Smart, dedicated, and motivated business leaders are constantly looking for that extra “edge” or advantage that will move them ahead in a competitive market. There is no shortage of concepts to choose from in the racks of business books and magazines, each one purporting to be “the answer” or the “latest answer”. There is no doubt that positively fostering leadership, teamwork, customer centricity, critical thinking, creativity, or entrepreneurship can be beneficial to an organization. However, after all the training dollars have been spent; after all the executive coaching sessions have ended; and after all the consultants have packed up their laptops, there seems to be a sense that despite the glowing participant reviews and the unparalleled professionalism and skill of the implementers, the results were somewhat less than expected. The outcomes were still not exactly what they should be. Outcomes are what the smart, dedicated, and motivated business leaders really wanted.
There is also no question that certain knowledge and skills are useful in producing the outcomes associated with these concepts. People can be taught the knowledge and skills with a variety of training programs. This is the KNOW HOW TO DO part of the model.
The two circles below represent the paradigm through which companies have understood how the outcomes they desired were produced. Therefore, it was the model that was used to craft the training programs or motivational efforts used to drive those outcomes.
Yet, marvelously designed training programs delivered brilliantly to eager audiences, have rarely resulted in the outcomes that were expected. Truly there were improvements and much was learned, but there always seemed to be a part of the population of participants that failed to respond satisfactorily.
In the same manner, executives enthusiastically proclaimed a vision for their company that was exciting. It was received with enthusiasm by all of the employees. The company culture supported the vision. Yet, still, a part of the population did not deliver the outcomes that were needed.
What if there was nothing wrong with the training. What if the employees were sincere in wanting to follow the vision. What if all of the employees really tried to do what was required. What if the real problem was that the model of understanding was incomplete? It has long been established that human beings have hard-wired personality traits and cognitive abilities that do not change over time. More importantly, they do not change with training, coaching, or incentives. In effect, they are the CAN DO elements of human performance. A simple metaphor can be seen in basketball. A player may WANT TO slam dunk the basketball. They may KNOW HOW TO slam dunk the basketball. The question is “Are they tall enough to slam dunk the basketball?” That is the CAN DO question.
BestWork enables companies to answer the CAN DO questions first, before designing a training program. It does this by providing a direct link with the outcomes and the job behaviors that are required to produce those outcomes. With the DATA, it is possible to see if a person’s performance can be appreciably affected through a training program and to see exactly what kind of training program will be most effective for them. If the training is unlikely to be productive, the DATA will help determine the best use of their particular strengths and abilities.
Some examples of outcomes that depend on hard-wired traits and abilities and concepts related to them are:
DATA offers the extraordinary advantage of enabling the company to connect initiatives directly with the desired outcomes. It enables true talent management of human capital, targeted individually for specific outcomes. It is important to promote and encourage the adoption of concepts such as leadership and customer-centricity, but it is vital to use DATA to make them a reality and a competitive advantage in today’s world.
Chuck Russell is a thought leader on applying behavioral data to business, educational and social challenges. For over 25 years, he has worked with companies of all kinds to optimize their talent acquisition and talent management practices with behavioral data. He is an international speaker on behavioral data analytics.