Communicating Value in
the Executive Interview

          Lee Konczak
      Olin Business School
           July 8, 2009
Objectives
   Re-affirming what you already know
       Which executive competencies are most important?
   Adding to w...
CONTEXT
U.S. Demographic Trends
   Aging workforce - mature workers are the fastest
    growing age segment
   Baby-Boomer retir...
Noteworthy Statistics
   McKinsey study – “the pipeline for future
    leaders is broken”
       Only 3% responded affir...
Bench Strength
  Conference Board Research
   1997
           About half of respondents rated their company‟s
          ...
Bench Strength
Conference Board Research
 Perhaps more concerning:
   Companies do not appear prepared to react to the
 ...
Finding Talent
Selection Forecast Study – 2006-2007
 Staffing directors and hiring managers report:
     Fewer qualified...
Developing Leadership Talent
   Talent Management Study - 2006
   Satisfaction with Talent Management
                    ...
Key Takeaways
   Leadership talent will continue to be hard to
    find . . . despite economic conditions
   Retention o...
Which executive competencies
        are most important?
   Take 5 minutes to discuss this question with the
    1 or 2 p...
Research on Executive Success
   It‟s all about competencies - “the universal
    common denominator”
   Multi-rater dat...
The Five Best Predictors of
Promotion – Managers & Execs

Relationships             Learning             Motivation &
    ...
What gets people fired?
            Relationships & Networks

        Managers                   Executives
Lower ratings ...
What gets people fired?
              Not delivering on work

        Managers                      Executives
Lower ratin...
Which competencies matter?
   Price-of-admission competencies
   Competitive-edge competencies
Price-Of-Admission Competencies
   Strategic                       Courage
      Decision Quality                Stand...
Competitive-Edge Competencies
   Strategic                     Personal/Interpersonal
     Dealing with Ambiguity      ...
The Punch Line?
   Companies are likely to use “competencies” in
    their selection processes
   Large applicant pools ...
Preparing for the selection
                  process
   Interviews
       What you can expect and how to prepare?
   E...
Talent Assessment Study
•40 Fortune 1000 firms
•Broad spectrum of industries including
banking/finance, manufacturing, tel...
Talent Assessment
              Tools   Individual Supervisors Sr. Managers
                      Contributor & Managers &...
Structured Interviews
   Based on competencies
   Ask about previous experience and performance
       “Describe a time...
Structured Interviews
   Strategic Agility
        Future-oriented
        Anticipates future consequences and trends a...
Structured Interviews
   Building Effective Teams
        Creates a sense of belonging, team spirit and commitment
     ...
General Manager, Distribution
Competency: Building Relationships
Develops and maintains positive relationships with others...
Executive Assessments
   Cognitive Ability Tests
     Critical thinking and analysis
     Pattern recognition and trend...
Executive Assessments
   Sample Report
How to prepare
   Analyze each job opportunity in terms of
    competencies
       Price-of-admission and Competitive-ed...
References on Competencies
   The Leadership Machine
       Lombardo and Eichinger
   For Your Improvement: A Guide for...
Discussion
   Questions and comments?
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Lee Konczak Seminar July 09

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Preparation and Execution of the Executive Interview

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Lee Konczak Seminar July 09

  1. 1. Communicating Value in the Executive Interview Lee Konczak Olin Business School July 8, 2009
  2. 2. Objectives  Re-affirming what you already know  Which executive competencies are most important?  Adding to what you already know  What does the research say?  Preparing for the executive selection process  Interviews  Executive Assessments  Questions and Comments
  3. 3. CONTEXT
  4. 4. U.S. Demographic Trends  Aging workforce - mature workers are the fastest growing age segment  Baby-Boomer retirements will lead to a worker shortage - 10 million by 2010  Shortage of educated candidates - colleges will graduate too few candidates to fill the technical, information- intensive and judgment-intensive jobs 5 years from now  Tightening labor markets - with labor force growth at 2-3% per decade, the competition for talent will intensify 4 J. O‟Toole and E. E. Lawler III. The New American Workplace (2006)
  5. 5. Noteworthy Statistics  McKinsey study – “the pipeline for future leaders is broken”  Only 3% responded affirmatively to the statement, “We develop people well”  Identifying and preparing future leaders continues to be an important area of concern amongst line executives
  6. 6. Bench Strength Conference Board Research  1997  About half of respondents rated their company‟s leadership strength as either excellent or good  2001  About 1/3 of respondents rated their company‟s leadership capacity to meet business challenges or to respond to sudden change as excellent or good J. Barrett & J. Beeson (2002) Developing Business Leaders for 2010. New York: The Conference Board
  7. 7. Bench Strength Conference Board Research  Perhaps more concerning:  Companies do not appear prepared to react to the crisis  Less than half of survey respondents reported that developing future leaders is a major priority for their senior leaders
  8. 8. Finding Talent Selection Forecast Study – 2006-2007  Staffing directors and hiring managers report:  Fewer qualified applicants  62% in ‟06 vs. 44% in ‟04  Increased difficulty finding qualified applicants  50% in ‟06 vs. 40% in „04 A. Howard, S. Erker & N. Bruce (2007). Selection Forecast 2006-2007. Pittsburgh: DDI.
  9. 9. Developing Leadership Talent Talent Management Study - 2006 Satisfaction with Talent Management % Components of Talent Management Satisfied Executive/High-Potential Programs 44 Coaching and Development 42 Succession Management 18 Early Identification of Leadership Potential 15 Assessing Readiness for Promotion 11 R. S. Wellins & K. Caver (2006). 2006 Talent Management Strategies Conference. Pittsburgh: DDI.
  10. 10. Key Takeaways  Leadership talent will continue to be hard to find . . . despite economic conditions  Retention of top talent is becoming an issue  It‟s a buyer‟s market right now – applicants can expect a more detailed and thorough screening process  Over-qualified applicants – employers are concerned about long-term fit and commitment once the economy recovers
  11. 11. Which executive competencies are most important?  Take 5 minutes to discuss this question with the 1 or 2 people sitting near you  Be prepared to share your ideas
  12. 12. Research on Executive Success  It‟s all about competencies - “the universal common denominator”  Multi-rater database – 1994 to present  A sample of 6000 people from > 140 companies  47,000 bosses, peers, direct reports & customers rated individual contributors, managers &executives  Ratings on 67 competencies and 19 career stallers or “de-railers”  Criteria: performance ratings, promotions, terminations
  13. 13. The Five Best Predictors of Promotion – Managers & Execs Relationships Learning Motivation & Energy •Boss Relationships •Learning on the Fly •Drive for Results •Peer Relationships •Customer Focus
  14. 14. What gets people fired? Relationships & Networks Managers Executives Lower ratings in: Lower ratings in: •Approachability •Comfort Around Senior •Patience Management •Political Savvy •Listening •Integrity & Trust •Peer Relationships Higher ratings in: Higher ratings in: •Insensitive to Others •Defensiveness •Lack of Ethics & Values •Political Missteps •Lack of Ethics & Values
  15. 15. What gets people fired? Not delivering on work Managers Executives Lower ratings in: Lower ratings in: •Managing & measuring work •Drive for Results •Organizing •Customer Focus •Functional/Technical Skills Higher ratings in: Higher ratings in: •Poor Administrator •Poor Administrator •Failure to Staff Effectively •Non-strategic
  16. 16. Which competencies matter?  Price-of-admission competencies  Competitive-edge competencies
  17. 17. Price-Of-Admission Competencies  Strategic  Courage  Decision Quality  Standing Alone  Functional/Technical  Energy and Drive Expertise  Action Oriented  Intellectual Horsepower  Perseverance  Learning on the Fly  Drive for Results  Problem Solving  Personal and Interpersonal  Operating Skills  Total Work Systems  Customer Focus  Integrity & Trust
  18. 18. Competitive-Edge Competencies  Strategic  Personal/Interpersonal  Dealing with Ambiguity  Managing Vision &  Creativity Purpose  Strategic Agility  Motivating Others  Innovation Management  Building Effective Teams  Operating  Planning
  19. 19. The Punch Line?  Companies are likely to use “competencies” in their selection processes  Large applicant pools – tests and assessments may precede an interview  Price-of-admission competencies will get you an interview  The “competitive-edge competencies” will get you an offer
  20. 20. Preparing for the selection process  Interviews  What you can expect and how to prepare?  Executive assessments  Purpose and examples
  21. 21. Talent Assessment Study •40 Fortune 1000 firms •Broad spectrum of industries including banking/finance, manufacturing, telecommunications, utilities, healthcare, and service Annual Revenue Frequency Percent $5 billion or less 14 37 Between $5-$10 billion 6 16 Between $10-$20 billion 8 21 Greater than $20 billion 10 26 Konczak, L. J. & O’Leary, L. R. (2009). Assessing Talent: Current Practices and Future Trends in Screening and Hiring. Under editorial review., People & Strategy.
  22. 22. Talent Assessment Tools Individual Supervisors Sr. Managers Contributor & Managers & Executives Structured Interviews 95% 92% 79% Cognitive Ability Tests 35% 28% 40% Personality Tests 28% 33% 40% Work Sample Tests 28% 10% 15% Job Knowledge Tests 28% 0% 0% Role Plays 20% 23% 15% Assessment Centers 23% 8% 13% Konczak, L. J. & O’Leary, L. R. (2009). Assessing Talent: Current Practices and Future Trends in Screening and Hiring. Under editorial review., People & Strategy.
  23. 23. Structured Interviews  Based on competencies  Ask about previous experience and performance  “Describe a time when . . . ”  May ask about future situations  “How would you handle . . . ”  Scoring system to facilitate comparisons across candidates
  24. 24. Structured Interviews  Strategic Agility  Future-oriented  Anticipates future consequences and trends accurately  Articulates a clear vision of the future  Creates competitive strategies and plans  “Tell me about a time when you recognized the need to change your business strategy.”  What was the situation?  What data and information led you to the decision?  What actions did you take? How did you get others on- board with the change?  What was the outcome?
  25. 25. Structured Interviews  Building Effective Teams  Creates a sense of belonging, team spirit and commitment  Fosters open dialogue  Defines success in terms of the whole team  “Tell me about a time when you experienced difficulty engaging a member of your senior team.”  What was the situation?  How did the issue surface itself on the team?  What actions did you take? What was the outcome?  In retrospect, what might you have done differently to address the issue?
  26. 26. General Manager, Distribution Competency: Building Relationships Develops and maintains positive relationships with others to achieve business objectives Interview Question Tell me about actions you have taken to help several departments work together to solve a business problem. •What was the business situation? •What steps did you take? •What obstacles did you face? How did you overcome them? •What was the business result, i.e., sales/revenue, cost reduction, customer satisfaction? Behavioral Indicators to Watch For - Builds strategic relationships - Maintains relationships with other groups within the organization - Gains support and commitment from key stakeholders when needed - Understands and manages the organization‟s political environment - Maintains positive working relationships with supervisor, peers and team
  27. 27. Executive Assessments  Cognitive Ability Tests  Critical thinking and analysis  Pattern recognition and trends  Problem solving capability  Personality Tests  Work style  Relationship management and teaming  Stress tolerance  Leadership tendencies
  28. 28. Executive Assessments  Sample Report
  29. 29. How to prepare  Analyze each job opportunity in terms of competencies  Price-of-admission and Competitive-edge  Anticipate the process  What types of questions will likely be asked?  Which competencies are most important?  Prepare and practice  Prepare interview responses and rehearse  Be who you are  Know your strengths and liabilities
  30. 30. References on Competencies  The Leadership Machine  Lombardo and Eichinger  For Your Improvement: A Guide for Development and Improvement  Lombardo and Eichinger
  31. 31. Discussion  Questions and comments?

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