Do you recognise any of these questions?
- We need to develop our managers, but what topics should we focus on?
- How do we know our management development programme has made a difference and how can we measure it?
- Who is our talent that should be considered for our succession planning?
- How do our managers compare to managers in other organisations?
- How do we recruit and select the best managers for our organisation?
They are some of the head-scratching questions that we're often figuring the answers out to in our organisations and the answers are wide and varied. The other day, I discovered a potential solution to all of this in my own personal development journey. It started when I was quizzing myself on similar questions, but from my own perspective. I knew that I needed to develop my own management skills, but wasn't really sure where to start. After all, there's a whole host of topics I could develop myself in. Developing people, time management, organisation, communication skills to name a few.
But how do I know where to focus my efforts to bring about the best value? And once I've decided on that and started working through some development, how would I know what difference I've made?
The answer for my own questions and indeed the answers at the top of this article at an organisational level, lay in a framework known as MAP 2.0. It's a management assessment tool approved by the Institute of Leadership and Management and has been used to benchmark 150,000 managers and leaders worldwide since 1995. Delivered online by DPG, the assessment presents you with a series of video clips showing managers in action in a variety of situations. Having watched each scenario, you are presented with a series of questions which explore your views on how managers in the clips have acted and responded and also gathers information about how you may do things differently. Towards the end of the assessment, there are a couple of additional assessments that look further into your leadership and management style as well as your communication styles.
Having completed the online assessment, which in total took just under 3 hours, I was presented with a detailed fifteen page report outlining my skills as a manager in twelve different competency areas. Not only does the report give me useful feedback about my own skills, it also compares me to the norm of the 150,000 global managers and leaders that have already completed the assessment. I also benefited from a discussion with one of DPG's Map Assessors on what my report showed and how this related to my professional work.
What are the benefits of MAP
The benefits of completing MAP personally are far greater than what I expected when I first made a start on it. I now have a very clear view on some key areas of development that will be most beneficial to me over the the next twelve months. I'm left in no doubt where my strengths lie and where I should develop further. If I do progress through some development this year, be that formal learning or through mentoring and coaching and I repeat this same assessment in twelve months, I'll be able to show myself what difference that development has made to my skills and identify next steps in my continued learning journey.
It didn't take me too long to recognise the benefits of MAP at an organisational level either as a tool that can help to answer questions I posed at the top of this article. Imagine if you were to do MAP as part of a recruitment and selection process. It would be easy to see how candidates stacked up in their management skills. What about if it was used as a training needs analysis tool where the information from a pool of managers completing this assessment was used to identify wider learning programmes that needed to be put in place. How would it be if we used MAP before and after a programme of learning to demonstrate the value of that programme? How useful would it be to use MAP as a tool to identify our high performing managers to feed into our succession planning?
Find out more about MAP
So all in all, it's been a useful experience for me personally and one that I will probably want to repeat in the future. At an organisational level, it's an assessment that's well worth a look at.
There's more information about MAP in the video below as well as on DPG's MAP Assessment page.
I'd love to hear back from you. Have you experienced MAP? Have you used this personally or at an organisational level? What problems has MAP enabled your organisation to solve?