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Services

     
 

Executive and Senior Management Leadership
Talent Assessment and Development Support

 

 

One of Meridien’s services is the assessment of managers and executives to support selection decisions, leadership development and succession planning. Written profiles describe professional impressions and judgments of the individual which are formed during the course of an in-depth interview, complemented with selective psychological testing. The purpose is to provide an objective, thought-provoking resource to the organization’s senior management, and to the individual, to assist in the placement and development of the individual in the organization.

The written profile helps explain how the individual compares to other candidates or employees in ways that are relevant to success in the position and organization. It is important to know whether an individual has the abilities to do a job. However, the profile more strongly addresses the degree of “fit” between individual characteristics, job requirements, other leaders’ styles and organizational culture.

While there are similarities in organizational culture, particularly for companies in similar industries, it is the differences that pose the greatest difficulty for newcomers. Managerial success in a previous company does not necessarily generalize to high performance in a company that has a different culture. To assist with assessment of “fit”, we must understand the unique cultural characteristics of the company and have an in-depth understanding of the individual.

The Process

Understand the Requirements

Before interviewing an individual, it is essential that we understand the specific requirements of the position in question. We ask the manager to describe the nature of the business and stakeholder requirements, focusing on factors which are unique to the organization. We solicit a description of the unique knowledge, skills and personal qualities necessary for success in the position.

We also explore, with the hiring/supervising manager, his/her own management style to enable us to better understand what is expected, and to sense areas of compatibility or incompatibility between the subordinate (or potential subordinate) and the manager.

Interview

The interview is intended as a means of exploring jointly with the individual his/her characteristics and aspirations. It is usually from two to three hours in duration. The specific contents of the interview remain confidential to the interviewee and the psychologist.

We rely more on our judgments, based on our training as psychologists and our experience as consultants, than we do upon specific test results. Specific selection criteria are derived from our experience and are developed through working with managers in the Client Company.

Report

Management is provided with a comprehensive report summarizing the key characteristics of the individual. The report is written primarily for use by managers, not psychologists. The report is relatively brief, clearly stated, and straightforward in language. The contents of the report represent the psychologist’s judgments, objectively derived from the interview with the individual. It describes psychological characteristics significant to the understanding of the individual’s organizational, professional and managerial functioning.

Conclusions are drawn about the individual’s major leadership strengths, their fit with the organization and the developmental needs at this point in the person’s career.

Feedback and Development Planning

All talent assessment reports are written so that the individual, their manager and others (e.g., HR) who are involved with the individual’s placement and development can review the report with the psychologist. The usefulness of the report is increased if the author assists in its interpretation and in planning for its use. In the review meeting, we focus on the individual’s future goals and provide concrete counseling on how to structure and attain realistic objectives. We seek to help the individual develop productive insights into his/her strengths and developmental needs. A specific development plan is written with the individual, based on the assessment.

Development Commitment and Support

Finally, we facilitate a “three way” review of the development plan between the individual, their manager and the psychologist. The discussion builds shared understanding and commitment to the activities and support required for career development. Ongoing developmental coaching from the psychologist is often useful to support behaviour change and assess progress.