One of the key factors to a successful culture transformation and the strategic alignment of the function of leadership development lies in the measurement of progress. Therefore, many companies begin to ask: "How do we track soft factors?" This is especially difficult if there are many unknown factors and interdependencies among the elements of the change process.
In any leadership transformation, we have the inherent need to track the "movement" or change in mindset, behavior and activities. If we know that the only way to ensure progress is by measuring the corresponding KPIs then we also know that this must be the case with soft factors. However, the very fact that those are known as "soft," is the aspect most companies trip over: "How do I measure something soft? We need hard facts!"
Here's the key: the answer lies in the smart application of quantifying qualitative elements, a specific implementation into the OKR system, and continuously holding your key people accountable to look for those KPIs and actively tracking them.
How to measure mindset
We think in pictures. One of the big problems about mindset is that we don't associate one specific picture with mindset but rather a bundle of images that don't help us. Companies need to implement a specific set of clearly observable, distinguishable, and quantifiable elements - we help our clients to accomplish that - to have something to look out for.
One major step involves answering the question, what is the purpose behind this activity? Do I want to know the maturity level of my managers? Do I want to look out for leadership potential? Depending on the onset of my analysis we need a different set of criteria.
In any analysis, you won't be able to eliminate any subjective distortions. However, you can get quite far in your assessment. In most cases, we want to do 360°-interviews, surveys, and shadowing. Those three elements help us to receive a definite impression. Also a workshop can open up the potential of witnessing behaviors of interest.
Next level transformation
A vitally important factor in the success of any leadership transformation is to get most people onboard AND to quickly create success stories. Therefore, you can help by not only letting others track visible behavior but let executives and managers track themselves. If you convince them that their potential to grow and to enjoy work more is by implementing new ways of behaving, they will want to work and behave differently.
What are your ways and tools to track leadership development or do you think it's not necessary?
About the author:
Marc Breetzke, M.A., M.A. is the founder of MB Inspirations and Europe's leading strategy expert. He works as a consultant, trainer, coach, speaker, and lecturer all over the world for large, international businesses (e.g. Fortune 500) and leaders. He studied Strategic Communications in Germany and in the United States. Today, he operates from his head-office in Stuttgart, Germany.