Making Accurate Assessments
Unconstrained by geography, almost every industry has moved to a global posture as borders are being blurred by the speed at which information is disseminated. This fast paced, global economy increases opportunity as well as competition. For those companies that are looking to stay in the game, three processes must be at the forefront of their corporate strategy.
1. Efficient and accurate decision making
2. Efficient and accurate talent identification
3. Efficient and accurate team construction
Time is of the essence;
Ironically, the slowdown in the economy actually speeds up the game as margins for error erodes and windows of opportunity decrease in frequency.
As game speed increased, accuracy becomes vital. Industries need to move beyond the standard interview protocols of reviewing resumes, years of experience, performance history and industry expertise. Though these points are critical, the issue of goodness of fit within an organization’s culture is talked about, but often glossed over. In hopes of assessing this very important aspect of a new hire, companies have expectedly utilized standard assessment tools that attempt to help individuals identify personality profile, however these standard assessment tools often miss the mark given their complexity, in some cases offering more than 30 profile indicators to facilitate self-awareness, or are so colloquial that the profile loses meaning. With the speed at which industry is moving, we don’t have time to become our own personal psychologist, understanding our own profile, (let alone someone else’s), with the hope of ultimately understanding how all these profiles and personalities interact. What’s more, often companies gloss over assessing their own understanding of their own culture. Unless the hiring authority is clear in its understanding of its own personality, a clash will likely occur between talent and corporate culture.
Third element: customer profiling.
Accurate assessment of customer base, aligned with the company’s own culture is critical to success. A recent example of how this can go bad is the JC Penny mishap of hiring the Apple CEO to lead Penny’s into their next growth phase. Post appraisal of the events, point to a clear misalignment between the customer base profile and the leadership’s understanding of this profile.
Efficient and Accurate;
Efficient and accurate assessment don’t always go hand in hand. Often, relying on what is the most convenient is substituted for efficiency; and most popular is substituted for accuracy. Unless the initial identification process is both efficient andaccurate, the endeavor will fail. Sure you may get initial results by way of start-up energy, but this energy is soon depleted and the individual and/or team will falter at the first sign of resistance.
Accurate talent identification also relies on efficient means of understanding not only the individual’s background and current skill sets; it also requires an understanding of context. Michael Jordon is an extremely talented athlete; however the context in which he soared was basketball. He applied his talent to the context of baseball for a time and did not achieve the same level of success as he did in basket ball. Context, Context, Context. What is more, his specific skill set was enhanced wildly when he was surrounded by other talented players with specific complementary skill sets such as Dennis Rodman and Scotty Pippin (among others). Lastly it was Phil Jackson’s consultative efforts to coalesce these players that created the dynasty of the 1990’s.
Creating assessment systems that are efficient and accurate is the key to constructing successful strategies. These systems must include assessment tools that are not only accurate, but also helpful and brief; rendering information that is applicable to talent identification; team building; utilizing consultants to optimize skill sets; ultimately leading to sustainable productivity.