The working environment has changed dramatically over the last few years, and continues to do so at pace. It is understandable that any leadership team can feel disconnected from day to day business and ways of working, needing a better handle on what their clients/markets want and what to plan for next. Inclusive organisations that embrace diverse thinking have proven to be successful in this new world but in larger organisations it can be difficult to leverage that diversity.
Inclusive employers recognise and leverage the benefits of diversity across their organisation, from front line workers, to senior management, right through to the boardroom. True diversity is essential for introducing different perspectives into company debates and supporting strategic planning. One way to demonstrate and encourage diversity within larger organisations is to bring together people from a wide range of areas, with those who work at senior levels, helping to enrich innovative thinking.
This involves identifying a cohort of diverse thinking employees from different demographics and business functions to work together as a team and provide valuable insights to senior management. The purpose? To leverage ideas and opportunities from the wider workforce and diversify the perspectives that executives don’t always have exposure to - helping to support true inclusivity, diverse thinking, new strategic initiatives and succession planning by encouraging individuals to develop.
The dream team
To achieve true diversity you need to create a cross section of profiles, for example:
Curious Thinkers – have a broad interest in seeking information about future trends and developments, competitors, impact of future technologies, and share this with the group.
Idea Creators – able to make sense of information and come up with ideas and concepts.
Strategists – able to weigh up the options and ideas to build high level visions and plans.
Action Drivers/Problem Solvers– create detailed plans and structure. They project manage the group and ensure everyone delivers. They anticipate barriers to plans and resolve issues.
Collaborators and Networkers – are good facilitators. They bring people together and ensure the group works well together. They are good communicators, are happy to socialise ideas and to network outside the group for support.
How do you find them?
Full support from senior management is critical to the success of any new team, communicating it’s vision and purpose, inviting individuals to take part in the application process. There are many mediums available to do this, from podcasts to town hall style meetings.
Potential candidates for the process can be sponsored by their managers or submit applications to take part. Following the initial sift of applications, a group of shortlisted candidates can then be invited to take part in a variety of assessments.
A good start is using appropriate psychometric tools via an online assessment centre. There are a number of great tools out there but it is critical that whatever tools you choose are well-validated and give you the critical data you need to make objective, informed choices.
Below are some suggestions of psychometric assessments that could be considered:
Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Assessment assesses a candidate’s analytical reasoning ability and their capacity to solve verbal problems.
OPQ32 – a personality profile provides information on an individual’s personality across a variety of traits that are grouped into 3 key areas; Relationships with People, Thinking Style, and Feelings & Emotions.
The Motivation Questionnaire (MQ) helps to identify an individual's strongest motivators and demotivators across 4 areas:
Energy & Dynamism: Where the person gets their energy from and “what drives them”
Synergy: How important environmental comfort factors are to maintaining their motivation
Intrinsic: Motivators to do the job itself
Extrinsic: The rewards and outcomes which are important to the individual
If time and budget allows, the online assessments should be supported by remote or face to face interviews with the candidates. The purpose of the interview is to analyse actual behaviours the candidate demonstrates in live work situations, which can be used to assess potential performance against a clearly defined competency framework.
Data from the online assessment centres and interviews can be compiled and shared to create a short list of applicants for final selection.
By assessing candidates against measurable objective criteria, and keeping the entire process anonymised, all new appointments can be made entirely on merit and avoid any potential bias.
If time and budget allow, every candidate (irrespective of if they are successful or not) should have feedback on their individual results. This is an opportunity for them to walk through their reports to understand their psychometric assessments, along with reviewing the leadership skills they showed in their interviews, pose any questions, and to help them build their personal development plan. Coaches should support the candidates in understanding how their results could impact on how they prefer to operate in the work place, in particular with regard to diversity of thought and innovative thinking and delivery. For the successful candidates, it is beneficial to explain how their preferences would impact how they are likely to work together as a team.
The feedback sessions ensure that every candidate feels they have benefited from the process, building their confidence and supporting their development.
For further information on GFB Group’s Assessment Solutions, please contact Elise Cope, Partnership Manager, GFB Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 07899 895154.