Leadership assessments are valuable; 360s, however, present flaws with negative impact, to individuals and organizational performance, all because they focus on the past.
The core issue to identify when considering assessments is to answer the following question with sufficient clarity: What really drives individual performance?
Executive profiling through individual assessments can be a valuable approach in order to truly understand what it takes to perform at maximum levels; one has to be able to measure the complete person. Leaders and Managers need to understand “what” natural talents a person has, “why” they are motivated to use them and “how” they prefer to use them.
Achieving optimal performance requires the best alignment between these variables and the individual’s role and duties. By better understanding these core drivers of performance, and utilizing this knowledge in hiring, team-building and leading individuals, it’s possible to position people for personal excellence and maximum job satisfaction and performance.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE PROFILE will aide in proving this argument:
“Axiology is the science of value. The word “Axiology,” derived from the 2 Greek roots ‘axios’ (worth or value) and ‘logos’ (logic or theory) means the theory of value. The development of the science makes possible the objective measurement of value, or literally, the act of making judgments about ourselves and the world around us. It is a mathematically accurate assessment that objectively identiﬁes how our minds analyze and interpret our experiences. It also identiﬁes how we are most likely to react in any given situation. Basically, it examines “how we think.” It helps us to understand the patterns we use to make judgments. In turn, this allows us to translate these measurements into quantitative scores that can be more easily understood, compared, and applied to the daily world. These processes determine how and why we act as we do. It provides a common language that we can then use to compare individuals against each other, a position, or an environment.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/axiology (Webster 2016)
Predictive analysis has been used over time for many reasons, however, with the advent of technology, the evidence suggests these analyses are being used in the form of leadership assessments that while on the rise, often fail to predict supervisory behavior and sometimes have an adverse impact on performance, both individually and organizationally.
The press often reports good employment numbers that when taken at face value serve as a placebo to make us feel adequate within geographic areas where a positive economic impact appears to exist. Take this article as an example: “Local jobless rates best State, National averages” Posted: June 4, 2016 By Jim McConville, The Winchester Star, http://www.winchesterstar.com/article/0604jobless. While this lacks controversy one must recognize that when compared with answering the question of why employees quit their jobs, the recurring response found through exit interviews within human resources channels always point out to poor leadership and management systems.
Understanding these responses is essential in order to map them to leadership performance. The use of 360 assessments is often used to ensure complete feedback is provided to leaders and managers in order to show them how employees view them as opposed to how they see themselves. Hence the rub, and perhaps the single flaw with this 360 system. Normally the person being assessed is able to deduce whence the responses came from; and often times instead of displaying professional growth and restraint, they act out with resentment and even with punitive actions against those whom they perceived provided negative feedback. This type of behavior from leaders and managers can only end up in decreased productivity and a rise of poor performance.
So then, while 360s may be valuable, in my experience their use serves more to the detriment of an organization than not, unless properly used.
What really drives individual performance? “In order to truly understand what it takes to perform at maximum levels, you have to be able to measure the complete person. Organizations and leaders need to understand “what” natural talents a person has, “why” they are motivated to use them and “how” they prefer to use them. Achieving optimal performance requires the best alignment between these variables and the individual’s role and duties.” (RAC 2016) The ADVanced Insights profile combines three of the world’s leading instruments to answer the following questions:
• WHAT – Natural talents based on how one thinks and makes decisions.
• WHY – Deep conditioned motivators and drivers that affect engagement and passion.
• HOW – Natural behavioral styles that control task completion, interpersonal interactions and direct job performance.
“By better understanding these core drivers of performance, and utilizing this knowledge in hiring, team-building and leading individuals, it’s possible to position people for personal excellence and maximum job satisfaction and performance. The ADVanced Insights profile combines three of the world’s leading instruments, each specializing in measuring a specific aspect of this trifecta of human performance, to give organizations unequaled access to the knowledge they need to improve results.” (RAC 2016) Consider the below executive Profile:
HI D – LOW C: When this combination is present there is a direct and forceful sense about people in how they behave. They will take a stand quickly and openly defend it. Competition and risk taking are significant trends associated with this combination as well. There can be a tendency to push the limits to far or overstep authority.
Aesthetic – Individualistic: A person driven to achieve balance and harmony in his/her own unique way. “I create my own definition of beauty”. Prefers to be free to do things that bring beauty and balance to her life. (The Independent Artist)
Hi Score in Systems Judgment: People with an ideal balance in this capacity will balance between the need to work within a set of guidelines and operating outside of set boundaries in order to achieve goals. They can also tend to be proactive.
“Those of us in the field of leadership and business development are asked this question quite often. You won’t be surprised to learn that I believe leaders can be made, since the making of future business leaders is at the heart of our mission and curriculum here at the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business. It is not, however, a question to be dismissed lightly, and the complexity of leadership requires us to look at the question seriously and critically.” Are Leaders Born or Made?, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141015153718-2170407-are-leaders-born-or-made?trk=prof-post, (Miles Davis, PhD October 15, 2014)
If leadership is learned, then leaders are made and not born; just like one is not born with the skills and knowledge of a surgeon the same applies to leadership. It is true, however, that everyone is gifted in very unique ways, this uniqueness, exposure to challenging environments and the determination to succeed awaken us all to the discovery of our true life purpose and passion.
Education, training and experience are, of course, essential for personal and professional growth; and while attitude isn’t everything, the right attitude is, particularly in the pursuit of excellence.
Skills and Knowledge form the main ingredient of expert leadership. Developing individual traits and characteristics are necessary in order to lead others; but it’s not enough; simply because it’s often misinterpreted as predictors of success.
When thinking and applying leadership development models, my position is that it must be results driven. Using results as the desired outcome in business becomes paramount to align organizational vision, mission and goals to the leaders that are burdened with the responsibility to lead. Also it’s important to recognize the necessity of aligning leadership development with internal systems and processes to achieve desired results. Using 360 performance evaluations are flawed from the very beginning when used incorrectly, mostly because those providing the evaluation are grossly unqualified to do so. Past performance while good predictors of future performance never take into account behavior changes that are possible for the future when properly assessed and investigated.
The ADVanced insights tool exposed here does just that by answering the how, the what and the why of how leaders prefer to behave. This must be done privately and confidentially.
“Turning Data into Learning That Drives Greater Performance is nothing new — it’s one of the most powerful tools any business can implement when planning for today and tomorrow. But while the traditional use of learning analytics has many benefits, it’s what it can’t provide that might be most important. That’s where Raytheon Professional Services (RPS) steps in for the assist. With the ability to apply powerful Performance Analytics, organizations view their data and their future in ways they had never before imagined.
Most learning and development (L&D) organizations want better ways to use analytics to improve their learning strategies and outcomes. Yet, a recent survey of over 400 organizations by Raytheon Professional Services and Human Capital Media found that most L&D organizations still rely solely on learning tools for their data. By focusing on learning data, these organizations are focusing on the past — lagging indicators — instead of analyzing data to address the performance and business challenges that they face today, or gaining the information needed to predict future outcomes. http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/per_analytics/index.html?WT.mc_id=linkedin_sponsoredupdate_rps_pa&utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=sponsoredupdate&utm_content=pa_betterperformance&utm_campaign=rps_pa (Performance Analytics 2016)
Leadership equals Responsibility (L=R). A formula for success when combined with commitment and desire will make all the difference and yield results. Let’s take a look at it. A (SK) + Goals = PBC IR (organizational & personal)
This formula stands for: Attitudes as a multiplier of Skills, addition of Knowledge plus Goal Achievement equals Positive Behavior Change which leads to Improved Results on both an organizational and personal level.
When recognizing that in order to improve, we have to focus on the skills and knowledge we need, then it can be argued that our Attitudes impact the way we think since they are habits of thought. The way we think impacts our behavior and the way we behave impact our Results. If we want to get different and lasting results, it’s not enough to change our behavior. We have to start with changing our attitudes, which will, in turn, change our behavior, and then change our results.
Behavioral psychologists have determined that 95% of our basic attitudes were developed by the time we were 5 years old, mostly around negative conditioning. Believing in yourself is the catalyst to change. Faith and belief go hand and hand, however faith is not taught in business schools today or any secular leadership academy; it’s passed down through our families and tested through life’s journey as part of our values system. Faith is different than belief because it forces us to trust in something or someone we haven’t seen.