Personal Development Analysis (PDA) Case Study

An organisation’s strategy is a blue print for its future. A set of objectives and goals established to help the organisation achieve growth, increase profits, and ensure its medium to long term viability and sustainability.

Most organisations approach the development of their strategy in a fairly objective and concrete manner where the focus is on hard outcomes and the mechanisms to fulfil the strategy are similarly very technical and tangible with a clear bottom line impact. Organisations do this because it generally works and makes business sense.

However, what is often overlooked is something a little bit less tangible, and a little less easy to quantify and work with and that is the behaviour of the people who are accountable for fulfilling the strategy. Seldom is the question asked: “What behaviours need to be displayed in order to achieve our strategic objectives?” Another way of putting this is ‘what are the key behavioural drivers that will move the organisation towards achieving its strategic objectives.’

It’s a simple yet difficult to answer question. I had the recent pleasure of helping a leadership team answer this exact question and it was an amazingly powerful process. The leadership team had seen their business go through transitions. They began with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and results orientation where the focus was understandably directly on the bottom line i.e. increasing revenue and profit, and building their product offering and client base.  However with their increased financial growth came an increase in staff compliment and the associated challenges of managing them effectively and getting the best out of them. The leaders began to look inwardly.

They soon realised that the key to unlocking further growth and success lay in their people and the development thereof. They also realised that this key strategic driver required a closer examination of their leadership behaviours and styles in order to be successful. Through using the Personal Development Analysis (PDA) behavioural assessment tool they were able to better understand their own behaviour and preferences as well as natural and adapted leadership styles. Concurrently, we did a lot of work unpacking what the ‘ideal’ leadership behaviours and style/s would need to look like in order to adapt their culture to one which not only encouraged a strong task and results focus to one which embraced mentorship, collaboration, imparting knowledge and wisdom, empathy, counselling, and a general approach which would ensure that their people were learning, growing, and becoming more productive as a consequence.

The output of the process was:

  • A blueprint documenting the strategic leadership behavioural drivers crucial to fulfilling their strategy
  • Enhanced self-awareness and understanding of their own behavioural preferences, strengths and developmental areas in relation to the identified behavioural drivers
  • Each leader created a personal development plan documenting how they would capitalise on their strengths and improve their developmental areas to ensure they would begin learning to display the required behaviours
  • An awareness that the leadership team members had a lot of similarities but also differences and that for some team members displaying the behaviours would come more naturally than for others.
  • A commitment to help one another to display the new behaviours and slowly adapt their organisational culture
[vc_testimonial author=”Andy Coe” company=”Head of Client Service (Graylink) “] We recently worked with Paul and the PDA tool to help build the understanding and a leadership style in our business leadership team. The input and understanding we gained was hugely insightful and valuable and has launched us into a phase of development as a team. Many Thanks Paul, we look forward to continuing our relationship. [/vc_testimonial]