Your safest move in times of crisis

We’ve all seen the predictions in the likes of Forbes, Inc., and the Wall Street Journal; the pandemic is causing an unprecedented toll on mental health. Self-care is now more important than ever. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. So, we must take the steps now to ensure that we are able to stay the course, dare I say thrive, in the months ahead.

One of the things I am hearing, and trying to personally practice myself, is that it’s OK to give yourself permission right now. Permission to eat more chocolate, permission to skip your workout today, permission to not be OK for a day, permission to do things differently. And I want to add one more to that list; permission to change your approach to leadership investment.

Yes, that was not a typo. I, and the rest of us here at Beecher Reagan, are seeing our clients giving themselves permission to change their leadership investment.

At least for this short window.

But that doesn’t mean you should put a full stop on hiring leadership talent. Instead, I’m suggesting that you refocus your investment in other ways. And I can’t think of a better move right now than to double down on assessing and accelerating your existing talent.

Are you wasting your existing talent?

Here at Beecher Reagan, we’ve been talking a lot about the talent gap and how to bridge it. How can we find new ways to help our clients find the right talent to fuel their growth? Answering that question led us to develop new ways of thinking about maximizing leadership potential and the tools that are needed to pivot with the changing needs of our clients. As a result, we’ve built Verity, our Professional Services Leadership Assessment tool.

With Verity, we’ve bench-marked key data markers for top senior leadership appointments in professional services. It allows us to overlay the predictable personality tendencies, stress response, intrinsic motivators and values of an individual against a specific position to best identify high potential candidates while ensuring their skills and drive match their role and tasks within an organization.

One of the things that makes us so excited about Verity is how our clients have been able to utilize its insights to effect real change leadership ranks. Rather than leaving you with a binder of behavioral traits that lead to some initial “aha’s” but soon get put on a shelf, Verity gives our clients (and more precisely, their talent) just a few powerful and actionable insights. Over time, these conscious insights acted upon in context can lead to big results. The outcome? Exceptional leaders (and future leaders) who are empowered with strength, confidence, and clarity. Leaders who are well-equipped to lead their organization through the inherent and evolving challenges that we now face. As we have read in Forbes, “investing in development and coaching yields an average of a 50% return on that investment.”

Chances are, you already have many of the right people. You just need to make sure they are in the right place, focused where they best serve themselves and the organization with the insight and support that they need in order to grow in the right direction. By doing so, you add more value to your business, prepare and engage your leaders and lay a strong foundation for future growth.

Our current context has accelerated the need for a new generation of leaders who are agile, solutions focused, and exhibit the strength, resilience, and emotional prowess to lead through transformational change. These leaders may very well reside within your own organization. With tools like Verity, we can help our clients find and cultivate the inherent talent already within your organization; raise up the leaders you need to embrace the challenges ahead.

Why investing in assessment and acceleration is your best bet right now.

I can tell you about all the practical reasons why investing in your existing talent is the wisest move right now. Times are lean. You can’t afford to deal with high turnover and low engagement. Recruitment and performance management costs may not be the best spend right now; it’s undoubtedly less expensive to assess and optimize your current talent than to hire new.

On a more subtle level, I believe that the changes we are all facing right now require a response that can only come from leaders with deep knowledge; the type of knowledge that only comes with time, connection, and integration within your company and the people who are a part of it.

Some are calling this time “The Great Pause;” a time of retraction and organizational silence as individuals and businesses alike come to grips with what matters most and the role they want to play in our new future. As we emerge from this pause, we will be looking hard to our leaders for reassurance and direction and the last thing anyone needs right now is more unnecessary change. We need the leaders from the inside, who have walked the mile, whom we can trust for reassurance that the days ahead, while challenging, will pave the way to a brighter future.

So yes, investing in your existing talent is the fiscally wise move, but not everything boils down to dollars and cents. Right now, the psychological safety of your people is paramount. And the dividends on raising up leaders from within simply doesn’t come with a price tag.

Don’t waste this opportunity. Prepare your leaders for what tomorrow brings.

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