Talent research into the effectiveness of a leadership team

Published 29/02/2020 - 3 min Read

By Armstrong Craven Team

Talent Research Specialists

Quick Summary Our work in the field marketing industry, focussed on identifying the drivers of high-performance and benchmarking leadership performance against competitors.

3 min Read


Tight-knit and highly focused on their goals, high-performance teams achieve superior business results almost always. Typically, they are more strategic with their meetings, invest time bonding over non-work topics and give (and receive) appreciation more frequently.

Typical characteristics of those within a high-performance team include:

  1. Participative leadership – using a democratic leadership style that involves and engages team members
  2. Clear goals – goals that are developed using SMART criteria; in addition, each goal must have personal meaning and resonance for each team member, building commitment and engagement
  3. Defined roles and responsibilities – each team member understands what they must do (and what they must not do) to demonstrate their commitment to the team and to support team success
  4. Coordinative relationship – the bonds between the team members allow them to seamlessly coordinate their work to achieve both efficiency and effectiveness
  5. Positive atmosphere – an overall team culture that is open, transparent, positive, future-focused and able to deliver success

Without a doubt, working around or as part of a high-performance team generates a certain type of buzz and mutual respect, constantly enriching and employing the best out of themselves and those around them.

Benefits of effective leadership for organisations

  • For Business Owners - Members of high-performance teams are independent and require less ‘spoon-feeding’ or training.
  • For Employees - Those who work within a high-performance team are considerably more motivated and have higher job satisfaction as a result of their coordinative relationships.

The Challenge: Improving leadership effectiveness

If a business is not performing according to expectations, it can be difficult to ascertain where the root of the problem lies. In one particular circumstance,  our client was concerned that leadership issues might be preventing the company from making progress. They asked us to investigate why the results were disappointing compared to those of competitors.

Our Approach

We set out to identify the issues that might be impacting performance.

Our research combined desk-based market research of the field marketing industry as well as telephone interviews with clients, potential clients, key competitors and other trusted industry insiders. We used the intelligence gathered to build insight into perceptions surrounding the subsidiary, challenges it might be facing in particular and underlying industry trends that might also be impacting them.

Our line of questioning was inclined toward defining how excellence in field marketing is achieved, allowing us to benchmark the individual organisation’s performance and that of its key people against its competitors.

The Results

We discovered that the challenges this business faced were partly due to prevailing market conditions and partly attributable to the existing management team. The market in which they were operating had become saturated, and their services were commoditised.

While its competitors had developed new, experiential and bespoke marketing offerings, this company had not been as responsive to market trends. They were experiencing increasing difficulty in differentiating their services from their competitors. Their profile had dropped as a result. Flaws in business development and tendering processes were also hindering business wins.

Our recommendations included taking steps to raise the profile of the organisation; addressing concerns raised with the current CEO; and adapting to new market realities by adopting a ‘Go-to-market’ model for strengthening the business development effort: targeting the right people, with the right product, at the right price, in the right way and the right place.

There was a double gain from the work undertaken. Not only was the client given an objective critique of their subsidiary’s performance, but they also received a comprehensive review of their market and recommendations for how to tackle it.

We needed to rely upon our extensive experience with similarly sensitive commercial due diligence projects. We were discreet in our information gathering. Our understanding of the complex problems that this business faced was subtle. Our recommendations were sympathetic and well-founded.

This was a bespoke solution to a particular client’s needs. We know there isn’t an effective, standard way of delivering this type of intervention, so we work with every client to shape a project plan that best suits their needs, their timescale and their budget.

If you require effective leadership within your business, speak to a member of our team now about how we can help you build your high-performance team.

Access the Armstrong Craven Review Vol. 9

The Review is read by over 10,000 HR and Talent Acquisition leaders globally and highlights key trends in HR and Talent Acquisition. Volume 9 of the Armstrong Craven Review examines how global events have caused businesses to rethink leadership and talent strategy. The review analyses how organisations must face tensions for successful talent planning. We ask what’s next for EVP? Before exploring the impact of menopause on female leadership and discovering how to succeed in confronting imposter syndrome.

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