Tag Archives: core leaders

Case: The Ideal Mix of Sr. Executive Team Skills for Success

Case Background

Leaders of fast-growing, early-stage organizations operate at a fast pace. Often, the last thing there is time to do is to assess the top team’s skills and performance to determine how to prepare them for the next stage of growth.

Most team members know each other pretty well. They have a good idea about:

  • What each other is good at doing.
  • What each has contributed.
  • How each has grown.
  • What each should focus on next to improve.

However, team members rarely have the time, energy, training, or nerve to share what they know in a forthright, supportive conversation with one another.

Yet there are serious consequences to not providing feedback when it is needed most. As highlighted in the Wall Street Journal article, “How To Tell If You Are a Jerk in the Office” (C-Suite Strategies, Journal Report, Feb 23, 2015), confidential feedback for executives is important. Not only are leaders and co-workers affected adversely by dysfunctional behavior, but business performance and customer service can be damaged, often permanently, if poor behavior continues.

IntelliVen, a San Francisco-based executive development organization, uses a proprietary approach to help top leaders and their teams address executive feedback issues head-on. For example, IntelliVen worked with a fast-paced, $10M financial analytics firm serving Freddie Mac, U.S. Treasury, and Capital One among other leading financial institutions. The IntelliVen approach was used to assess the firm’s top team of senior executives relative to norms for successful organizations at a similar stage of evolution and to identify individual and team opportunities for learning.

Continue reading Case: The Ideal Mix of Sr. Executive Team Skills for Success

How to test for and secure top team alignment on key matters to improve growth and performance.

Get AlignedLeadership teams need to Get Clear about many things, including:

Leaders often struggle to reach a good, a better, or even a best solution to countless such questions. More important than the right answer, though, is all team members having the same answer.

Once all team members are aligned on one answer, even a not very good one, on any matter, odds are that performance will improve because everyone pulls in the same direction. The result is a multiplier effect suggested by the three arrows forming a much larger fourth arrow in the above graphic . Continue reading How to test for and secure top team alignment on key matters to improve growth and performance.

Introducing Manage to Lead: Seven Truths to Help You Change the World as an interactive digital workbook.

Many intelliven.com blog posts are based on the slides and lecture notes from a masters class in Organization Development called Organization Analysis and Strategy offered at American University and taught by Peter DiGiammarino.  These posts and other material from class, including:

  • Work problems,
  • Templates,
  • Graphics,
  • Slide shows, and
  • Assessments

are available  from Amazon as a softcover workbook or from iTunes as an iBook titled Manage to Lead: Seven Truths to Help You Change the World.

Selected intelliven.com blog content is now available as a workbook from Amazon or as an iBook from iTunes.

Whether one wants to change personal habits, implement a new information system, improve a business process, get team members to work together, increase a community’s appreciation for diversity, or even to topple a monarchy, taking seven actions driven by seven disarmingly simple truths will individually and collectively help achieve the goal.

Manage to Lead presents a framework to describe and assess any organization. It also provides a structured approach to plan and implement next steps for an organization as it strives for long-term growth and performance.

Readers are invited to select a familiar organization on which to apply the tools and templates introduced throughout the workbook. Exercises in each chapter produce essential elements for the organization’s annual strategic plan and lay the groundwork for implementing that plan.

Readers can package the key elements from Organization Exercises to form a strategic plan that communicates how the organization sees itself and where it is headed. At the end of the year leaders can compare actual results with what was described in the strategic plan to study what happened, why what happened was different than plan, what is to be learned from that, and what to do differently going forward as a result.

Repeat the process over several years and compare actual to planned results year-to-year to see the organization mature, perform, and grow to its full potential.

How to give employees feedback while also showing they are known and appreciated.

Organization GroupIn order for an organization to grow, it is important for each person who works there to get and stay on track to career success. Towards that end, an annual appraisal process evaluates each employee’s performance and growth and provides employees feedback , guidance, and direction for development.

Less experienced leaders may count on managers to prepare and administer appraisals for those they supervise. Self-imposed pressure to “get the review right” can cause writer’s block and so it may be put off and eventually hastily pulled together with whatever comes to the manager’s mind at the time. Upon receiving such a review, employees may feel frustrated, confused, adrift, and not not at all known, appreciated, and guided towards success and career growth.

An effective appraisal process engages those who know and care about each employee on the subject of his/her strengths, contributions, growth, and areas for improvement. The reviewer identifies and works with reviewee stakeholders to collect input, consolidate, present to peers, iterate, and finalize a communication from the organization (not just from the reviewer) to the employee being reviewed.

Such an approach is Continue reading How to give employees feedback while also showing they are known and appreciated.

How Core Leaders get clear about what problem their organization solves for whom.

Core Leaders who all describe the problem their organization solves for whom in the same way are apt to provide more consistent guidance and direction and so increase the odds of better performance across the board.

To get clear or to test for clarity, invite each Core Leader to: