This post is written in response to Adam Grant’s LinkedIn article, Say Goodbye to MBTI, the Fad That Won’t Die. An interesting title, if it was indeed a fad then I’d agree – let it die – but people do actually get use out of it, so I’m not sure that a fad is the right way to describe the MBTI.
As a Psychologist who has always been critical of the MBTI, allow me to contribute to the discussion. Your score is an indication of preference, not that you are more one than the other. You don’t change preference, you only become more aware of what your true preferences are through your increased self-awareness. The ‘test’ don’t tell you things that you don’t already know about yourself, they just highlight to you what others are likely to see or notice and provide you with guidance on things you might want to consider learning to do, behaviourally. You can’t change your personality!
Language is a fascinating thing but as a psychologist looking at speech development in children, especially my own, is hugely entertaining and enlightening into the workings of thought and logic. I watch with great anticipation and expectation as I observe my children and their friends talk about everyday life to see what wonderful combinations of phrases and mispronunciations occur, something I often do myself – and not always on purpose. One which made me laugh out loud most recently was when a friend of my middle daughter was trying to explain a school project she had to do, which puzzled us all to begin with…
“I had to make a boat out of Pepperami”
We’ve cringed about fairness before on this blog, mostly as it seems to have become a word our political leaders eagerly want to use but not to engage in debate about. While it’s possible to admire someone who knowingly embraces a challenging strategy, part of the problem of fairness is that it’s not only measured, it’s felt. (It’s also not the most easily measured abstract concept in the world either, prone as it is to conflicting readings of equally conflicting statistics.) These inherent difficulties do, however, need to be acknowledged: feeling that we are being treated fairly is a widespread human desire, and integrally linked with such important aspects of a harmonious, productive and successful organisation as trust and respect. It may be difficult to measure quite how the presence of these fluffy components turns into cold, hard cash, but their absence can cost an organisation dear in many ways.
An article by Carly Chynoweth in the October issue of People Management, Endurance Tests, makes me wonder if the business world has finally come out of a coma. Glancing at the patient’s notes, I notice the first piece of evidence:
… assessments are now being broadened to cover all levels of organisations; talent-spotters are no longer assuming that future leaders or relevant talent can only be found in certain pools of employees”
OMG, really? They’ve only just discovered this? No wonder organisations have been struggling though the recession. Continuing to scan, the evidence mounts:
Organisations are looking to identify leaders earlier in their careers so that they can equip them with the skills and exposure that they need to progress through the organisation faster… companies increasingly look inward when succession planning.”
Doctor, I’m afraid it’s worse than we first thought. We may have to operate.
…organisations now want the data presented to be aligned with the employee’s capacity to deliver in the role, or against the organisation’s strategy.”
Nurse, we’d better inform the relatives – time is of the essence …
Having recently spent, what I’d like to consider, a healthy proportion of the school holidays watching cartoons with my children I was struck by the creation that is Never Never Land, depicted by JM Barrie as a dream-like fantasy world inhabited by Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, Captain Hook and a realm of other fascinating characters. It made me think about the whole concept of escapism that all of us, no matter how old, have the urge or need to venture into at some point. And about the role of ‘dreaming’ as opposed to cold, hard logic and realism.
Last June, we wrote an article – inspired by a post, 10 Tenets for the New HR at KnowHR.com – about the imperatives and priorities for HR in our current workplace climates. Our concern was that HR needed to purchase training intelligently – grilling suppliers about transfer and application, evaluation, return on investment, progress measurement – so that had compelling evidence to back their arguments and claims not just for budget, but to have an maintain a seat at we might refer to as ‘The Captain’s Table’. This time around, we want to look at this from a different angle: asking HR to consider what happens when that seat is lost, when the debate continues without them and they have no voice of their own to speak with.
We couldn’t help but notice just before Christmas news items at both Personneltoday.com and HRMagazine.co.uk announcing the launch of Virgin Media’s new leadership development scheme, aimed at turning its business into ‘a talent academy’. This struck as simultaneously a very encouraging development and an audacious, brave – and potentially foolhardy – one.
We’re optimists, so we’ll start with the good news. Virgin Media’s leadership development scheme will be based in personal and (reading between what are currently a few brief lines) psychometric profiling, judging by the Personnel Today news item: Continue reading
As the business world and patterns of trade become irretrievably global, organisations follow suit: not a blinding insight so much as an acknowledgement of economic truths. But as organisations become global, and both think and operate globally too, it isn’t just an issue for production, distribution and sales: all aspects of the organisation follow suit. Recruitment and talent management can be no exception. To succeed on a global stage, organisations need to find – and keep – leading players with the talents to match the environment.
At first glance, a list of forthcoming psychometric tools, instruments and tests can look pretty daunting. Personality tests, skills tests, measures of ability, critical decision making, verbal, numerical reasoning … and so it goes on. But tackling these well can make all the difference when it comes to success in securing a new role or that sought after promotion (hence, I suspect, their potentially daunting appearance).
Hands up who loves the idea of applying for a new job or a promotion and knowing that, in addition to a 1:1 interview and probable tests, you are going to be asked to go through an Assessment Centre?
Don’t panic: best foot forward! Truth be told, this is your best chance to shine, your best prospect for instantly raising your profile, and your best opportunity to get ahead of the field.