Numerous management tools (some simple and some sophisticated) are available to executives and HR professionals. There are tools and inventories to identify preferences and strengths, team capabilities and strategic effectiveness. Hundreds of models, personality inventories and well-intentioned leadership processes circulate through the organization.
The right tools, used in the right way, for the right reason can be helpful. Many are a waste of time, money and energy.
Be careful about the tools you choose to use with your executive team or in your organization.
360-degree feedback processes are a good example. There are times to use them, but often they are used as a default mechanism because people do not have the courage to provide upfront, face-to-face feedback to people who need and deserve it.
People ask me,” Do you think so and so should have 360-feedback done with his direct reports?”
I asked, “How did he work with the feedback he got last time?”
“Well, actually, he really didn’t do anything with it.”
“Then why would you repeat the process again?”
Albert Einstein once said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
Do not hide behind tools or busy yourself with diagnostics that take your eyes off the real issues.
Help people find the courage to be themselves. This means knowing what you want, saying what you think and being in the moment with the people around you.
Use tools that help people and advance business situations, rather than to mask or downplay an issue.
This is the mark of an effective leader and is more valuable (and feels better) than learning to simply carry a toolkit.