognized that the problems they face today are complex and require new levels collaboration. It’s no longer sufficient that each team member is an outstanding performer in their own area. Collaboration is difficult in large, complex groups – particularly groups of intelligent, highly trained individuals with diverse areas of expertise.
We started with individual assessments and each member getting their individual reports. The most interesting part was the group data. First, the group identified system challenges. This included complex issues related to organizational structure and barriers to creating an integrated approach to care. Then, the group identified challenges to how the group functions – challenges that impact their ability to achieve organizational goals. For instance, accountability, lack of meeting and decision-making discipline, conflict resolution, a lack of trust and transparency, and the stress related to change at an unprecedented rate, were all identified.
Not surprisingly, the group’s results in an assessment of behavioral skills showed that some of their lowest average competencies were in the areas of positive impact, social awareness and sensitivity, and accountability. This means that the individuals, and the group as a whole, struggle with these behavioral skills. It is not a surprise the group has the challenges it does. Positive impact will be critical in marshaling their departments through change. Social awareness and sensitivity impact perception in the group about empowerment, feeling valued, and a sense of trust. Accountability is critical if the group is to quickly and effectively implementing tactics tied to the organization’s strategic plan.
The challenges and the group behavioral deficiencies lend themselves to some relatively straightforward changes to how the group runs meetings, how they hold each other accountable, and engage group members in important decisions, among other things. A “group function action plan” was implemented and the group is focused on team function because they now see the link to their ability to achieve their goals.
This is a great example of how you can tie assessment results directly to organizational goals and leveraging strengths and addressing weaknesses to improve group function.
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