BTS Strategic Execution Blog

The Role of Assessment in Leadership Development

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 | Category :

by Richard Dapra, Ph.D.


High potential leaders have a significant impact on an organization’s bottom-line which is why leadership development is so critical for large corporations. High potential leaders aspire to run multi-function organizations with ultimate responsibility for the profit and loss of their respective business. So, how can an organization effectively identify and develop high potential leaders?

Most organizations have a reputation for having a less than robust identification process. Those identified seldom have a track-record for running multiple functions or achieving comprehensive P&L targets because their roles typically have been those of a functional leader. Organizations tend to use traditional assessments that focus on people leadership skills such as the ability to engage and inspire a willingness to collaborate, overall influence, capability in stakeholder relations, and adaptability. Business Leadership skills such as strategic thinking, market savvy, financial acumen, customer focus, and decision-making are often given minimal attention.

In order to effectively identify and develop high potential leaders, some of the world’s most prestigious and successful companies, such as AT&T, Biogen Idec, Citigroup and Pfizer are using simulation-based discovery learning initiatives to develop business leadership and hone key capabilities necessary for success. The most effective simulations are those that are customized to include an understanding of the industry, market and organizational challenges inherent in running the target company, as well as the drivers of financial success.

Custom business simulations allow organizations to provide leadership feedback to participants using behavior-based assessment techniques and tools within a true market context. Observer-based feedback, peer feedback, team effectiveness feedback and self-assessment are representative of the unique, business-focused types of feedback possible within the context of our business simulation workshop. These provide a much more personal level of learning and insight. This insight becomes the basis for more focused, actionable development planning.

To learn more, read Bridging Learning and Assessment: A New Direction in Leadership Development.

About the Author: Richard Dapra, Ph.D. is Managing Director, Assessment with BTS.


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