The Human Synergistics Lifestyles Inventory (LSI) is an outstanding pyschometric leadership development tool commonly used to inform leadership development needs. When organisations take leaders through an LSI based leadership development program, it takes an aligned approach from the client and coach to ensure effective outcomes are achieved for the individuals involved, and the organisation. It is critical to maintain integrity of the self-development focus of the LSI whilst maintaining an outcome focus that leads to growth for the individuals, and optimises leadership capabilities for the organisation including the building of a constructive culture.
When I am involved as a LSI coach with a client, I consider the following as non-negotiables in setting up a successful LSI based leadership development program:
1. Alignment between client and coach around the purpose of the project. That is, what outcomes are they hoping to achieve through using the LSI specifically from an individual, team and organisation perspective. A great way to address this is to ask what success looks like for this program? What would have had to have happened for us to be happy with this program in 12 months’ time?
This alignment ensures the:
- Right fit between client and consultant/s in relation to expected desired outcomes;
- Suitability of the LSI tool in relation to desired outcomes;
- Consistent messaging from coach and client throughout the process;
- LSI participants are clear up front around the expectations and application of the insights gained throughout the LSI process; and
- There is an accountability loop in ensuring outcomes are measured, tracked and achieved.
2. Alignment between coach and participants around the purpose of the LSI process. The significant positive change that the LSI can bring about is reliant on the long term commitment from the individuals involved and the organisation.
The LSI is primarily for individual growth and development. Within a leadership development context, it is crucial the participants understand there is an expectation from the organisation to demonstrate a commitment to reach outcomes linked to their leadership role. To support this, it is important participants share key insights and a plan for action with relevant professional colleagues. This provides the necessary support and accountability to maintain a commitment to action. The LSI is regularly a transformational and challenging experience for participants. However, every leader can improve their effectiveness each day, week and month with a committed plan that improves their leadership.
3. From the outset of the LSI project, it is important the organisation identifies the strategies that will be put in place to support the participants moving forward. Identifying the key personnel that will provide support and accountability is a significant piece to maximising each individual’s growth.
4. A commitment to outcomes from the organisation and the individual participants is the overarching piece. The reality of an outcomes focus is that there can be individuals who over time, may not achieve the desired growth in their leadership effectiveness required to be effective in their professional role. It is this focus on outcomes that highlights the importance of the LSI Action Planning stage.
Organisations make a significant investment of time and money when undertaking leadership development initiatives. Most individuals participating in such programs want to get the most out of the process. The insights above are designed to optimise the success of LSI based programs for individuals and the organisation by aligning on expectations up front between individuals and organisations.