Leaders in the Making: Cultivating the Next Generation

THE CHALLENGE/OPPORTUNITY: Identifying and Coaching Talent for Advancement

How do you know who in your firm has the motivation and ability to advance?  What actions are you taking to cultivate their leadership abilities?  How are you soliciting the right information to design and develop a team that will fulfill your business objectives?  What does the future hold for your leader pipeline?

“In the next five years, Fortune 500 companies anticipate loosing half of their senior management team to retirements.  Unfortunately, many in middle management are ill-prepared to take on greater responsibility.  Additionally, while human resource executives in the United States agree that retaining key talent and succession planning are two of the most critical issues for their company, more than 75% spend less than a quarter of their time preparing for the future.” (Source: Spencer Stuart).

One leader we know was developing two strong “leaders in the making”.  Both managers were exceptional technical contributors; eager to refine their management styles and advance their business results and careers.  However, they lacked a structured methodology for putting their aspirations into action.

THE SOLUTION: Conduct a ‘Congruence Interview’ to Learn and Act on Insights

Dave Kipp, Chief Operating Officer of Ross & Baruzzini’s Technology Practice, asked us to help him develop a plan that would: 1) accelerate the performance of his practice leaders and 2) build positive relationships with their clients, direct reports, and Executive Management. We began with an assessment of the business’ needs to ensure our process aligned with its goals.

We utilized our ‘Congruence Interview’ process, to objectively identify each manager’s strengths, and areas for development, and create an action-oriented plan to implement new leadership behaviors.

The solution involves three key steps:

Step 1: We conduct an in depth individual interview with each future leader.  The interview elicits career history patters, the leader’s perspective of the current position’s roles and responsibilities and their future aspirations.  From this process, we learn what motivates the individual, the extent of self awareness and the issues that may hinder development.

Step 2: We provide a thorough assessment of our interview findings to the client. The assessments include the “vital few” strengths, and areas for development.

Step 3:We review the assessment in detail with the future leaders.  This step allows Congruence to deliver difficult feedback and gain buy-in for areas in need of development. As a result, our client is positioned to set up a win-win and begin implementing the recommended growth strategies immediately.

THE RESULT: Gain Perspective to Accelerate Performance

Ross & Baruzzini aspires to create a work environment that values honest and open rapport. Our ‘Congruence Interview’ provided Dave with a framework to raise awareness of his practice leaders’ unique capabilities, and career aspirations as well as the tools to manage their development needs.

Additionally, it started a dialogue about issues before they became problems, it strengthened the relationship between Dave and his potential successors, and it increased the commitment of all parties to implementing the recommendations.

YOUR NEXT STEPS: Talk to Congruence, Inc.

Call Congruence, Inc. or email Jan to learn more about Achieving Results on Purpose.