Over the past 20 years, Cerno has assessed over 9,000 leaders and managers, from frontline managers to Chief Executives of large organisations.  Since 2002, we have regularly assessed Public Service Chief Executives on behalf of the State Services Commission.  We have worked with almost every public sector organisation in New Zealand, along with a range of state-owned enterprises, private sector clients, and Australian organisations.  Many of our client relationships are longstanding, illustrating the sustained benefits our clients experience from our work.

A few examples which illustrate our work include:

Leadership Insight

In 2015, we were commissioned by the New Zealand State Services Commission to design and deliver the Leadership Insight initiative, in partnership with the Leadership Development Centre.  Leadership Insight involves leadership assessment and benchmarking across the New Zealand State Sector.  This involved defining the newly developed Leadership Success Profile at a behavioural level, designing a number of assessment ‘paths’ that leverage previous leadership assessment information, and defining capability requirements at multiple leadership levels, to enable comparison of individuals in roles of similar complexity.  We have completed assessments for over 400 second- and third-tier managers from a wide range of agencies.  For the first time, Leadership Insight has enabled consistent measurement of leadership capability across different agencies, which has produced an accurate picture of leadership capability in the State Sector and facilitated the identification, development, and deployment of leaders across the system.

Executive Capability Assessment and Development programme (ECAD)

In 2013, we designed this developmental assessment programme for senior executives across the Queensland Public Service (QPS).  We have assessed over 600 senior executives as part of ECAD, and also conducted over 100 ‘refresh’ assessments.  ECAD has provided the QPS with an accurate and detailed benchmark of executive capability, and the ability to manage executive talent effectively and flexibly across the QPS.  The ECAD programme won a 2014 Queensland Premier's Award for its positive contribution to sector performance.

The Aspiring Leaders Programme (ALP)

ALP is a smaller-scale leadership development programme aimed at emerging leaders in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).  As a key part of the ALP, participants are invited to attend a development centre conducted by Cerno over two half-days.  Participants receive a development report, attend a coaching discussion with their Cerno consultant, and received a personalised development plan.  Their development plans are then used to focus their learning in a residential development programme.

Assessment for organisational change

We have provided selection assessment for several significant organisational change programmes.  For example, in one high-profile and controversial programme, we assessed 99 candidates for up to 7 managerial roles each (in total there were 398 applications to consider).  The assessment process was part of a wider culture change initiative and was ‘high stakes’.  Timeframes were short, to minimise uncertainty and disruption.  We worked in partnership with the organisation’s staff to develop and deliver the assessments, ensure a robust and transparent process, and provide post-selection support.