How to develop strong leaders with capability assessment integration



Most organizations maintain separate frameworks and systems for assessing the effectiveness of various core business streams. Examples include project management, existing IT and evolving digital systems, and financial management. In this week’s blog, I explain how you can create better leaders and processes for assessing them, by integrating technical and people capabilities into the one capability assessment process. 


According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), we are now entering the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, with new digital platforms and devices evolving with fast-changing attitudes and expectations around work.


Such is the current rate of change, the WEF predicts some 35 percent of the skills deemed necessary to fulfil most jobs today, will be different in five-years’ time.


It is therefore incumbent on the business leaders of today that they understand this changing landscape - and are ready to adapt to it - if they are to succeed.


Effective leadership means not only focusing on your own capabilities and performance skills and knowledge, but also on those of individual team members and your team as a whole.


However, for those leaders who have been elevated largely on the basis of specific technical capabilities, this is easier said than done.


I frequently see organizations struggling with this, due to having separate processes for assessing technical and leadership capabilities. 


Here are key problems that can arise:



  • Insights from the reports will not merge from one to the other

  • People with good functional skills move into leadership roles without good leadership skills

  • People have difficulty making the transition from working ‘with’ peers to managing them


A combined assessment gives organizations a more holistic view of an individual's capabilities and what they need to focus on to be successful leaders.



Integrating technical and leadership capability assessments


So what opportunities exist to integrate a functional capability assessment with a leadership assessment?


In my experience, functional assessment is more commonly measured using a levelled competency assessment, whereas leadership assessment tends to be measured using Likert scales.**


However, with careful planning it’s possible to measure both capabilities in one combined assessment.


The leadership element is most effectively measured by 360 assessment, gathering feedback from a peer's manager, whereas the functional assessment tends to be a 180 assessment, gathering feedback from the participant and their immediate manager.



Why align assessment methods?


The value of aligning both methods of assessment in one assessment process lies in the opportunity to not only understand if someone makes for a good leader, but also how they perform functionally. This means in one post-assessment development event you can focus on both leadership capability development and functional development.


This in turn creates a more robust and well-rounded development process, by allowing people (regardless of the skills they are strong in) to transition more easily when they are thrust into leadership roles unexpectedly.


From a workforce planning perspective, the integration of different capability assessment data makes it easier to identify people with strengths in certain areas and development opportunities in others – resulting in an increase of staff development and employee retention.



How the Commonwealth Bank aligned leadership and business goals


One of Australia’s ‘Big Four’, the Commonwealth Bank (CBA), is the 10th largest bank in the world by market capitalization, employing over 53,000 staff. It is also a valued client and business partner of Profiling Online.


Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with CBA, building various competency and capability frameworks as the bank seeks to improve the effectiveness of its staff and nurture better leaders.


The results have been astounding!


A key part of CBA’s future growth strategy is gaining a better understanding of the workforce needs of the future and how to better align the development and performance of employees with its business goals.


Click here to learn more about how Robyn Clark, Head of Talent Strategy at the Commonwealth Bank developed a specific leadership 360 tool to assess leaders around their expectations at different levels around the organization.

CBA has a strong leadership capability framework to measure leadership capability and values across their business, with many of their core business areas developing a highly effective functional capabilities framework.


Click the image below to watch the video now:




Subscribe to 'The Insights Blog' and receive similar thought-leadership articles straight to your inbox. And remember, if you like this post, share it!


**Likert scales plot survey response data across a range allowing for more sophisticated analysis.


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

The Innovation Lab

The Innovation Lab is a collaborative business unit that is dedicated to the continued enhancement and increased capability of the Profiling Online software and employee assessment platform.


Listen to our Podcast!

Making Feedback Simple is a podcast designed to do exactly that - make the process of gathering and acting upon employee feedback a simple task! We work through different elements of the feedback life cycle with expert help and special guests.

Sample Reports

Access a sample of our; Online Interactive report, Business Intelligence report and comprehensive PDF assessment report.

Client Videos


- Commonwealth Bank

- Flight Centre

- Lendlease

Complimentary eBook

'Designing and Implementing a Successful Competency Assessment Program'

This eBook focuses on the core challenges faced by talent managers when implementing assessment initiatives and aims to answer the questions raised when designing the process.

Please reload


  • LinkedIn - Black Circle
  • Instagram