“The question one must ask is: If these programs are indeed working, then why are the people in the group most likely in charge of implementing them – SVPs and Directors – scoring them so much lower?”
Key Leadership Pulse Findings:
Twenty-five percent of the sample were C-level executives, while another 25 percent represent executive levels that report to the C-suite, with senior managers, managers, business educators, and consultants the remaining participants. In this study of what drives business, the identified business drivers cover a range of organization assets or areas of strength, from ability to manage profits and cash flow, to brand and pricing strategy; from strategic planning process, to employees, culture, and leadership. Unique to this survey is the response mechanism, with each item scored on a -5 to +5 scale of “extremely negative” to “extremely positive.”
“The perception gap between C-suite leaders and those who report to them is largest on programs a lot of C-level executives have been paying for and bringing into their companies,” Welbourne said. “The question one must ask is: If these programs are indeed working, then why are the people in the group most likely in charge of implementing them – SVPs and Directors – scoring them so much lower?”
Table 1: Average scores per question for items that are statistically significant (per group) and the Gap score (C-level minus Senior VP) Sorted high-low by gap.
Sen. VP to Director
|Ability to be agile and change quickly||1.86||-0.10||1.96|
|Our organization’s ability to innovate||2.23||0.46||1.77|
|Level of employee engagement||1.95||0.44||1.51|
|Our organization’s approach to employees||2.18||0.77||1.41|
|Culture of our company||2.58||1.39||1.19|
|Unique product characteristics||2.25||1.19||1.06|
|Skills and knowledge of our employees||2.38||1.37||1.01|
|Internal technology solutions||0.84||-0.08||0.92|
|The strategic planning process||0.51||0.67||-0.16|
The only gap that is in a different direction (where Senior VPs and Directors have higher score than do the C-suite executives) is on strategic planning; it is interesting to note that this factor also is significant in predicting employee energy.
Dr. Welbourne notes that “in multiple case studies within organizations we are finding that leaders are working at levels of energy below where they are at their best or most productive; they cite a key reason as the inability to focus on the key activities driving the business. Perhaps it’s time to start paying more attention to strategy.”
Additional information on these findings and other editions of Leadership Pulse are available at www.leadershippulse.com.
Matthew Simmons, USC Marshall Media Relations 213-821-9868 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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