Tuesday 24 April 2012

The Key to Successful Leadership

What you need to know to unlock your leadership potential

In this era of information and globalization, organizations are faced with stiff competition and an unprecedented need for change.  With the pressure to continue to operate profitably in tough economic times, high performing executives and managers are essential for organizational success.

The issues:
  • A staggering 50 to 75% of organizational leaders are performing poorly in their jobs. (Hogan & Hogan, 2001)
  • In spite of being talented and capable, many executives are failing in their jobs. (Burke, 2006)
  • Organizations rely on leaders to propel them forward and ensure long-term organizational success.
The problem: How do we differentiate between effective and ineffective leaders?

The solution: Competencies. Leadership competencies provide a mechanism to differentiate between effective and ineffective leaders, and a targeted means to develop highly effective leaders.

So what does this mean for an organization?

There are a number of ways that an organization can use leadership competencies to ensure success of their leaders, and consequently of their organization as a whole.
  1. Leadership competencies can be used to develop an effective system for selecting effective, high-performing executives and managers.
  2. Leadership competencies can be used in performance management; competencies provide benchmarks against which to assess leader’s performance.
  3. Competencies can be used to build training and development programs - to increase knowledge, skills and abilities of high-potential managers and executives.
  4. Leadership competencies can be used for succession planning – to determine which skills and qualifications will be needed for important positions in the future and which high-potential managers will be best candidates to take over those positions.
According to practitioners, organizations are increasingly investing in the development of leadership competency models and using these models to assess current managers, identify high-potential leaders, evaluate managers’ performance, and develop current managers into strong leaders (Klemp, 2008).

Download the complete whitepaper to see what abilities, skills and knowledge translate into effective leadership.

Thursday 5 April 2012

Key Steps to Building a Certification Program: Developing Testing Programs and Marketing Strategies

Testing Program:
When selecting an assessment method, it is important to consider what it will assess, how appropriate it is from the psychometric perspective, whether it is going to be accepted by candidates and organizations, and how much it costs. In Certification Industry Scan, Knapp & Associates (2007) found that 97% of certifying bodies administered a written examination as one form of individual assessment and that in almost all cases, the written examinations included multiple-choice questions.

For a certification program to avoid opposition, it is critical that its assessments tools be legally defensible and psychometrically sound. Assessment tools must be related to the competencies required for performance on the job. They must measure that for which they are intended (content validity) and do so consistently (reliability). Assessment tools must also be fair and free from bias toward candidates from designated groups. To ensure the soundness of the assessment tools, their development should be guided by testing and measurement specialists. Also, when possible, it is recommended to pilot test the content of the assessment tool to ensure it delivers intended outcomes.

Develop Marketing and Communication Strategies:
To successfully promote a program and stimulate uptake, it is necessary for certification bodies to create awareness of the certification, to reinforce the desired image of the program, and to counter competition. To accomplish these tasks, certification bodies need to clearly identify their target market, know their stakeholders, position the certification such that all stakeholders clearly perceive the features and benefits of the program, and create value both in the form of tangible (e.g., job promotion, safety of the public) and intangible benefits (e.g., pride in occupation; Knapp & Knapp, 2002).

This post is based on content from 'ABC's of Certification' by Human Resource Systems Group, Ltd.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Key Steps to Building a Certification Program: Develop and Implement the Certification Program

Step 5: Develop and Implement the Certification Program

Structure and Governance:
The governing body, such as a Certification Board, is charged with oversight of the certification program and controls all essential decisions related to certification activities (e.g., eligibility criteria, program development and administration, evaluation of assessments, review of complaints and appeals). The governing body should represent all stakeholders, including candidates, employers, regulators, customers, educators, and the public.
The autonomy of the governing body is ensured when it exists as a separate unit within the parent organization that has complete authority over all essential certification decisions. Also, a certification organization must not require that candidates complete its own training program to satisfy certification requirements. It cannot state that its training program is the only available route to certification.
The governing committee of the certification program must include individuals from the certified population, as well as voting representation from at least one consumer or public member. To ensure a balance of program input, the governing body may implement a rotating system of representation over a set period of time.

Policies and Procedures:
Developing a certification program requires a significant amount of planning and, as a result, a number of policies and procedures need to be developed and put in place ensure the smooth functioning of the program. Policies and procedures should be developed for:
  • Granting certification (e.g., eligibility criteria including handling of exceptions such as grandfathering, prior learning assessment recognition, assessment and recognition of foreign credentials; assessment process)
  • Maintaining certification and recertification
  • Disciplinary action and credential suspension or revocation
  • Ensuring the security and integrity of assessment instruments
  • Developing and periodically reviewing certification schemes and assessment instruments
  • Resolving appeals and complaints
  • Maintaining the certification program
  • Contractors
  • Reasonable accommodations for candidates with special needs (e.g., disabilities, language)
  • Impartiality
  • Confidentiality (i.e., all information obtained in the certification process should remain confidential).

The certification body also needs to implement a records system to track candidates throughout the process. Policies need to be established regarding how these records are to be managed and disposed of to ensure the integrity of the process and confidentiality of the information.

This post is based on content from 'ABC's of Certification' by Human Resource Systems Group, Ltd.