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FAQ’s

Why is it especially important to assess leadership capabilities in the family enterprise?
Family enterprise leaders wear many hats; i.e., they are owners, shareholders, management executives, relatives, board members, CEO and/or Chairman of the Board. They are often too close to the situation to get accurate feedback. Furthermore, when people internal or external to the enterprise offer individual feedback, they can be suspected of having a personal agenda and therefore cast doubt on the credibility of their feedback. With 39% of operating companies alone due to change leadership within the next five years (MassMutual/Raymond Institute 2003 study,) what could be more critical to a peak performing company than establishing a baseline of leadership excellence and actively developing present and future leaders?

What is a 360-degree assessment?
It is a tool that is part of an on-going process of assessment, feedback and development of leadership skills that allows the user to gain insight as to how he/she perceives him/herself and how they are perceived by others based on a set of relevant criteria. Evaluators represent different perspectives and functions both internal and external to the family enterprise. Since FELS is designed specifically for a family enterprise, reviews can be carried out by any stakeholder in the enterprise, regardless of his or her official day-to-day participation in the organization.

What is FELS?
FELS is a comprehensive leadership development system designed to address leadership capabilities and development in a family enterprise including ownership relationships; business relationships and personal relationships. It accomplishes this in an objective and confidential manner by using Internet-based technology. FELS delivers an all encompassing leadership development system through a combination of assessment; developmental tools such as related reading materials, course work, and seminars; tracking; and advisory service,

What leadership capabilities does the FEL System measure?
Broadly, the FEL System is organized around five capability categories: Interpersonal Presence, Family, Organization, Industry & Community and Ownership, and is further broken down into 26 subcategories which focus on the specific needs of the family enterprise.

  • Interpersonal Presence: This measures capabilities that are typical of emotional intelligence such as how the leader or potential leader uses interpersonal skills to influence and develop others, manage conflict, make decisions and encourage teamwork and collaboration.

  • Family : Measures whether the leader or future leader knows and supports family values and interests, and applies emotional intelligence capabilities such as understanding of different family member perspectives to promote open communication regarding enterprise developments.

  • Ownership : This category examines capabilities that relate to showing leadership in all aspects of governance, including board processes, ownership structures, compensation and perks.

  • Organization : This category evaluates the degree to which the leader or future leader demonstrates a strong understanding and application of financial management, develops managers and not only engages others in a planning process to achieve goals but plans for the future; i.e., succession planning.

  • Industry and Community : This category answers the question: How does the subject function in dealing with all the various communities he/she works with including community and industry organizations, internal work force groups such as sales teams and external advisors, suppliers and vendors?

How did the leadership capabilities and categories get determined?
FELS was created through over ten years of qualitative investigation on the capabilities necessary for enterprise leadership within family enterprises. These capabilities and the associated categories and sub-categories were further developed and refined through a series of beta tests with family enterprises and highly tested for internal validity with credentialed consultants to family enterprises.

Why is FELS a development system?
The most important aspect of the system is the ability to assess improvements over time for continual growth. FELS provides a robust snapshot of leadership capabilities; then these capabilities can be developed through seminars, coursework, development programs, coaching and other resources.

What reports will the person using the system receive?
FELS delivers a comprehensive set of reports that identify areas of:

  • Capabilities of the persons assessed across five categories
    - Interpersonal Presence
    - Organization
    - Industry and Community
    - Family
    - Ownership

  • Importance of these capabilities to the job and the enterprise

  • Developmental needs of the persons assessed

  • Matched importance ratings and capabilities - (areas where there is little discrepancy between capabilities of value to the organization and capability strengths of the individual being assessed)

  • Gap between the importance rating and capabilities (This report shows if the skill set of the person being evaluated matches the capabilities of importance to the organization.)

These reports provide profiles of leadership development areas and allow users to focus on areas of strengths and relevant capabilities to develop.

What type of enterprises can use FELS?
With its comprehensive library of 25 different assessments, reflecting the various constituencies connected to family enterprises, FELS can be used to measure the leadership performance of any member of any type of family enterprise be it a family office, foundation, or operating company.

How is FELS administered?
Family Enterprises can implement the system through a FELS Advisor. Users select an appropriate FELS Advisor to assist with the system. Consultants have the option of having their client use a FELS Advisor for implementation or using the system themselves with their clients with the assistance of the FELS' office for administration.

FELS can be administered through two models: a Basic Package and the recommended Developmental Model.

The Developmental Package: In order to achieve optimum results, the preferred approach is to implement FELS as an ongoing system. In doing so, the end user will benefit from:

  • Multiple uses of the system for one leader or potential leader over a 12 month timeframe
  • Advisory service and ongoing coaching with a FELS Advisor based on the results of the FELS system
  • Tracking to identify improvement profile.
  • Relevant coursework, recommended readings, leadership seminars and more.

The Basic Package: The FELS introductory package includes a one time use of the system for one leader or potential leader. The basic package is deployed and supported by FELS administration, unless the client is working with a FELS Advisor.

What is a FELS Advisor?
FELS Advisors are qualified to help both end users; (i.e., family enterprises and consultants) implement FELS and guide them through the process. Trained and certified in the system's use and delivering feedback from the report findings, FELS Advisors can serve as the individual who administers a one time use or who works more closely in a developmental way of multiple uses. The FELS Advisors will help at the beginning of the process, to ensure proper customization and review process; as well as upon delivery of reports for a thorough interpretation of the findings. Further in-depth study, monitoring and development guidance is available upon request.

Whose leadership development can be tracked using the system?
Enhancing its 360 capability, each assessment allows for review by up to 15 stakeholders per person reviewed, and there is no limit placed on the number of people being reviewed concurrently. The review process can be carried out on an individual basis (one individual reviewed at a specific time) or can be implemented organization-wide, to assess the leadership performance of a number of members of the family enterprise.

What is the value of FELS for Organizational Development?
Leaders exist at every tier of an enterprise, from the CEO to the mailroom. FELS is committed to building an enterprise-wide leadership engine. By looking at confidence ratings and rater variation, FELS' helps to identify the core values of organizations, ascertain alignment within the leadership system and pinpoint areas of discrepancy. Additionally, using FELS' benchmarking data, clients will be able to see how they compare with others, as well as determine whether they are on the path to building an ‘enterprise leadership engine'.

What's more, even within an enterprise, leadership capabilities can be matched to specific jobs. Matching a potential leader with the unique needs of the enterprise adds efficiency in resource allocation for development and also provides organizations with what they need.

 



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