Many CEOs and Managing Directors admit to being concerned with the quality and performance of their leaders at both board and senior management levels.
Indeed numerous surveys suggest that this is possibly the biggest single management issue of the day. Quite simply, our overseas competitors are, on average, performing better than we are, with UK productivity lagging over 21% behind that of our G7 rivals (OFNS data 2014).
In part this is because of the ‘low skills equilibrium’ which is gripping the UK. “The UK has a yawning skills and leadership gap at senior level” commented one Ramsey Hall client. Another opined, “We have been held back by the blame culture that our previous CEO cultivated. People were simply afraid to lead and manage their own departments.”
Two major reasons for poor leadership are over promotion of managers based on ‘their craft skills’, and a company culture that says “we have always done it this way”. And as we outlined in our recent High Performance Working article, real damage is being done to organisations that take either of these approaches.
Traditional listen and learn management training is increasingly discredited, partly because it is a shot gun approach that can be both costly and unsuccessful. Instead, we recommend a process which helps facilitate Self-Development – the most powerful form of development – using targeted assessment and feedback. Depending on the situation this can include 360 degree feedback and/or psychometrics with one-on-one feedback and development planning. This promotes self-awareness and ‘buy in’ from participants which allows our consultants to work with the participants to understand and facilitate their personal development. This also ensures the consent of all who take part! Often such programs are a part of wider organisational development interventions such as Board Effectiveness, Restructuring or Operational Excellence Programmes.
Matthew Davis is a Chartered FCIPD and Chartered Marketer FCIM qualified HR/Human Capital consulting professional. Experienced in resourcing, business psychology, performance management and organisational development consulting as well as team leadership and budgetary management.