Today sees the UK launch of a brand new, award-winning, virtual assessment centre, called Manager Ready, developed by global talent management company, Development Dimensions International (DDI).
Designed for large populations of leaders, Manager Ready is aimed at organisations that are assessing potential frontline leaders or are looking into their development needs. It has already been recognised in the US as one of the top 10 HR Products of 2011*.
Manager Ready provides an in-depth, simulation based assessment, at a fraction of the cost of traditional assessment centres. From their desk, candidates can experience a ‘day in the life’ of a frontline leader and over three hours, they are given the opportunity to respond to a series of problems and enquiries presented through open-ended emails, video voicemails, planning activities and problem-solving exercises. Their results are then evaluated using a combination of highly skilled DDI assessors and data analysis to produce a sophisticated report that captures a participant’s readiness for a leadership role, as well as in-depth evaluation of individual development areas.
Traditionally, assessment centres have been the reserve of senior leadership. Even though such programmes uncover rich data and insights, they have been less popular for assessing frontline leaders because of their prohibitive cost and complexity. Instead, organisations have had to use psychometric and multiple-choice tests, 360 degree feedback and other tools to help make selection and development planning decisions. Research has clearly shown that these tools are not as accurate or as meaningful to participants as assessment centres.
Manager Ready is based upon behavioural-based assessment, an area in which DDI is a pioneer. The launch event in London was led by DDI founder and Chairman of DDI, Bill Byham who was one of the first people to introduce behavioural assessment to the corporate world more than forty years ago. Behavioural assessment is a highly accurate predictor of how someone is likely to behave, particularly when they are under pressure.
Manager Ready participants are scored in areas such as how they resolve conflict with customers and colleagues or how they coach a direct report through a difficult situation. In turn, organisations receive insight into how the candidates perform in these tasks, and can measure a participant’s readiness for leadership across nine critical managerial competencies: Coaching for Success; Coaching for Improvement; Managing Relationships; Guiding Interactions; Problem Analysis; Judgment; Delegation and Empowerment; Gaining Commitment and Planning and Organising. These competencies were chosen based on information from more than 700 frontline leader job analysis studies conducted by DDI across the world, as well as the millions of leaders trained and assessed by DDI over the last 40 years.
The launch of Manager Ready comes at a time when organisations are increasingly concerned about the lack of skills and confidence in our business leaders. According to DDI’s recent Global Leadership Forecast, which surveyed 13,000 leaders and HR Professionals, only one in four leaders have high confidence in their own organisation’s leadership and 37% of those newly recruited to leadership roles are considered to be failures. An additional study by Bersin and Associates, to examine talent capabilities at different levels, found that frontline leaders are the least ready workgroup to execute their roles.
Steve Newhall, Managing Director at DDI UK Ltd comments: These statistics illustrate the shortage of talent at the frontline level, but what they really confirm is the lack of information about that talent. Manager Ready addresses this critical information gap and provides organisations with a deeper insight into the strengths and development needs of their current and future frontline leaders. It’s a practical tool that quickly gets to the heart of better selection and crucially, development decisions.
• Human Resource Executive Top HR Products of 2011: hreonline.com
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DDI (ddiworld.co.uk) is the leading, integrated global talent management consultancy, helping clients to build the leadership talent they need to successfully deliver their business strategy. With more than 1000 associates in 42 offices in 26 countries, DDI advises half of the Fortune 500 on areas such as succession management; high potential identification and assessment; accelerated development for managers and senior leadership; screening, simulations and behavioural interviewing systems; performance management systems and competency models, linked to business strategy.
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