At the risk of alienating myself from OD people around the world, I can’t help but spout off. I just got off of a discussion about capability indices and readiness assessments, and it's making my head hurt. It's amazing, what we will do in Training and Development to prove our worth!
The idea of a capability index may be intriguing although I believe its complexity will send eyes rolling in even the brightest boardrooms. I also believe everyone is ready, but perhaps not willing, to become a better leader, but that’s another topic and a different challenge. Believe me, I'm all about measuring. And I believe that we all have plenty of metrics in place throughout our businesses.
Partner with an operations/finance/sales/safety/IT person who has clear deliverables and the insight and desire to become a better leader; someone who understands the connection between conversation, relationship, leadership and results. Develop an aggressive training, coaching, and development plan around a specific objective and see if your results will push the business needle in a positive direction. My experience is that it will. Use the tools you have in place (six sigma, sales reports, turnover, project milestones, whatever) then co-present the results to your board or executive committee. It's a great way to show L&D value and to keep your team and budgets intact during these tough economic times.