Assessments Build Organizational + Self-Awareness
Awareness is a powerful tool for supporting and developing your top talent. Awareness helps organizations leverage the skills of individuals and the collective intelligence of functional and cross-functional teams more effectively. And when individuals and teams perform to their fullest potential, we see improvement in employee engagement, leadership performance, and talent retention.
While there are many ways to build awareness, The Creative Executive team finds executive assessments to be one of the most dynamic and influential–at both the organizational and individual levels.
An organization that leverages professional assessment tools, especially as part of a broad development program, receives insights on various important qualitative metrics.
- Insight into the morale and engagement levels of high-performing talent
- Identifying emerging high-performers and future leaders
- Pinpointing strengths and gaps in professional development and training
- Gauging how well culture initiatives and org. values translate into the work experience of both individual contributors and leaders who manage others
Individuals get valuable qualitative feedback on how they show up in their roles and identify strengths and areas for professional and interpersonal growth. The awareness they gain from the assessment process stays with them throughout their careers.
Here are our favorite executive assessment frameworks we use with our clients, where they work best, and why you might consider building an assessment program in your organization.
Qualitative 360 Executive Assessments
In the world of assessments, there are quantitative and qualitative tools. Quantitative tools focus on easier-to-measure metrics (like sales quota attainment, revenue attainment, percentage of OKR’s reached, etc.), while qualitative tools focus on the harder-to-quantify elements of an individual’s performance or Leadership skills.
One of the most powerful qualitative tools that a company can use is a Qualitative 360 Executive Assessment.
In this assessment, a number of folks are interviewed from all “sides” of the leader being assessed – direct reports, peers, and managers. They’re asked a series of questions about the leader, their experiences with them, and what they see as their strengths and opportunities, and once completed are distilled into broad themes and insights by skilled 360 practitioners.
These assessments provide a narrative roadmap for the individual and for the organization. It helps the individual to discover nuanced insights that allow them to amplify their “superpowers” and uncover weak spots that might be holding them back.
This is one of our favorite tools to use with clients. We find that this kind of Executive 360 tells the more significant, harder-to-quantify leadership stories that allow companies to most optimally support their leaders, and, by extension, create a more adaptable, more effective, more aligned organization.
Leadership Circle Profile
The Leadership Circle Profile is a 360 assessment tool that helps individuals better understand their internal operating systems and the thought processes that drive why they do what they do.
LCP uses self-assessment and input from colleagues across the organization (the 360 part). At the end of the process, LCP delivers a straightforward graphic (the Leadership Circle) that enables leaders to understand how they operate (creative vs. reactive tendencies, task vs. relationship orientation) and identify opportunities for improvement.
This tool is most effective for executive and senior leaders interested in up-leveling their leadership skills. Leadership Circle Profile can be a robust engagement (and retention) tool for senior executives seeking further professional development opportunities. The results of this assessment help these individuals clearly understand their behavioral tendencies and make a plan to address any gaps. Often, our clients engage us for individual, team, or group cohort coaching as a follow-through to any development needs arising from the assessment process.
The DiSC assessment is a popular behavioral assessment tool that helps individuals to understand their personality styles. After taking the DiSC assessment, participants receive an in-depth breakdown of where they align with the four personality styles, usually referred to as: (D)Dominance, (i)influence, (S)Steadiness, and (C)Conscientiousness. The four represent personality orientation, behavioral tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses.
The DiSC assessment is a powerful tool for individuals and teams. With individuals, the DiSC allows them to more intimately understand their behavioral makeup, the tasks, and the environments in which they thrive, and it gives them an understanding of where their strengths and weaknesses may lie.
With teams, having a broad sense of the personality makeup of a team gives team members and managers an awareness of the dynamics at play, how they can more effectively get work done (based on other people’s styles), and ultimately gives team leadership clear insight into how they might rearrange or best manage the team for optimal engagement and results.
StrengthsFinder is a popular assessment tool allowing individuals to understand their top strengths clearly. After a comprehensive questionnaire, participants are given a list of their top “strengths” in simple terms – words like Strategic, Adaptable, Ideation, Empathy, Command, etc.
We find this tool particularly effective with early-to-mid-career employees. However, there is immense value to gain, regardless of level.
This tool’s focus on strengths (not on gaps) is a game-changer for inspiring individuals to lean into what makes them uniquely effective. Leaning into their strengths can fundamentally change the way they collaborate with others so that everyone thrives. Having a broad sense of everyone’s strengths allows team members to understand where everyone fits best in the bigger picture and allows team members to be more strategic in what kind of support they ask for (and give in return).
The StrengthsFinder framework can be an excellent tool for functional teams and their leaders. Identifying the strengths represented across a team brings powerful awareness of potential bottlenecks and gaps. These valuable insights can help leaders with what the team needs, resource and people-wise, for success now and in the future.
The Power of Partnership
Using any of the above assessments can result in actionable insights for your team and your organization. And while many of these are deployable in-house, leveraging an external partner can be invaluable in maximizing the awareness generated from the effort.
At The Creative Executive, we’ve used these assessment tools with our clients for over 15 years. When used effectively, there is an immediate lift in the morale of teams, the leadership capabilities of individuals, and the organization’s overall performance.
Learn more about our work and how we can support your people development efforts.