Evidence-Based Job Analysis
A large, internationally recognized academic medical center, the flagship of its respected multi-hospital system, sought to investigate the reasons behind the rapid and repeated turnover in the Executive Director position. Within the last ten years, more than five previously successful senior executives had assumed this position, encountered major difficulties, and then either resigned or were terminated. Subsequently, each of them assumed a leadership position in other organizations where they succeeded.
We met individually with those senior team members within the organization who had the most direct prior knowledge and experience with the former Executive Directors to identify the primary responsibilities and challenges associated with the position. We asked them a series of prepared questions that helped to reveal the underlying issues that prevented each of these senior executives from succeeding in the position. In addition, we asked them to complete objective behavioral profiles to identify the leadership style that would be most effective in the position.
With the data gathered, we prepared an Executive Briefing summarizing what we found to be the most critical issues contributing to their “Revolving Door” and met with senior executives from the system to share our findings. We helped the senior team members to develop some concrete strategies for removing the specific barriers that we identified had blocked the prior Executive Director’s success. These included the withholding of critical information that any competent Executive Director would expect and require. We also learned that their resource allocation practices prohibited the Executive Director from reinvesting much-needed dollars to make necessary improvements. We provided the senior team members with a more complete understanding of their unique expectations for this person and clarified the position’s real challenges for them, and this knowledge enabled them to select someone who was well suited for their specific needs.
Over the past few years, the “new” Executive Director has achieved his performance expectations and has brought a great deal of much-needed stability to the organization. Today, the organization has re-established itself as a leading, international medical center, has become much more profitable, and has won various awards for quality and service excellence.