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Seb Anthony

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Ideas for novel selection processes …


I am helping design a leadership development programme for a medium-sized utility company. This will be the fifth development programme we have run in the company and by now we are getting to know the likely participants fairly well ( the company is small enough that there are few people who are not known to the HR/development community). Indeed, someo fht elikely participants have already been on previous programmes and through relatively conventional selection processes (interview, presentastions on the future of the company, questionnaires to test their breadth of knowledge about the industry.

This new programme therefore poses a challeneg in that we want to offer open invitation to apply, yet we will then be faced with inventing a selection process that explores their leadership potential and teamworking ability.

Any ideas towards this end - no matter how unformed - woudl be very welcome.


Geoff Roberts

3 Responses

  1. Throw down a challenge
    Challenge applicants to come up with something relevant to the course. E.g. ask them to list three leadership issues that the company faces and they would like to see addressed on the course. Then select those with the best (and/or promptest) answers. You get useful input on what is needed and you can select those that are the liveliest and most interested.

    I give workshops on leadership and innovation so please let me know if I help.

  2. ask their staff who needs it most!
    Or alternatively, who deserves more training because of the way they’ve passed it on to their staff/has changed most.

  3. Re: Novel ways…
    Hi Geoff…

    You could put together a ‘development centre’ (like an away day or something in the office for all) where there are a number of tasks and activities that they undertake in groups, relating to leadership and teamworking, which a team of observers or a panel judge the output and then decide the merit of each applicant. This could be done somewhere like Brathay Hall in Cumbria. Everyone gets something from it but those who put themselves out to achieve get invited back to the course.

    Some other ideas: They could do a number of activities throughout the day that develop them to put a ‘bid’ together that they have to personally present to a panel stating why they should join the course and what they will bring to their other team players. You can bring in ‘character actors’ to infiltrate the group in live simulations (try BlueBeetle Drama Centred Training Group) seeing how they manage and react to others in teams… all actors get a pre-determined brief on how to behave (good fun). Or they can act out management scenarios that the candidates have to coach from the floor – they tell the actors how they should be managing/behaving in a team during the simulation. This can be observed.

    If you wanted to be really novel – you could do something like Pop Idol-type competitions where there are a number of ‘heats’ throughout the day that people have to undertake a task… not singing though! And depending on their ability depends on whether they stay in to the next round. It allows you to whittle down your list of people throughout the day so that you’re left with your final number.

    It does have to be managed carefully (egos can be fragile) however does put people under friendly pressure to do the best they can do in that stab to ‘impress the judges’… If they want it bad enough, they’ll perform for it…

    Hope these ideas aren’t too radical. Let me know how you get on.

    Kate :o)


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