Development Of A Management Team

Some real world experiences

The Brief:

To carry out a series of psychometric tests and assessment interviews to assess the suitability of a young and highly creative specialist team for ‘solid state’ management positions as a company went from inception to expansion. The brief then required us to fill in gaps with recruitment activity and set up a management development programme to ensure managers had the requisite skills for the company’s ongoing success.

The Work:

The client was an insurance company whose runaway success now needed bolstering with classic management disciplines. Roles had been built around the skills and interests of the dynamic creative team leaving gaps in finance, technology and operations. The company was set to expand and relaunch and needed a better-rounded management group while losing none of the innovation of its original team.

We started by running a series of psychometric tests and one-to-one interviews to assess the abilities and interests of the existing team, and to establish an organization chart built around these career aspirations. A recruitment exercise to find and recruit senior managers with proven success in other, similar cultures was then completed.

A competency framework based on the company’s culture and business forecasts was built and a number of management workshops commissioned to ensure that all of the competencies were covered. Managers were then invited to sign up to the workshops they needed for their own career progression. An appraisal system with agreed metrics was set up to measure developmental milestones and to set new targets for the future.

Integrating new managers into the unorthodox environment of a highly creative and close-knit team was a major challenge. We facilitated a series of workshops to discuss business objectives and develop key indicators with responsibilities allocated by functional area and individually. More informal sessions to generate ideas and track business activity provided a forum for both old and new managers to showcase their value to the organisation.


All of the management positions were filled, either internally or externally, with the existing team growing into their expanded roles enthusiastically and effectively. Only one of these managers left the company during this period. Although some of the new managers found the innovative nature of the organization too unstructured to perform at optimum levels, most were stimulated by the environment and found new channels for their own creativity while also providing a steady hand to steer the company as it trebled in size.

The competency framework provided a structure for recruitment and training in specialist and operational areas as well as for performance appraisals and incentives. Talent management was tied into this also as young stars were spotted at different stages of their career and moved around the organization to provide all-round experience.

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