Development audit at an international energy group

Starting basis – development of 150 managers

The client is a large European energy supply company. The focus was on the two management levels below the Management Board, 150 managers in all. Following restructuring measures, the client wished to examine the management team with respect to the new requirements and to identify any need for change. Many of the participants were skeptical of this Management Board undertaking – suspecting it, for instance, to be an attempt to cut management positions. In view of this, establishing trust and acceptance was a key issue.

online-ac_video4-stage approach: Preliminary talks, audit, development talks, monitoring

When conducting development audits, we use a tried and trusted approach that centers on involving the manager’s direct superior in order to establish acceptance – in the case of first-level managers, this refers to the Board member to whom they report. Before the audit itself takes place, a preliminary interview is held with the direct superior in question: What are the central challenges associated with the position? Which new challenges can be expected? As well as improving the precision of the subsequent audit, this step makes the direct superior part of the process.

The actual development audit took half a day for each participant and consisted of a presentation, an employee appraisal, a sector-specific case study and an additional interview based on the company’s competency criteria.

Outcome: Development plan with participant, direct superior and consultant

An in-depth debriefing session was held with each participant. In projects of this nature, audit results are often rejected very quickly if they do not fit with the direct superior’s own view. However, our approach met with a high level of acceptance, even in the event of a critical outcome. This was because common ground was established, prior to the development talk, between the consultants’ audit-based viewpoint and the experience of the Management Board. Only then did the open interaction with the audit participants take place. Here, with a view to “strengthening strengths”, our consultants proposed dedicated recommendations for development measures. In the end, every participant had a personal development plan that has been signed by all involved. The measures were implemented with close involvement by the Management Board.

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