In today’s rapidly changing financial environment a credit union needs
to be a high performance organization to compete successfully. Jim Collins,
the best-selling business author of Good to Great, says, “The
first step in achieving greatness is that you must have the right people on
Getting the right people on the bus doesn’t just happen.
Just as in any sports team, to win you can’t rely solely on one or two
players – you must also have bench strength – a
depth of talent with skills and behaviors that support the goals of the organization.
If your New Year’s resolution is to improve the quality of your management
and staff, at the end of this article is the URL to a free management assessment
tool that gauges your organization’s bench strength to
help you put your team’s talent into perspective and guide the right people
onto the bus…
The results from this assessment demonstrate a dilemma for each leader because
they may expose a vulnerable situation. The leader of the team (CEO, executive
or manager) is seen as the ultimate person accountable for organizational or
departmental results as well as the consistency of the culture.
How to use the Leader’s Bench Strength Survey:
1. Use the Leader’s Bench Strength Assessment to produce
insight. You will identify your employees with the clearest positions
with clear choices (all-stars and unacceptable employees) as well as your
employees with noticeable dilemmas with tough choices.
a. Low Performer: Some people perform at a very low level. They
can’t (or won’t) produce results. They may spend time on activities
but fail to produce the desired outcomes.
b. High Performer: Other people on your team are high performers.
You can count on them to produce the desired outcomes. They get the right
c. Cultural Misfit: Some people create chaos when they work with
others. Some want everything their way – some refuse to change with
the times. From a values-driven behavior standpoint they personify the
worst of your organization’s culture.
d. Cultural Fit: Other people fit well within your culture. They
are easy to work with – their behaviors are consistent with your
organization’s core values. They personify the best of your organization’s
2. For your credit union/department all-stars, establish
a program that keeps them on a path of continual professional development.
Also establish a program that keeps the all-stars loyal and motivated to continually
help the credit union/department achieve success.
Tips for success: Research has proven that most
(75%+) of our business knowledge, our skills and the abilities we have developed
are the result of personal experiences. These experiences occur naturally
for each of us, and they contribute to the growth of our technical skill
and leadership. However, neither business success nor executive growth results
from random events. To be effective, a bench strength development process
must be integrated into a business strategy by:
- Aligning talent with strategic direction
- Focusing on results for specific learning and business objectives
- Providing a regular, confidential mentoring process
- Maximizing project opportunities
- Establishing a climate for learning
- Continuously reinforcing their contribution through a participative
- Building trust and teamwork
3. For individuals who are unacceptable employees for the
credit union or department, develop a process whereby they will be outplaced.
4. For individuals who are your noticeable dilemmas, develop
and implement a coaching program leading to improved performance or behaviors.
This will result in more all-stars for the credit union/department.
Tips for Success: Coaching is made up of the formal and
informal dialogs a leader guides in support of organization, team and individual
performance as well as to sustain continuous improvement. Typical coaching
- Using practical methods of questioning and observation to keep aware
of the work place activities and project performance of the organization,
teams, and individuals
- Clarifying performance expectations and providing feedback and direction
- Helping identify improvement opportunities and providing support for
continuous improvement efforts
- Supporting and recognizing work place accomplishments
- Removing barriers and constraints which inhibit an individual or team
from accomplishing goals and objectives
If you believe, as we do, that bench strength is a critical source of competitive
advantage and that talent can be developed, you will benefit from this Leadership
Bench Strength Assessment. Visit www.connectionsonline.net/lbss to download a copy of the Leadership Bench Strength Assessment.
Please contact us if you would like more information on how you can get, and
keep, the right people on the bus. Cardwell, 800-395-1410, www.connectionsonline.net