Corporate Services

Expertise and Experience

As a management psychologist and consultant, James P. Atsaides, Ph.D. specializes in providing executive and managerial assessments and development services to owners, senior managers, the executive team, and the Board of Directors. The mission of Atsaides Associates, Inc. is to help strengthen client organizations and their senior management while developing and promoting an effective and productive organization culture. Dr. Atsaides’ services promote the hiring of the ‘right’ individual, increase the self-awareness and capabilities of senior managers, and strengthen the senior team, all of which lead to stronger organization performance and success. The following are brief descriptions of the evaluation, coaching, and consulting services provided to companies and organizations.

Evaluating an Executive’s Capabilities & Workstyle

Selecting a candidate for a senior position is a stressful situation because of the issues involved if this is a wrong hire. Especially with the selection of an outside candidate, the selection process is loaded with issues including cultural fit, making sure the person has the appropriate competencies and skill sets, having the right intellectual capabilities, the appropriate strength as a leader, etc.

Recent research shows that executive selection is problematic and that almost half of the executives hired do not succeed past their first year. Also, of those that fail within the first year, 85% fail because they did not fit the culture of the organization. It is not sufficient, therefore, to rely just on the interviews by internal managers, or to simply accept the background report from an executive recruiter for an executive position. More needs to be done so that an objective look at the skills and capabilities of the person are known on the front end of the hiring process.

These issues are also involved when the organization wants to promote an internal candidate. Although the hiring of an inside candidate may seem easier because of the “known entity” concept, sometimes being too familiar causes one to lose objectivity. Questions still exist including, “How sure are we that this person has the capabilities and potential to take on a higher level position?”

An executive candidate assessment conducted by a management psychologist provides the information needed for owners and senior management to make an informed, objective decision about the capabilities, culture fit, and future potential of an individual. The Executive Candidate Assessment Program provides an objective picture and understanding of an individual’s strengths, leadership style, developmental areas, and personality characteristics relevant for successful job performance. It also provides information as to how to best manage the individual and help him/her achieve their full potential. Simply put, this assessment process helps the organization get to know the individual before they are hired, rather than having to wait six months to a year to fully understand their work style and makeup.

Candidates have come to accept the need and participate willingly to this type of senior management evaluation that is a part of the hiring process. Candidates welcome such executive evaluations conducted by an outside professional because it keeps the process objective and removes biases. Candidates appreciate the benefit to both sides to take the time to evaluate the “fit” between person, position, culture, and organization. In fact, some candidates have come to expect this type of senior evaluation and question organizations that do not use them.
The extensive, informative report focuses on helping senior management know who the person is and how they think and how they behave. These are not computer generated reports, but each one is custom written and specific to the individual. If the evaluation is for a hiring or promotion decision, a recommendation as to the fit and success of the person in that position will be made.

Executive assessments are used for hiring outside candidates, promoting internal candidates for succession planning, and developing the strengths and self awareness of internal senior managers. Two types of Executive Assessments are available to organizations.

  1. The Executive Assessment is a senior level evaluation of either an internal or external candidate. It is designed for the evaluation of Presidents and Vice Presidents. The evaluation process includes assessment instruments that the person completes prior to the interview with the management psychologist, and then a three hour behavioral interview focused on the individual’s background experiences, current work habits, and desired future activities.
  1. The Professional Management Evaluation is designed for evaluating Vice President and Director level individuals. This evaluation process includes the assessment material the individual completes, and a two hour behavioral interview.

Assessing Managerial & Associate Capabilities & Talent

Assessing managers and associates before they are hired helps the organization understand the capabilities of an individual so that they can hire the most effective individuals who will fit with the culture of the organization and who have the necessary skills and competencies for the job. These evaluations allow senior management to obtain an objective picture and understanding of an individual’s strengths, leadership style, personality characteristics, and developmental areas. These assessments are used for both selection and personal development purposes and help management make better decisions on issues such as hiring, promoting, succession planning, and individual development.

The managerial evaluation that we offer to organizations, called the Professional Work Style Assessment, is used as part of the hiring process. After the internal interviews are completed, the organization notifies the management psychologist of the candidate(s) for the position. The candidate is sent information about the assessment process and is asked to complete a number of instruments. These include an assessment package of self-descriptive exercises and a web-based work style measure. Also for the managerial evaluation, a one hour interview with the management psychologist either in person or by phone is conducted.

The associate evaluation, called the Work Place Characteristics Assessment, includes an assessment package of self-descriptive exercises as well as the web-based work style measure. The associate evaluation does not include a phone interview and the report is written from the results of the assessment instruments.

These evaluations and reports are specific to the individual, custom written, and are not computer generated. The management psychologist evaluates each of the assessment instruments and makes a determination as to the capabilities, culture fit, leadership potential, etc. of the individual. The evaluation report consists of two sections, one comparing the individual with other managers and professionals, and the other emphasizing the unique findings about the individual from this assessment.

The custom written reports are very useful for management and include information on matters such as the individual’s: people relationships, intellectual functioning, leadership potential and managerial style, personality makeup, ability to manage stress and pressure, team orientation etc. A summary of the person’s strengths, developmental areas, and how to best manage the individual is also included.

Executive Coaching and Development

The Executive Coaching Program is a one-on-one coaching program with the management psychologist. There are times when a senior manager benefits from having such a coaching experience. The management psychologist becomes a trusted advisor and coach for the individual. During this time, the individual takes an objective look at him/herself and tries to understand who they are, what makes them “tick”, what do they want from the position, how to be stronger as a manager and leader, how do other people see them, etc. Executive coaching provides the individual insights into themselves and the coach helps to guide them to become a stronger senior manager.

A number of senior level coaching programs for the development of executives are available. These programs include assessments, multi rater feedback, and targeted coaching for specific competencies and skill sets. The Executive Coaching Program is used to help leaders develop greater self awareness, be more effective in their positions, and, if they are new leaders, to assimilate more quickly into their leadership positions. Executive coaching is also a very good program for a new executive as part of their “on-boarding” process when they come into an organization. The coaching program can be set for a specific time frame (for example, a 3, 6, or 9 month program), or it can be ongoing as a consultative assignment. The senior managers that go through this program review the 25 Executive Axioms for leaders developed by Dr. Atsaides and receive the handbook.

The Executive Career Awareness Program helps senior managers to objectively understand their skills and competencies. This program helps those individuals who may want to transfer to a different part of the business. The individual completes various instruments including a vocational interest survey to best understand the work groups they are most similar to. This is a very useful program to understand and bring out the potential of senior managers.

Senior Team Building, Alignment, and Performance Enhancement

Building the senior team to work together effectively and trust each other is a serious activity to undertake. This does not just happen. The Senior Team Building Program is a multi-session and custom program for the executive team of the organization, or the senior team of a critical department.

This program helps bond the team members together, builds open communication, encourages mutual respect, explores areas for shared leadership, and teaches skills and attitudes such as having healthy conflict with each other. The management psychologist works with the senior team to understand what they want from the program, and then custom builds the program for their benefit. There are pre-workshop assessments, evaluations of culture, team performance assessments, etc. The program helps to build a stronger team and ends with developing a “code of conduct” for the team that all members come to respect and follow.

The Senior Team Strategic Alignment Program is a custom built and structured program for the senior team to help them understand what it is that they want to achieve. This program evaluates the current functioning of the team and helps the team to identify the goals that they are currently focused upon, and the goals that they want to achieve in the near future. The management psychologist works with the senior team to discuss what they would like to achieve from this program, and then a day-long retreat is set up to discuss these matters and better align the team. The team assesses the organization culture, the team performance, and develops strategies for success. This program is used by some senior teams as their yearly strategic planning session. The results obtained are practical and executable. This is an effective and meaningful program for all senior team members.

We are often asked to Facilitate The Senior Team Retreat. We are very skilled in helping team members communicate openly with each other. By us facilitating the team retreat, this allows all members focus on what is being talked about, rather than on the activities of the facilitator. We have conducted senior team facilitation on the organization’s premises or in retreat settings. We work with the senior team members to help identify what they want covered at the retreat.

There are times when the senior team benefits from a Senior Team Multi-Rater Feedback Program. This program allows each senior team member to give honest and objective feedback to his/her colleagues. We help the senior team understand what issues need to be addressed and develop the program to do so. The exercise allows people to give each other pieces of advice as well as point out matters such as, “This is what I admire about you,” and “Please do the following to be a better team member for me.” To make this program most effective, the management psychologist provides individual feedback to each of the senior team members during a private session. The program can also be conducted in a team building type of setting.

A unique team building and executive training program that we offer organizations is the Executive Round Table Program. This is an internal senior group learning and team building program, similar to the round table programs that are conducted for outside business individuals. The program uses as its structure the 25 Executive Axioms that have been developed by Dr. Atsaides. Each member receives the handbook for their ongoing learning. The program allows for up to 8 participants at a time, and there are five (5) sessions. The program is facilitated by Dr. Atsaides. The participants deal with matters that are important to their organization, such as: culture, leadership style, maintaining accountability, developing vision, managing others, etc. This is a skills building and attitude development program to help individuals become better leaders. Each participant also takes a personal management work style assessment and is given feedback about their current skills and capabilities.

There are times when a senior manager needs to leave the organization and an outplacement program is desired. We provide specialized Senior Management Outplacement Programs at a fraction of the cost of outplacement firms. Our program focuses on the individual and works with them on a one-on-one basis. As part of this program, assessments of work style, personality, and vocational interests are conducted. We help the senior manager with resume writing, networking, interviewing skills, etc. We are known for having a “personal touch” to outplacement, which is very much appreciated during such stressful time.

Organization & Culture Analysis and Development

Organizations have a life cycle just as people. There are times when the organization works smoothly and other times when it is not as agile and nimble as it ought to be. Often, it is a healthy idea to investigate the workings of the organization or a department to understand its current culture and performance. What is going on at this time? What is desired? The following services help an organization be objective about itself and to understand what needs to be done to improve its performance.

Our Organization Analysis Program evaluates the current workings of an organization or a department. The management psychologist works with the senior management to understand what analysis is desired and develops a series of questions and assessment instruments. Then, he conducts one-on-one interviews with the key managers and associates to best understand the issues and to come up with possible solutions. After the audit / analysis is conducted, the findings are shared with senior management and strategies are developed. The results are presented in a practical manner so that the recommendations can be implemented quickly.

There are times when an organization needs to change its organization structure. One of our specialties is to help organizations with our Restructure and Redesign Program. Working with senior management, the management psychologist evaluates the current functioning of the organization and learns what is desired by the senior management. This program could be part of a reduction in force program, or as a means to make the organization more efficient and nimble. The management psychologists meets and evaluates the people in the key positions, and then makes recommendations as to possible new structures for the organization.

We help organizations understand the feelings and needs of the associates through our Employee Survey Program. This program helps the organization to understand the feelings of the associates as to how things are going and what are issues that need to be addressed. The management psychologist helps the organization identify the right questions to ask given the desired outcome. The consultant can conduct the employee surveys in person or through written exercises. The results are summarized and provided to the senior management with recommendations for action.

Culture begins at the top of the organization and flows down to all associates. Our Culture Analysis Program helps organizations and senior management identify the current culture as it is described by themselves and/or others. Then, the senior managers identify the desired culture that would allow the organization to be successful and focused on performance and excellence. A meeting of the senior managers is held to discuss the findings and develop recommendations and strategies going forward to achieve the desired culture.

Atsaides Associates, Inc. has developed 75 competencies that make up the activities of most positions. Our Position Competency Assessment uses these competency characteristics and helps senior management understand what are the key competencies for a specific position. Individuals who are currently in that position, who supervise that position, and those who are impacted by that position are asked to conduct this evaluation. The competency measure can be done on-line or in a group setting. Results are shared with senior management and a clearer understanding is achieved for that position. This helps to improve the job description, how the position is being advertised, for internal skill development, etc.

We also help organizations to hire the right person by helping them with our Position Behavioral Interview Hiring Guides. These hiring guides are developed from our 75 competency characteristics and help organizations stay focused on what is most critical for a given position. The hiring guides help managers understand the position and key questions that are used during the interview of candidates are developed. The results help the interviewers be consistent with how they are asking questions and better focus on what those key questions and skills are.

Facilitating The Growth of The Organization

We provide consulting services to help owners, senior managers, and Boards of Directors in their effort to grow the organization to be as successful as possible. We develop a strong working relationship and partnership with the senior team as trusted allies and advisors. Our work with organizations takes different forms such as:

  • Consulting on a project
  • Establishing a monthly retainer for organization development activities
  • Providing consulting services through an hourly or daily fee basis

Please contact us for further information and to discuss how we can help you meet your desired goals.

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