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Strategic Assessments:  Setting up Assessments for Success

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“Our leaders need to be more strategic.”

“We need to identify our high potentials.”

“We need baseline data to launch our coaching work.”

 “This leader needs to get feedback on progress and opportunities.”

As coaches, our clients give us many different reasons for wanting to use assessments.  However, rather than simply respond and begin to assess, it is our responsibility to ensure that any assessment process is structured for success for all the parties involved:  the person being assessed, the organization and the external partner.

Key Questions

Before launching on any assessment, two fundamental questions that must be addressed.

Question One: 

What is the business case?  How will assessments help the organization? 

While assessment results can be enlightening for a leader, the impact of the improvement must help the organization.  To gain senior executive support, the return on investment for the assessment must link to the business in some way.  Possible linkages are increased business success, retention of high potentials or higher engagement scores.

The following questions can help build the business case for the assessment:

  • How will the assessment and the related work bridge gaps between the business need and the organization’s current leadership skills?
  • How will the assessment’s results help the leader in his or her day-to-day work?
  • What is the connection between the business challenges and the leader’s coaching goals?
  • How will impact be measured?

Many times, organizations often spend significant dollars on helping leaders to be more aware of their own style, preferences and tendencies.  For this work to be seen as valuable, there must be a link between the leaders’ awareness and the business impact.

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