Sunday, November 11, 2007

7 Ways to Measure the Impact of Leadership Development

Much has been written about the importance of measuring the impact of leadership development programs or systems. Over the years I’ve been looking for practical, meaningful, and effective metrics. Here’s what I’ve settled on for now, and although I’m not completely satisfied with any single measure, a combination of these should give you a pretty good dashboard.

1. Company performance. The ultimate measure, nothing else really matters. In most cases, consistent great company performance can usually be attributed to great leadership. And of course, lousy leadership is usually the root cause of business failures.

2. External perception of leadership. External perception can be measured by awards, such as CEO Magazine “Best Companies for Leaders” and hundreds of individual leadership awards (CEO of the Year, CIO of the year, CFO of the Year, etc…).

3. Internal perception of leadership. Internal perception can be measured in two ways. First, if you’re using 360 leadership assessments, you can maintain an aggregate score of a single “overall effectiveness” question, or run a report that aggregates the average score for all questions. Second, you can pull questions out of your annual employee survey pertaining to leadership and look for year over year improvement. You can also compare your leaders to other companies if you’re using questions provided by a third party vendor, such as Gallop or the Leadership Practices Inventory.

4. Succession planning measures. Keep tract of the number of key positions filled by internal candidates or the number of “ready now” candidates for each key positions (bench strength).
5. Individual Development Plan (IDP) progress or completion. Track the completion of development activity for key leaders and succession candidate pools.

6. Leadership development training measures. Use the basic Kirkpatrick measures, satisfaction, knowledge, behavior change, and business results. Easier said than done for the last one, but it works in some cases. For example, you would expect a decrease in turnover and improvement in sales after the implementation of a successful sales manger hiring or coaching program.

7. Finally, the easiest measure and perhaps the one that has the biggest impact on your funding and career opportunities: ask your key stakeholders. Regular meetings with your top executives and other key stakeholders will ensure you’re efforts are hitting the mark. These meetings are a great way to continuously assess current and future needs, communicate your accomplishments, and check for satisfaction.

Please comment if you’ve had success using other measures or have questions or opinions on any of these.

1 comment:

KWSD said...

Voluntary Turnover Rates - To go along with point 1, if company performance is at an acceptable performance, people leave managers not companies.

Employee Engagement Surveys - You ask directly how employees feel about the effectiveness of their manager