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Leveraging leadership decision data for organizational excellence

How does your organization quantify leadership effectiveness beyond subjective self-assessment reports and elusive key performance indicators? Better yet, wouldn’t you be interested in knowing if your leaders are inclined, in a hypothetical scenario, toward risky market decisions? Or if they miss essential change-management activities?

At Insight Experience, decisions made in a learning environment help answer those questions. Mining the choices made in a business simulation can create a valuable real-time data source for organizational feedback and dialogue.

The Quest for Relevant Data

Organizations seek information on the performance of their leaders for many reasons:

  • To evaluate leader performance.
  • To inform organizational planning and strategy.
  • To determine the effectiveness of learning and development training and similar initiatives.

In the hunt for data, companies hire consultants and analysts to tell them which KPIs to focus on and how to develop measurable metrics for leadership competencies. As part of an evaluation, leaders often complete self-assessments and 360-degree surveys as a measurement of their own competencies. Most organizations, however, cannot easily quantify leadership effectiveness or outcomes beyond this subjective self-reported data or murky KPIs.

Insight Experience’s leadership development programs provide a unique quantitative look into leadership performance in the context of business challenges.

Unearthing Insights

Here’s how it works: As part of a business simulation learning experience, leaders collaborate in teams to make consensus decisions about realistic business and people-related scenarios. They input decisions from a list of options via an online simulation interface. Over time, the choices made by multiple teams across multiple programs generate a distinct set of valuable data points and insights for organizations.

Insight Experience’s leadership programs capture data by reviewing the decisions of leaders who engage in our simulation-based offerings, which gives us insight into critical business skill and leadership gaps. Trends can reveal pivotal awareness for propensities like:

  • Making either risky or conservative decisions in the face of resource constraints.
  • Prioritizing too many deliverables—or an insufficient focus on the right ones.
  • Effectively leading operational change while consistently leaving key stakeholders in the dark.

Three real-life examples illustrate how simulated scenarios can produce insights into strategic decision-making.

Evolving Mindsets

In a custom simulation developed for a global online retailer, senior leaders must decide how to move forward with an innovation opportunity brought to them by their team. Decisions are calibrated by leaning on specific levers of scope, speed, and cost realignment for implementation.

Insight Experience collected team decision data for simulation teams over the course of four years. Trend data revealed valuable trends about decision-making approach, risk mindset, and innovation perspective across the organization and over time. This data-backed insight can serve as crucial information for senior leaders as they consider organizational planning, market strategy, leadership selection and messaging, and culture-shaping at an organizational level.

Nurturing Bolder Strategies for Impact

In a different simulation developed for new leaders of category managers in the retail sector, participants must decide how to interact with an under-performing manager who has high tenure with the organization. Based on past experiences with the manager, it is evident that a more direct approach will be effective for transforming their behavior.

However, in a group of selected new leaders at a national convenience retailer, only 25% of leaders selected a directive approach. This insight enables the organization to tailor ongoing leadership and communication training for newer leaders, particularly for managing groups of high-tenure direct reports.

Scoring Success

Many of Insight Experience’s simulations require a communication component: Simulation participants are required to communicate in writing to simulation stakeholders, direct reports, and/or peers. Participants submit communication messages through the simulation software, which undergo either peer-grading or facilitator-grading using rubrics calibrated to the communication frameworks taught in the program.

Rating data collected during the program may allow organizations to see:

  • Either skill improvement or stasis over time.
  • The effectiveness of leader communication on specific dimensions.
  • General trends that may reveal an underlying culture.

Propelling Company Learning

The hunt for effective data is driving the strategic decisions of executive leaders everywhere. If culture starts at the top and employee performance starts with effective leadership, shouldn’t the hunt start with the efficacy of leaders’ decision-making?

Collecting decision data and reviewing leadership trends in a simulated environment enables unique organizational insight. This data serves as a tangible measurement of leadership-development impact, can form the cornerstone of essential organizational conversations, and provides insight to leaders about culture in action.

By leveraging decision data, Insight Experience delivers sustained value to organizations by extending the learning experience beyond the impact on individual participants and the duration of the program.

To learn more about our simulation-based leadership development programs, simply get in touch, and we'll connect with you promptly. 

 

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