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Seb Anthony

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Benchmarking Management Competence


I am about to begin putting togther a development programme for a group of managers. Previous development has been limited and they are not familiar with performance management approaches. I would usually look at the key competences and then draw up a 360 degree approach to benchmark individuals against this. Sadly a previous attempt by an outside consultant resulted in a large amount of resentment and hostility and the activity was very badly managed. I feel that I cannot now use this as a tool. Does anyone have any innovative methods of benchmarking management competence against this backdrop. To further complicate the matter, I am told that the group are very conservative in thier approach to training and sceptical of it as a result of previous experience, so it needs to be something that won't frighten them off. I am very much at the preliminary stage of this project and intend to visit all the prospective delegates on a one to one basis to discuss thier development to help with the process of design, but would like to have some ideas of how best to benchmark the process in advance of this.
Iain Reynolds

4 Responses

  1. A couple of possibilities

    Two methods to consider might be to use one of the priciples of Appreciative Inquiry (Story telling), or to use Repertory Grid interview techniques. I have used both successfully in the past for similar situations.

    If you are not familiar with these you can get information by typing either into Google/Yahoo etc. Or get in touch if I can help.

  2. Some thoughts
    Do you want to do this exercise for Training Needs Analysis or for Evaluation purpose – or both?

    You might like to considered:

    – Running a ‘quick win’ session on something generic, practical and interesting (e.g. team building or NLP topic) which builds trust between you and them. This also gives them an idea as to how useful your training is going to be to them

    – Share with them your dilemma (after the building trust session) and brainstorm ideas for solving it.

    – Discuss their concerns in an open forum. I use a version of a SWOT analysis as a discussion tool at the beginning of my Team Leader programme – Strengths, Weaknesses, Hopes and Expectations, and Fears and Concerns. Participants complete it individually and then work in small groups to summarise their concerns.

    – Run a ‘fun’ development (assessment) centre. Don’t call it ‘assessment’! Use exercises to draw out the key points you want to assess and ask for peer and self feedback, as well as your own observation – add something in for them to take away

    – be brave and go for 360 degree feedback, but start with self assessment and then encourage further feedback. Share with them your process and prove to them that it can be done effectively


  3. take an OD approach to management competence?
    Have you considered taking a harder approach, rather than the traditional ‘softer skills’ approach. have a look at the tools on the website. these can give you a 180 approach to competency as well as wider skills issues in managing the business – good luck

  4. Top Competency Measure

    We are accredited to administer an excellent competency measure called the BarOn EQ-i. It measures people’s ’emotional quotient’ across 15 competencies and is probably one of the most accurate measures available to date.
    We have used it extensively at middle to exec levels of management with exceptional results! The tool works very well for 1 to 1 coaching and team competency measure. Call me to discuss more, I’d love to chat further… or email a sample.

    Best regards

    Gary R. Hosey 08701 620 789


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