Jo Ayoubi is CEO and co-founder of Track Surveys.
At Track, Jo has advised on, and led the development of 360 and other online assessments for leading organisations including John Lewis Partnership, Waitrose, Baker & McKenzie, Nuffield Health, Fujitsu and Saudi Telecom.
She has also facilitated partnership programmes with people development companies including Cambridge-based Moller Professional Services Group.
Jo is also a qualified British Psychological Society Test User for Occupational Ability tests and Personality testing (OBPI).
Jo is the author of The Consultants’ Guide to Success with 360 Degree Feedback, and holds Bachelors (first class) and Masters degrees in French, Arabic & Politics.
Jo writes and blogs regularly on the topic of 360 Degree Feedback in performance and learning. Her recent papers include ‘Making Your 360 Degree Feedback more effective in delivering successful behavioural change’, and ‘Which Online 360? A 10-step checklist for choosing an online 360 Degree Feedback system’, published in association with Training Zone UK. Outside Track, Jo makes time to mentor students at Woodhouse College in London.
Prior to setting up Track Surveys, Jo was a learning and development director for the Corporate Finance business at Ernst & Young in London, where she was responsible for the training and development of over a thousand corporate finance professionals. Projects included learning management systems and online learning evaluations.
Track Surveys owns and operates the Track 360 online platform for bespoke 360 and other assessments.
These are interesting suggestions and of course, all of these will go some way to get more women to board level.
I would like to add that:
Unless there is a transparent and unbiased way of allocating new projects, opportunties and clients, those opportunities will tend to go to the people who are part of the in-crowd, the well-established (predominantly male) network. The Board needs to ensure that advertising opportunities to everyone in the organisation (who are qualified of course) is a priority. Women will then be in a position to bid for those opportunities - rather than not even be considered.Our work with assessing board skills indicates that having a balance of women and men is a positive thing, but focusing primarily on gender can take attention off the skills that the whole board needs to be effective, both at an individual and a group level.
I like your blog, and your story about the poker-playing workmen made me smile!
I couldn't agree more that everyone deserves to be treated respectfully, and also that as people move up the ranks, others are less inclined to challenge them, thus reinforcing their belief that they are superior...
The problem is, of course, that unless my bad behaviour is challenged, as the (now ex) minister's was, I will just keep doing the same thing. At some point, the organisation, or my colleagues, must be enabled to tell me that my behaviour is unacceptable. And give me a chance to change those unacceptable behaviours. And face the consequences if I don't.
This article is about a company in Australia who sacked its CEO because of he was 'too difficult to work with'.
Now that's the kind of message that really would help to change the 'do you know who I am?' culture!
Thanks for your thoughts.
Your're right, it's not easy to be the voice of doom, the HR Cassandra who brings bad news to the Board, even if you are on the Board.
I guess that's why this approach works best where the board themselves have take on the responsibility for eliciting information from managers and employees, getting closer to the business, and developing their own self-awareness and skills.
And of course it really works when there's a CEO who will make it happen...
A key skill for managers is being able to deal immediately and appropriately with small issues when they arise, rather than, as we are all prone to do, putting it off until it's become a huge problem. So as well as the skills mentioned in the article, such as listening, assertiveness and task-focus, it's essential that the manager does not procrastinate, takes action and ensures that feedback is given on a daily basis.
With daily feedback, small problems can be quicky cleared up, and just as importantly, opportunities for praise will also come about much more frequently.
For a quick checklist on giving feedback, go to www.tracksurveys.co.uk and download 'How to Give Great Feedback' - there's a 'What not to do' guide as well!
I agree with this article on HR Zone wholeheartedly, and would add that the only way senior managers can build trust with other managers and staff is by:
- consistent, jargon-free communication and
- 2 way feedback with visible changes resulting from that feedback, both individually and organisationally
I would suggest therefore:
- more honest discussions at individual and team level
- formal and informal ways of finding out what’s going on and measuring key activities and attitudes, such as 360 Degree Feedback, Attitude and Engagement surveys)
- and lots of help for managers to balance their sometimes conflicting role as employee coach and mentor on one side and company representative on the other
In many years of working with organisations in assessing and evaluating leadership skills, we have certainly found that an emphasis on the positive is a good place to begin, particularly when giving feedback and making sure people get credit for what they do well.
Playing to strengths in performance managment can be a very successful approach for individuals and their organisations provided they are already in the right job.. in other words, where their strengths match the requirements of the job, are a key part of their performance measures, and are appropriate for the team they lead.
But I strongly believe that it’s also critical for the individual, his/her manager and the organisation to understand the person’s weaknesses as well - otherwise how are they going to ensure that the person is in the right job, that they are able to meet the demands of their role, and that they are being given the right opportunities to develop their talents and career?