Our view that the interactive role of managers, entrepreneurs and leaders is critical in sustaining a firm over time led us to devise a measurement tool we have called the MEL Index. This involves in-depth interviews with senior executives, high potential managers and, where appropriate, members of innovation teams. Information collected includes insights on the perceived roles and required competencies of generic managers, entrepreneurs and leaders. It culminates with participants rating themselves, their peers and the organization on managerial, entrepreneurial and leadership capabilities. These findings are clearly and visually illustrated and correlated with company performance metrics (net income; innovation intensity, etc.) and cultural variables (e.g., family-owned vs. publicly-owned companies). Diagnostic work follows that gives insight into staffing procedures (recruitment, training, etc.), organizational structure and operational processes.
The interview process can be conducted face-to-face (45-60 minutes) or via the internet (30 minutes). Although resource intense, we have found the face-to-face discussions particularly rewarding as participants can be prompted to elaborate on interesting issues. In our experience with the Index, we have been delighted by the positive and enthusiastic nature of interviewee response. Most executives enthusiastically talk about their professional experiences and are intrigued by the potential for MEL interaction in their personal and institutional futures.
MEL and Executive Education:
When using the MEL Index in executive programs we have had considerable success in a) providing confidential, one-on-one feedback to individual participants regarding their MEL ratings, and b) then using a plenary session to stimulate action-oriented discussion on aggregated institutional results. Of course, other options are available and we’d be pleased to work with you to find your best approach.