Today’s business leaders in every industry find themselves in a sobering state of affairs due to a leadership deficit and organizational development challenges. The complex tasks related to managing the global enterprise are creating significant needs for effective leadership. So, what can an organization do when faced with this situation?
First, ask the question, “Does the individual have the knowledge and skills necessary to lead?” While it is important to identify the content-based skills and technical expertise, it is just as important to determine the individual’s capacity to influence others, such as leading teams and managing complex tasks. The second question is, “What practical experience does the individual have in putting these skills to use? Has the individual been effective in a variety of contexts that reflect cultural diversity and different types of business settings?” Examine the individual’s prior history for taking risks and the capacity and willingness to stretch professionally.
It is often difficult to determine an individual’s ability to perform in the future. This estimation can be accomplished by administering a set of diagnostic assessments to determine the individual’s leadership, communication and behavioral styles, emotional well-being, as well as their learning agility. Learning agility, which is an individual’s desire and ability to learn concepts and skills as well as their adaptability to new contexts has recently been recognized as a key to effective leadership.
The Potential for Leadership Development
Once you have determined the process for identifying leadership talent you must also assess how the individual will fit into the culture of your organization. You must dig further with the candidate to ensure their leadership style and behavior characteristics will match your culture. All too often, executives are hired and soon leave because there is not a match with the culture of their team and the organization they are part of. Taking an honest assessment of your organization’s culture and gaining agreement from the key stakeholders are critical before beginning to interview candidates.
Good interview questions to help you dig deeper into cultural fit include:
- What is his/her leadership style and how do they describe their personality?
- Has the individual worked in similar cultures and if not how would they deal with situations such as…?
- Has the individual been effective in a variety of contexts that reflect cultural diversity and different types of business settings?
Regardless of the financial burden, the cost of lost leadership is even higher as it affects the team, morale, operations, and future strategy. Therefore, being thoughtful about the selection, along with the development and retention of individuals in leadership roles is essential to the overall success of the organization.
At Coker, we understand how crucial excellence in leadership selection and cultural fit are to strategic success. We offer a robust/proven executive search process and individualized approach to help hospitals, health systems, and large physician groups identify and locate the individuals that will help the organization to success with long-term goals.
For more information on this topic you can download our white paper titled “Identifying and Retaining Leadership Talent” or if you would like to learn how Coker can help you identify and retain leadership talent with cultural fit for organizational development, please call 678.832.2021 to speak with Chip Nagle, Senior Vice President.