Measuring What Counts: Leadership Effectiveness - Best Practice Institute
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Measuring What Counts: Leadership Effectiveness


In March 2005, Bill Sullivan became Agilent Technologies’ second CEO and declared that our strategic intent was to be the “world’s premier measurement company.” To shift the focus, he outlined a clear set of metrics related to our customers, markets, employees and shareholders and a critical plank in this strategy was leadership. Bill stated that a best-in-class General Manager bench development was one of his top three priorities. In parallel with the rollout of the first General Managers’ development program, members of the Human Resources function helped Bill establish clear metrics and processes to manage accountability for General Management development. While Bill was clear what the business fundamental metrics needed to be, Agilent needed a change management process to ensure these metrics became institutionalized as levers of accountability and continuous improvement, starting at the top. As part of the enterprise balanced scorecard, Agilent implemented a Quarterly Leadership Audit as a metric for leadership effectiveness and culture. The Quarterly Leadership Audit is a tool to create company-wide focus and accountability on the critical few areas of leadership that most need improvement in the next year based on the Agilent business priorities for the year ahead. The audit has been in place for almost five years and the Leadership Audit targets established reflect the external 75th percentile as a way to reinforce the high, externally focused bar that Bill set for the top leaders.