Need The Chairman of Trustees of Garden House Hospice Care decided to explore whether it was possible to devise a more bespoke and developmental means of performing a 360 appraisal for the CEO. An innovative new approach was developed based on the repertory grid method (Kelly, 1963; Fransella & Bannister, 1977) and informed by personal construct theory (Kelly, 1963).
Approach The project first created a leadership model based on the personal constructs of those interviewed during the 360 process. Whilst the feedback was anonymised and the interviews confidential, the leadership model that emerged could be shared. Since the 360 appraisal participants included Board members, external stakeholders, other senior leaders and more junior members of the organisation, this model was effectively a synthesised view of the characteristics of leadership considered to be important in the hospice.
The Repertory Grid Method This is a well-established means of eliciting a person’s understanding of leadership by generating a set of their personal ‘constructs’. Once the constructs were elicited, the participants assessed the CEO against them, providing a view of performance based on the areas that were most important to them. This assessment was backed up with reference to specific experiences and examples.
Conclusions The project concluded that this approach provided a richer understanding of how leadership is experienced from a variety of people’s perspectives. The final report gave a broader and deeper view of the leadership characteristics demonstrated by the CEO, how well others felt she demonstrated them and how much these characteristics were valued. In addition a bespoke model of leadership has been produced that has high relevance to staff. Internal resources can now be trained to elicit feedback for further appraisals against a common model and the model itself will continually evolve as more people contribute to it.
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