01 August 2022

Leadership Insight Standard is part of a common assessment and development approach for leaders across the public sector. The Development Commitment explains what participants and their managers can expect through the process, it seeks their commitment to development, and helps them to plan and answers any questions they might have.

Leadership Insight Standard

Leadership Insight Standard is part of a wider leadership and talent programme, led by Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission, in partnership with chief executives and the Leadership Development Centre (LDC).

Home — Leadership Development Centre

In the past few years we’ve been working collectively to develop leaders to help them reach their full potential. By maximising leadership potential and capability we will achieve better results for New Zealanders.

Using the Leadership Success Profile (LSP) we describe what good leadership is and set clear expectations about the leadership we need now and for the future. Leadership Insight uses the LSP to assess and develop leaders, and to help agencies and Te Pae Aramahi | Development Boards to understand leadership capability, target development and plan succession.

Leadership Success Profile​

Te Pae Aramahi | Development Boards

Leadership Insight gives leaders an in-depth understanding of their leadership strengths and development areas through an independent assessment and feedback from their manager. This helps leaders to identify potential future roles, create a targeted development plan and put the plan into action. 

It helps agencies to understand the strengths and development areas of their leaders to inform collective development priorities and investment, and to grow future successors.

For the public sector, it provides comparable and objective data on leaders’ strengths and development areas which informs Te Pae Aramahi | Development Boards to target development. The data and analytics from Leadership Insight guides system-wide succession planning, talent searches and deployments. It gives us a comprehensive picture of system leadership capability which informs development priorities.

Information for participants

Congratulations on being invited to participate in Leadership Insight. Your agency has identified you as a leader who may have the potential and aspiration for more challenging leadership roles in the future and wants to invest in your development. If you’re in the development cohort of a Te Pae Aramahi | Development Board the information from Leadership Insight will inform their discussion. ​

Leadership Insight is a valuable investment in your development as a leader and you’ll be supported by your manager, an LDC Executive Coach and HR in your agency. To maximise this opportunity, you are asked to commit to:

  • setting specific development goals you want to achieve.
  • participating fully in assessment activities, the debrief discussion and ongoing coaching (and doing them within expected timeframes)
  • creating and taking action on a development plan that is targeted to potential future roles and includes specific development goals and activities
  • making a system contribution by supporting other leaders in their development.
  • ​What the assessment involves ​

    Te Kawa Mataaho has partnered with Cerno to assess leaders. You’ll be asked to register online and Cerno will then send you online questionnaires to complete (your manager will also be sent an online questionnaire). Following that you will participate in an interview and a leadership simulation. Cerno will send you a copy of your report and meet with you to debrief. ​

    Note that if you’ve completed prior assessments that can be mapped to the LSP capabilities the assessment process may be shortened. 

  • Who sees your report

    You and your manager will receive a copy of your Leadership Insight report from Cerno. Your LDC executive coach will ask you for a copy before your first coaching session so they can prepare. ​

    Key information including capability scores, career history and aspirations is stored in Talent Exchange. To see who can access your information review the leadership and talent management information protocol and privacy statement. 

    Leadership and talent management information protocol and privacy statement

  • Participant planning

    Leadership Insight is a significant investment in leadership development for you, your manager and your agency. By planning ahead and setting aside dedicated time to focus on your development you’ll get maximum benefit.

    Use the approximate timeframes below and consider your upcoming work commitments and your manager’s availability to estimate when you might reach each stage and set some target dates. Schedule the ongoing coaching conversations with your manager. Your plans might need to be updated as your work commitments change. If you’re having trouble meeting the timeframes talk to your manager and HR.

    Pre-assessment (up to 57 weeks)

    • Conversation with you, your manager and HR (go through Development Commitment and discussion questions).
    • Within 1 week: Cerno sends you a registration invitation.
    • Within 2–4 weeks: You complete and submit your registration (approximately 2 hours).

    Assessment (up to 6–8 weeks)

    • Within 2 weeks: Cerno contacts you to book assessment and sends an online questionnaire to you and your manager (and optional 360 survey invitation if applicable).
    • Within 2 weeks (4 weeks with option 360 survey): You and your manager complete online questionnaires (approximately 2 hours for you and 1 hour for your manager).
    • Within 1 week: Your assessment with Cerno (4 hours for Leadership Insight Standard — 5 hours with optional critical reasoning exercises). Cerno sends your Leadership Insight Report to you within 2 weeks of the assessment.

    Post-assessment (up to 16–28 weeks and then ongoing)

    • Within 3 weeks: You are briefed by Cerno (50 minutes). Cerno sends your Leadership Insight Report to your manager within 24 hours.
    • Within 4 weeks: Coaching conversation with you, your manager and LDC executive coach (1 hour).
    • Within 4–8 weeks: You meet with a senior Public Service leader (to discuss career aspirations, development and receive career advice).
    • Within 4–8 weeks: Regular ongoing coaching conversations with you and your manager.
  • Top tips​

    • The Cerno registration questionnaire asks for career history, aspirations, and prior leadership assessments. It’s useful to have a copy of your CV or LinkedIn profile on hand, as well as any previous leadership assessments completed in the past 2 years.​
    • You should allow approximately 2 hours for the registration process — note you don’t have to do it all at once. ​
    • If you’ve completed your Talent Exchange profile some information will be prepopulated for you. Note that Leadership Insight needs more detail about current and future roles than is captured in Talent Exchange and you will be asked for more information.​
  • Discussion questions for participants

    Before starting Leadership Insight it’s good to think about what you want to get out of it and how you’ll make the most of it.  Here are some questions to think about and discuss with your manager. Write notes to capture your discussions.  Bring this to your coaching conversation to share with your coach.     

    • What are your aspirations as a leader?
    • What goals do you want to achieve by participating in Leadership Insight?
    • How will you know if you’ve achieved these goals?
    • What will you do to get the most benefit from participating in Leadership Insight?
    • What support do you think you’ll need from others?
    • How could you support other leaders in their development (for example, you may mentor someone in an area of strength, or facilitate a secondment or acting up opportunity)?  

Information for managers

Your support is vital to realising the investment you and your agency are making in your direct report through Leadership Insight.

In supporting your direct report you are asked to commit to:

  • providing feedback on your direct report’s capability ​
  • helping them free up time for their Leadership Insight assessment activities (within expected timeframes) ​
  • joining in a coaching conversation with your direct report and their LDC executive coach. Also, having regular ongoing coaching conversations with your direct report (for example, once a quarter) and formally reviewing progress after one year ​
  • supporting them to action their development plan — for example, arranging a ‘stretch’ assignment, or providing ongoing feedback and guidance on a specific capability ​
  • supporting your direct report to make a system contribution by supporting other leaders in their development.​
  • Discussion questions for managers

    Before your direct report starts Leadership Insight it’s good to think about how you will support them. Here are some questions to think about and discuss with your direct report. Write notes to capture your discussions.

    • What goals would you like to see your direct report achieve by participating in Leadership Insight? 
    • How will you know if/when they’ve achieved these goals?
    • What do you see as barriers to your direct report achieving these goals?
    • How will you support your direct report to overcome these barriers and achieve their leadership potential (that is, what will you do on a day-to-day basis and how will you create development opportunities for them)?

    Your agency’s HR team can help you to support your direct report and the Leadership Insight report will give you talking points and development suggestions to help guide your coaching conversations.