True Story: Leadership Development
Alarge construction firm hired Suzann Arseth of Arseth Insights to consult with them on leadership development. While taking pride in its culture of learning and development, the firm had yet to focus on the leadership skills needed to take their company to the next level. Management of the firm realized that this was an imperative if they wanted to achieve their specific growth goals in their five-year strategic plan.
The firm chose the executive leadership team for the pilot program at Suzann’s recommendation so they would be equipped to provide the guidance and experience needed for future leaders. Suzann initiated The Arseth 360 process in which she interviewed the direct reports, peers, and others who had regular interaction with each member of the executive leadership team.
Conducting over 100 interviews, Suzann garnered rich information about associates’ perceptions.
She debriefed each leader in a two-hour session, providing them a detailed report summarizing the findings of their 360 interviews.
Next Suzann worked with each leader to create goals and an individual development plan. Each leader met with Suzann for six additional sessions over the course of several months for additional coaching and follow-up. Suzann also conducted workshops for the executive team.
In one session, the leadership team reviewed the team 360, evaluated their collective strengths and weaknesses, and created a team development plan in support of their firm’s five-year strategic plan.
Another workshop focused on succession planning. This helped them identify high-potential leaders and their development needs in a more consistent and comprehensive manner. Finally, with the valuable feedback from the 360 interviews, the firm was able to determine the leadership competencies that were most important to the long-term success of the company.
100% of the C-level executive team participated and completed the pilot program for leadership development. They learned the perceptions of their own leadership style and the impact that has on goal achievement. They also learned the process for creating a development plan and working with a coach.
These experiences were extremely valuable in perpetuating leadership development throughout the firm.
They now can testify to the effectiveness of leadership development, support other leaders as they participate, and are better equipped to provide constructive feedback and coaching having received it themselves.
The pilot was so successful the decision was made to roll it out to a second round of leaders. And because they desired a continued focus on leadership development, an executive team member received a 360 certification, providing an internal resource for leadership development going forward.
From the engagement start through conclusion, 38% of the leaders received 360 feedback, development planning and coaching, and more than 75% of the firm's associates were involved in giving or receiving feedback as part of The Arseth 360 process. Leaders invested an average of 40 hours on development and reported that their leadership competencies improved by more than 30%. The firm also reports improvements in its meeting process and decision-making.
Succession-planning was adopted as an on-going process as a result of the engagement and development needs identified during succession-planning are being addressed with a portfolio of training resources. The leadership team's work on this initiative caused them to re-evaluate and re-calibrate how they measure performance. The primary focus shifted from functional skills to leadership competencies. The leadership competencies were incorporated into the performance review process to provide consistent expectations and target development opportunities.
As a result of these leadership development initiatives, the firm and Arseth Insights were recognized by a local chapter of the ASTD with the top Best Practices Award for the category of “Workplace Learning and Performance (WLP) through Culture.”
Ready to rally the troops?