Zenger Folkman Data Reveals How to Increase Organizational Effectiveness

- Finding synergy between what is needed and valued is key to success -

Nov 19, 2012, 06:13 ET from Zenger Folkman

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- What are the keys to building a great organization? If the answers were clear, organizations wouldn't need improvement.  There are thousands of variables that leave most leaders baffled as they sift through the clutter trying to decide what is crucial. Researchers at Zenger Folkman have found the answer: Once organizations identify the key elements in their developmental needs, they can find which are most valued by the various groups in the organization. Now it becomes far more efficient to identify and build an ideal plan to proceed.

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"By using a new algorithm we have found that we can often predict what will be highly valued in different groups," explained Dr. Joseph Folkman, President of Zenger Folkman. "Improvement of highly valued issues can have dramatic positive impact. However, pushing improvement in low valued issues costs a great deal, but does not have much impact. The correlation of needed skills to most valued issues provides the critical key."

Zenger Folkman shared an example from one of their recent surveys with an airline client.  The issues that were identified as most negative were very similar from one group to another.  Instead of responding to a very long list of "what needs improvement," the survey was able to pinpoint which issue was most valued by each group.  For example:


  • Cooperation and collaboration
  • Clarify company strategy and direction  

Flight Attendants

  • Effectiveness of supervisor
  • Growth and development

Baggage Handlers

  • Satisfaction with top management
  • Learning from mistakes

Dr. Folkman went on to explain, "Each group's tasks and responsibilities to the airline are very different so it should not be very surprising that they needed and valued different things.  By combining the factors of "what are people frustrated with?" and "what is valued?" leaders could address their problems more specifically."  This meant that leaders could more accurately eliminate those factors where there was negativity, but the value wasn't that high.  By focusing improvement in areas that were most valued by each group of employees the organization's effectiveness improved dramatically.

If you would like to learn more, you can attend our upcoming webinar, Building Organization Muscle, by signing up here. For more information on these findings, and how to incorporate them into a leadership development plan, visit www.zengerfolkman.com.


Zenger Folkman is the authority in strengths-based leadership development. Their award-winning programs employ research-based methods that improve organizations and turn good managers into extraordinary leaders.

SOURCE Zenger Folkman