Assessment centres


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Assessment centres

  1. 1. Executive Development Suite 2013 ASSESSMENT CENTERS Creating a Pipeline of Sustainable Leadership for Organizational Success
  2. 2. Executive Development Suite 2013 The Leadership Dilemma 2013 “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” It has been 15 years since Google founders Larry Page & Sergey Brin thought of this vision in their college flat as part of their graduate project in Stanford University. As they transformed this small idea into a small start-up in Silicon Valley, and over the years, into an 80 billion dollar enterprise with 60,000 employees and 400 million users every day, the world would never be the same again. As organizations turn a fresh leaf from the battle that was 2009 to 2012, they look inwards once again at their cadre of executives to see where their own Page-Brin-like idea will come from. More often than not, the assessment feels underwhelming. These days, finding senior managers with the right balance of innovative thinking, ruthless execution, business acumen, and dynamism is rare. Even more worrying is the fact that competent or not, an uncomfortably large population of senior managers is retiring with no clear successors, and companies have no formal strategy to find or develop them. The Executive Development Cycle Executive Talent Pool Generation Evaluation Training & Development the retiree. Because of a lack of quality talent, or a hesitation to undergo the complicated and seemingly futile exercise to find the right replacement, the decision almost always turns to promoting the one-downs, who, although they may be an excellent operational manager, either lacks the strategic insight or readiness to take on the higher role. The challenge for 2013 is proactivity —having the initiative to identify, develop, and condition future successors, whether an internal opening is there or not. In this manner, the organization will have sufficient time to identify high potentials as young as Frontline Managers, hone their strategic leadership and management competencies (which takes much longer to do properly than most believe), and have them ready to fill each and every Senior Management gap that may arise in the future. This is the only way to ensure that the shiny new Strategic Plans that get written every year will have enough qualified leaders to execute Onboarding Figure 1.1 The Executive Development Cycle Most organizations have some form of succession planning in place, often as part of an HR Organizational Development checklist. The problem for most is that it occurs mostly as a reactive process. A Senior Manager who has been in the company for a decade decides to announce his retirement and HR is faced with the daunting task of finding a successor who will equal the performance, command, and presence of the
  3. 3. Executive Development Suite 2013 them. The process starts in discovering where all the hidden talent are. This brings the importance of having good assessment sharply into focus. Identifying the right individuals with the leadership potential, capacity to learn, and organizational commitment at the very start is crucial to the success of any Executive Development initiative. But because leadership potential is, to most, a nebulous concept and varies from person to person, generating a quality talent pool through the opinion of others is easier said than done. Shown below in Table 1 are some of the common challenges faced by HR organizations. What organizations need is a systematic program of measuring the competencies of high potentials that will objectively predict their fit for Senior Management advancement. That is precisely what Assessment Centers aim to achieve. The Role of Assessment Centers Developing the leaders of tomorrow begins with identifying high potentials and then committing them to a long-term development program that will hopefully result in competent Senior Managers. The program, which often comes in flashy acronyms such as LEAP or STAR, is normally conducted over a period of a year or more. For HR professionals who are managing such program, it is easy to say that it is among the top if not the most expensive and time- intensive of HR activities, not to mention risky. What if at the end of the exercise, after all the investment in time and resources, the company is not able to generate enough qualified successors through the program? By then it will have been too late, and companies will again have to settle for the partly competent. Table 1: Challenges in Executive Assessment 2013 Low confidence in the quality of recommendations for successors by Senior Management Bias of recommendations by Senior Management for close contacts Incomplete measurement of leadership, management, functional, and attitudinal competencies Lack of objectivity in the assessment process, as the ratings given by assessors are influenced by previous interactions with the individual Low validity and reliability of assessment methodology, as the individuals are being assessed for positions that they currently do not occupy, and the assessors have not been able to see them perform in that capacity Lack of a benchmark for development that would indicate the competency areas where the individual is already strong at, which areas are for improvement, and how big or small the gap is
  4. 4. Executive Development Suite 2013 Challenges in Executive Assessment Bias of recommendations by Senior Management for close contacts and affiliations Benefits of Assessment Centers Before the Assessment Center begins, a Success Profile is set for the Senior Management role. This sets the numerical score in competency and performance that individuals have to meet in order to qualify for the Executive Development Program. The tenure of the individual or the strength of his affiliations will play no role in qualification. The exercises in the Assessment Center are built from the Senior Management Competency Model. This ensures that the fit of the person is determined through assessing not a few, but all critical aspects of skill, knowledge, and ability necessary for the new role. The individual is assessed by Certified External Assessors who have been specifically trained to observe and measure behavior. As they are not from the organization, and do not know the candidates personally, their assessment will be wholly based on their performance on the exercises. The Assessment Center is built around exercises, activities, and tasks of Senior Managers. Therefore, the organization will be able to observe the Middle Managers in a Senior Management capacity and see their competency, readiness, and ease in the more senior role. The main output of the Assessment Center is an Executive Competency Report that not only provides a summative assessment of the individual’s potential, but gives a rating (1-5) for each of the competency areas. The scores provide a numerical reference at the start of the individual’s development period so that comparisons can be made after training to measure their improvement Incomplete measurement of leadership, management, functional, and attitudinal competencies Lack of objectivity in the assessment process, as the ratings given by assessors are influenced by previous interactions with the individual Low validity and reliability of assessment methodology, as the individuals are being assessed for positions that they currently do not occupy, and the assessors have not been able to see them perform in that capacity Lack of a benchmark for development that would indicate the competency areas where the individual is already strong at, which areas are for improvement, and how big or small the gap is
  5. 5. Executive Development Suite 2013 The Barker Hoffmann Assessment Center Excellence in Predicting Executive Potential Principles of Barker Hoffmann were involved in conducting one of the earliest Assessment Centers for the British Military, 27 years ago. Military operations are as risky as they come—politically, economically, and humanly. This principle guided the developers to craft a program that is as effective and efficient as possible, because the quality of the recommended leaders will determine the success or failure of a military operation. Now in 2013, the Consultancy continues to be guided by the same principles to deliver the best Assessment Centers and leadership recommendations in the market today, whether in the public or private sector. Our innovation is driven by recent developments in the field of Industrial and Social Psychology, as well as technological advances that streamline measurement and observation. Based on a recent study of organizations and the consulting industry, we present some of the practices that define the best of what is available on the market today.
  6. 6. Executive Development Suite 2013 Best Practices 2013 1.) Competency-Based. Assessment Centers are built from the Senior Management Leadership & Management Competency Model. This details the leadership, functional, attitudinal, and interpersonal competencies requisite for Executive success. Figure 1. This is an example of the full range of competencies measured in our Assessment Centers. Leadership & Management Competencies Leadership Strategic Visioning Idealized Influence Organizational Engagement Decision-Making & Accountability Corporate Governance Change Management Management Business Strategy Development Organizational Performance Management Business Economics Strategic Financial Management Strategic Human Resource Management Strategic Value Chain Management Attitudinal, Interpersonal & Cognitive Results Orientation Organizational Commitment Business Ethics Emotional Maturity Strategic Influencing Relationship Management Business Communication Critical Thinking Creativity & Innovation Brand Management Consumer Insighting Brand Visioning Brand Equity Management Brand Communications Management Functional Competencies Product Management Category Strategy & Menu Management Product Development Product Commercialization Retail Operations Network Planning & Site Mapping Marketplace Management Site Acquisition Retail Model Development Business Channel Development Service Management
  7. 7. Executive Development Suite 2013 2.) Customized. Assessment Centers are developed exclusively for a company. They are customized for the job role, the nature of their business, and the industry they operate in. Figure 2. A case study developed for a Financial Service organization. 22 April 2013 To: Juana Dela Cruz ISM Dear Juana, Here are the Financial Statements for the year 2012-2013. Your secretary has sent me the schedule and the agenda for the upcoming financial planning meeting. The materials are for your review. Please send your thoughts on the financial standing of the company and where you would like to see greater efficiency next year. We will use them to prepare the action plans accordingly. Regards, John Myritz Chief Financial Officer ISM Ltd.
  8. 8. Executive Development Suite 2013 3.) Multi-Method.3.) Multi-RaterEach competency is measured inMultiple Certified Assessors, both external at least two exercises, to ensure(CEO’s, Industry Experts) and internal the validity and Specialists) the(Management Team, reliability ofgive well- rounded insights on the individual’smeasurement. executive potential. 4.) Technology-Driven The use of advanced video-recording techniques allow assessors to observe participants closer while remaining invisible. This reveals the interesting world of micro- behaviors that are often overlooked but play a major role in personal efficiency and interactions with others. 4.) Multi-Method. Each competency is measured in at least two exercises, to ensure the validity and reliability of the measurement. Figure 3. An Assessment Matrix. Competency Area Leadership Cluster Interactions EXECOMMANCOMStaff BusinessVisioningConflict Performance Exercise Interaction Presentation External Company Stakeholder Convention Influencing Meeting Office Simulation In-Tray Exercises Case Study International Expansion Questionnaire 360 Degree Feedback Interview BEI 1. Strategic Visioning 2. Idealized Influence 3. Organizational Engagement 4. Decision- Making 5. Corporate Governance 6. Change Management                                
  9. 9. Executive Development Suite 2013 5.) Executive Coaching. The Assessment is documented in detailed Executive Competency Reports. This is immediately followed by a Coaching & Development Planning meeting between the individual, their Immediate Superior/Executive Coach, and HR to plot their development path into Executive Leadership.
  10. 10. Executive Development Suite 2013 *Missing IDP format Individual Development Plan Leadership Skills Cluster A-1 Business Strategy Development Competency Area 0.9 Development Gap Learning Objectives: Development Activities Immediate Superior Comments Review Date To improve his ability to develop long term plans and objectives at the Senior Management Level. Structured Training. Executive Development Program – Module I: Strategic Planning (5 Day Program) Self-Paced Learning. Business Planning Refresher Exercises on E-Learning Portal Performance Tools. Business Planning Templates on E-Learning Portal I will oversee his assessment, development, and evaluation through the Monthly Executive Coaching Meetings. June 30, 2013
  11. 11. Executive Development Suite 2013 6.) ROI. A Return on Investment Calculation is conducted to evaluate the Program’s contribution to the performance of the Individual, the Business Unit, and the Organization as a whole. Conclusion Finding and Developing Executive Talent will continue to be one of the greatest challenges of Human Resource organizations in 2013 and beyond. In this paper we have emphasized that the process must gain greater proactivity, structure, and objectivity in order for it to succeed. It all begins with the right assessment process to clearly identify what leadership and management competencies are critical and use them to evaluate each Executive Talent’s potential. Only then can an accurate path be crafted for each person’s development for further advancement. Finding Executives with the perfect leadership and management competencies is a near impossibility. But with the right identification, assessment, and development of talent as early as they are Front Line Managers is as close as one can get to building a sustainable pipeline of Leadership Excellence. It may seem like an enormous investment in time and resources. But its impact in improving organizational performance is immense, and long lasting, for many generations to come. There is no riper moment to begin than now.
  12. 12. Executive Development Suite 2013 Client Success Jollibee Foods Corporation The Development of a Customized Assessment Center for a Multi-National Fast Food Corporation Background In 2009, a multi-national fast food corporation approached Barker Hoffmann with the problem that they were expanding rapidly both in their home country and overseas and they had realized that they had too few senior managers at the Vice President level to fill the General Manager and Strategic Business Unit Head levels in their numerous brands and support units. Furthermore, the management and leadership competency framework that they were using was designed for middle rather than top management and so any assessment made of the potential of their management team was unlikely to give them the answers that they would need to develop an effective Executive Development Program (EDP). They needed to identify at least six VPs immediately to occupy key positions and to have a pool of other senior managers ready to occupy future positions within 3 years. Barker Hoffmann was tasked with; developing an Executive Management Competency Framework against which 50+ VPs and senior managers could be assessed; assessing the competencies, on an on- going basis, of the top managers of the multi-national; and making recommendations on the suitability of the top managers for executive development and eventual promotion. The Barker Hoffmann Assessment Center Process Developing the Competency Framework The nature of the positions for which the VPs and senior managers were being considered meant that the standard management and leadership competencies were not enough to determine future success. An assessment of the functional competencies related to the fast food industry needed to be made as well. The CEO of the corporation wanted an assessment of the competencies related to Brand, Product and Retail as well as the Strategic Management and Leadership competencies needed to run Strategic Business Units (SBU) and Support Units(SU) that ranged over a dozen countries and that dealt with both group owned and franchised outlets. Barker Hoffmann conducted an analysis of the competencies of the SBU Heads and of the General Managers of Support Units and from the list of over 40 competencies identified, the Group CEO and existing SBU and SU Heads identified 35 critical competencies in 5 major clusters; Brand, Product, Retail, Leadership, Managerial and Personal Mastery, that they wanted assessed.
  13. 13. Executive Development Suite 2013 Assessment of Competencies For Personal Mastery and Leadership it was determined that a 360° instrument could be designed to make a basic assessment of the candidates competency. However, this was not seen as being enough and it was determined that these and the other competencies should be assessed through the medium of an office simulation. One of the multi-nationals SBUs was selected as the vehicle for the office simulation. Up to 12 participants took the role of SBU Head concurrently for a period of 2 days. Exercises were designed that incorporated situations that the SBU Head could meet in that position. The scenarios were taken from actual situations that had been encountered by the multi-national top managers over the previous 5 years, and so in 2 days the participants were expected to deal with situations that would normally spread over an immensely longer period. The exercises covered such things as natural disasters, grand theft, corporate strategic planning, company start-up, death, financial analysis and other ‘routine’ top management activities. The Office Simulation Workshop Each participant was given both a verbal and written brief before they attended the Assessment Center Workshop and was required to make store site visits before they attended the workshop as part of the data and information collection process about the SBU brand that they were going to manage. They were briefed that the moment they stepped into the Assessment Center they would be the SBU Head and that everything they did from that moment would be assessed. They were briefed that for 48 hours they would live and breathe being the SBU Head and that anything could happen and that they had to deal with it. There were no breaks in the middle for separate briefings on specific exercises as all instructions would come to them via the normal forms of communication, telephone, letters, emails, faxes and walk-ins. Assessment was made by external and internal assessors. The external assessors were senior HR Managers skilled in behavioral assessment and the internal assessors were the CEO and top managers from the multi-national. Direct observation was kept to an absolute minimum by using closed circuit video. All exercises involving human interaction were recorded for later behavioral assessment checking. Written outputs were collected by the SBU Heads ‘Secretary/PA’ for analysis. After the 2 day workshop, each participant was interviewed to gather supporting data on competencies that had not emerged during the workshop and on their future career aspirations. In addition, participants were given the option of explaining their actions – without comment from the interviewing assessors. The assessors comprised one internal and one external assessor. Post-Workshop Analysis Over a period of 6 weeks, the psychological and competency assessments made through the medium of online testing, and the materials generated by the participants on the 2 day workshop, were analyzed by
  14. 14. Executive Development Suite 2013 the consultancy and individual reports prepared that identified their performance against the 36 competencies. In addition, a group report was prepared that identified the areas that needed to be covered in the subsequent Executive Development Program into which the participants would pass. The reports on the participants were gone through with the VP HR for the Corporate Group and then with the CEO. Individual Feedback The multi-national’s top hierarchy decided that feedback should be given by the consulting principal rather than by a combination of the person’s immediate superior – an SBU Head or the CEO – and the consultant. The purpose was to ensure that the participant had the opportunity to be completely open with their comments without fear of having the person who was responsible for their future career prospects present. The process proved successful with participants sharing personal concerns that they might not normally share with their immediate superior present. Each participant was shown both their written outputs and its analysis, and the videoed interactions and their analyses. The results from the 360° and other psychological, management and leadership competencies were shared and discussed. A copy of the individual report went to the participant along with the suggested Individual Development Plan that had been formulated from the results. The Outcomes from the Workshop and the Assessments As a result of the first 4 workshops, 4 of the 34 senior managers who had attended the workshops were selected to occupy SBU Head positions. Two senior managers decided to leave the corporation, one who went to a more senior position with a US multi-national and another who decided that top management was not for him. Two senior manager s that had previously been considered for top positions within a relatively short timeframe were passed over because of their performance. All, but those who left the corporation, moved on to attend the Executive Development Program including those who had already been promoted. A further 24 senior managers are in the pipeline for assessment during 2013 and the corporation has decided to extend this form of assessment to middle managers in order to further develop its talent pool.
  15. 15. Executive Development Suite 2013 Our Consulting Practice Barker Hoffmann is a United Kingdom based multi-faceted consultancy with its head office in London. It operates in Europe, the USA, Africa the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region through regional offices. The Asia-Pacific regional office is located in Manila, Philippines and it has associated offices in Sydney & Brisbane (Australia), Wellington (New Zealand), Honolulu (Hawaii), Davao (Philippines) Bangkok (Thailand) Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Jakarta, Bangalore and Khartoum. At present, the region has about 50 consultants serving the global offices. Barker Hoffmann is a multi-faceted management consultancy operating in the private and public sectors covering such areas as: Strategic Planning Strategic Management Implementation Organizational Development Organizational Analysis and Restructuring (Reengineering) Performance Management Systems Educational and Instructional Systems Talent Management Systems Competency-Based Human Resource Management Our Services In the area of Competency Management, Barker Hoffmann offers services on the development of the following: Full-Range Competency Models Job Family Target Profiles Competency Assessment Instruments (Paper-based and Software-based) MS Access™ Competency Bench-Strength Tracking Database Competency-Based HR Tools for the following Strategic HR Areas: o Recruitment & Selection o Training & Development o Performance Management o Career Management & Succession Planning o Talent Management o Compensation & Benefits Our Client Successes Proctor & Gamble Johnson & Johnson Citibank Toyota Bayer Standard Chartered Bank Philips Petronas
  16. 16. Executive Development Suite 2013 Contact Us Head Office Albert Buildings, Queen Victoria Street London, EC4N 4SA United Kingdom Jill Motellano Director, International Accounts +44 02 07 248 2564 South East Asia Regional Office Tuscan Building, Rufino St. Makati City, 1226 Philippines RYAN CRUZ | MARY ANN LEMANA Associate Consultants +63 2 856 6468 | +63 2 8567346 Mobile: (0922) 8171461 | (0906) 4615145 Australia & New Zealand 11/9 Arawa Road, Hataitai, Wellington New Zealand Michael Knight Director +644 386 1069