You have certain “Profit Makers” in your organization, and it pays off in more ways than one to know their skill profiles.
The best way to describe this is by an example:
Not too long ago we conducted a study for a large food company that had approximately 90 individuals in “Managing Director” positions. These individuals had responsibility for specific clients and for the profitability of the client relationship.
The company had little success in recruiting individuals from outside the organization to fill these positions because of the uniqueness of the business. Accordingly their strategy was to train and develop their Managing Directors from within.
Our mission was to develop the skill profile of the successful Managing Director to include the “core competencies” that made the position unique in the industry and the “Critical Skills” that any or all of them had.
The purpose for doing this was to enable the company to have a sharp focus in their recruiting process at the entry level as well as to pinpoint those particular core competencies that the company itself could teach through a sophisticated executive development program. In a sense, it was as though we were doing “exploratory surgery” on the heart of the company.
The process including detailed and confidential interviews with 25 Managing Directors who were considered by the organization to be “outstanding” and 5 Managing Directors who were considered to be “less than average.”
Confidentiality was assured by providing each individual with a confidentiality agreement and assurance that anything they said would not be repeated to anyone else in the organization. They were assured that the interviews were in no way “evaluations” of them. Accordingly, the interviews were candid and very revealing.
Each Managing Director was informed that the purpose of the interview was to determine:
- what made them successful in the organization
- what they learned from within the organization
- what mistakes they had made that were detrimental to their advancement
- what skills they considered unique to their success in the company
- what skills they considered “critical” that had no relationship to the uniqueness of the company
- what they considered to be the ideal “skill set” of any prospective candidate the company might hire in an entry level position with potential to advance to the Managing Director’s position
- other issues
The results of the study were astounding.
- A very clear “skill profile” was developed for the successful Managing Director’s position that included:
- Essential Core Competencies in order of priority
- Critical Skills in order of priority
- A very clear “skill profile” of entry level candidates was develop that included:
- Critical Skills
- No “Core Competencies”
The impact of the study was immediate.
The company’s executive training program was restructured to include teaching of the “Core Competencies” that made the Managing Director’s successful. This included a sharp focus on the food industry – the area that the company was a leader and made them unique in the industry.
The company’s recruiting program was dramatically changed to include a primary focus on hiring on the basis of “Critical Skills.” Little importance was given to knowledge of the food business – the company was the “best in the business” in that industry and, accordingly, thought (rightly so) that they could teach the basic and intricate elements of the food business themselves.
On balance, this was a relatively easy and highly successful engagement that resulted in a dramatically positive outcome for the company. It was a positive effort to determine what made this successful company successful.
And it WORKED!
Maybe YOU should try it!
It might be beneficial – and quite easy to do.
The results might surprise you – and delight you and your stockholders.