The Psychology of Economic Development

cropped-be-papers-wordleI find it annoying that Economics is regarded as a more advanced discipline than Psychology. For example, there is a Nobel Prize in Economics but not in Psychology; this is odd because the field of “behavioral economics” is nothing more than applied cognitive psychology. Several years ago, I started reading The Economist magazine in order to understand what the economists have to say about how to organize human affairs. The big question in economics concerns identifying the policies that are best suited to develop national economies. Therefore, if Economics is a useful discipline, then economists should have something to say about how to grow an economy. If they do, then we can take their (very important) message to sub-Saharan Africa, Cuba, or Venezuela.

The April 14th, 2018 issue of The Economist contains a startling admission: professional economists have no clue about how to promote economic development; specifically, economists have no idea why rich countries became rich in the first place. The problem is, economists study “structural factors” (e.g., tax policy, access to capital, property rights legislation)—objective features of government that can be quantified—and this is the wrong place to look for answers.Consequently, economists have no serious advice for poor countries—or anyone else.

The Economist magazine goes on to note that the most promising approach to understanding economic development is to study “…the ways in which culture and politics constrain economics…” This is because economic development depends on “…decisions about economic governance taken by…leaders, which will in turn be influenced by social and geo-political forces that economists scarcely understand and generally ignore.”

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Hogan Cares About Validity; Most Test Publishers Do Not

The test publishing industry is unregulated. As a result, many commercial test publishers ignore validity, and sell the psychometric equivalent of snake oil. However, when most reputable assessment vendors care only about their bottom line, they have little incentive to care much about the validity of their assessments. And, because of the high stakes involved in global employee selection and development, this is one of the most deceptive and harmful business practices of the 21st century.

Simply put, valid assessments predict performance; assessments that lack validity cannot predict performance. In this new video, Bob Hogan expands on the importance of validity in assessments, and explains the steps necessary to establish validity.

Thoughts on: New(ish) Directions for Vocational Interests Research

474-icf-logo-cl*This is a guest post written by Joel A. DiGirolamo, Director of Coaching Science for the International Coach Federation.

I enjoyed reading the thought-provoking paper “New(ish) Directions for Vocational Interests Research”by Hogan and Sherman. It is jam-packed with concepts, models, and logic that offer fodder for many thought exercises.

I certainly agree with the assertion that “values are the real underlying subject matter of vocational psychology.” When looking more broadly, however, it seems to me that the following hierarchy exists: Read More »

RECAP: Hogan Assessments Makes Waves in Budapest and Chicago Last Week

Hogan European Summit

BudapestApril is a hectic time of the year for the crew at Hogan Assessments, and this year was no different. In fact, our staff was widely represented in both the US and Europe during a week full of events.

The week began with a group of Hogan representatives traveling to Budapest, Hungary to attend the Hogan European Summit, which was organized by Hogan’s Managing Director of Europe, Zsolt Feher.

Held at the famous Gerbeaud Café in historic downtown Budapest, the event aimed to foster collaboration among our European distributors to facilitate growth across the continent and enhance Hogan’s brand visibility.

Dr. Hogan delivered the opening keynote address to set the tone for the Summit, which was followed by discussions regarding EU PR and marketing strategy by MITTE Communications, 360 and Global Talent Survey updates by Peter Berry Consultancy, an interactive strategy session, and product updates.

Hogan CEO Scott Gregory discussed absentee leadership on day two. This is a relatively new topic in the industry, and was thoroughly covered by Scott in an article he wrote for Harvard Business Review. The keynote was followed by sessions covering strategy for selection research and presentation, a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) update, distributor case study presentations, a Q&A session with Hogan Leadership, and an afternoon of sightseeing in Budapest.

We’re truly honored to have such a strong network of European distributors, and we look forward to future opportunities to bring everyone together in an effort to boost Hogan’s global presence.

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Charisma: Not a Recipe for Better Leadership

humility word in metal type

*This is a guest blog post written by Nicholas Emler, Ph.D., a Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Surrey.

Leadership was for too long grievously neglected by mainstream psychology, so it is good to see the topic more regularly getting serious scholarly attention; there is now a substantial body of informative research, in marked contrast to the situation 25 years ago. However, not all the scholarly attention has been beneficial. My concern on this occasion relates to some recent work (Antonakis, 2018) on the link between leadership and charisma.

Antonakis makes useful points in this article, noting that charisma has suffered from fuzziness of definition.  And his interpretation of charisma as persuasive signalling is an interesting route to rigour in research on charisma. However, the idea that successful leaders use rhetorical and presentational devices to enhance their persuasive impact on audiences is not new (see Atkinson, 1984) and many of the insights of this earlier work have clearly been absorbed by professional politicians. Witness the now ubi Read More »

Bob Hogan on Workplace Culture

RT CultureCulture can best be defined in terms of the values that guide the behavior and decision making of a social unit—a team, a family, a business, etc. Culture is not vague and touchy-feely; cultures can be easily and reliably assessed using any number of commercially available survey instruments. Cultures have real, concrete behavioral consequences, and they directly influence the performance of business organizations. As Peter Drucker, the founder of modern management practices, observed: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That is, no matter what strategy a company might adopt, the culture will enable or prevent that strategy from being implemented.

A concrete example might help. Several years ago, we were contacted by a newly opened, high end hotel in London because it was struggling financially. We assessed the top management team using our measure of values and found the following. On the one hand, the top management team had very high scores on the Customer Service, Aesthetics, and Hedonism scales, which meant that they cared deeply about quality, style, and providing a superb and enjoyable customer experience; these values are perfect for hospitality. On the other hand, the top management team scored low on the Power and Commerce scales—which meant that no one cared about making money or beating the competition—and this explained their poor financial performance.   Read More »

How the Best CEOs Differ from Average Ones

dylan-nolte-567174-unsplash*This article was written by Dean Stamoulis of Russell Reynolds Associates, and was originally published by Harvard Business Review on November 15, 2016.

We all know the stereotypes: Great CEOs are extroverted. They’re self-promoting. They’re risk takers. But are these stereotypes true? Which traits actually differentiate CEOs from other executives? And, most important, which attributes separate successful CEOs from other CEOs?

There is a great deal of conjecture and mythology about CEOs and the attributes that define their success.Russell Reynolds Associates, in partnership with Hogan Assessment Systems, has led a research effort to separate myth from reality, identifying key indicators of leadership that have a measurable impact on a company’s growth. The results demonstrate that intensity, an ability to prioritize and focus on substance, and an ability to know what one doesn’t know (and utilize the best in what others do know) are more strongly related to best-in-class CEO leadership than traditional traits like extroversion or self-promotion.

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Unleash Your Future Leaders’ Full Potential

marcus-benedix-606296-unsplash*This article was originally published in the Competency Issue of Talent Quarterly earlier this month, and was authored by David Hoff, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Leadership Development at EASI Consult. Visit Talent Quarterly’s website to purchase the full issue as well as all previous issues.   

IN LAST YEAR’S BULLSHIT ISSUE (TQ 14), W. Warner Burke, Ph.D., wrote a column about his work researching and defining learning agility. If step one was introducing the world to learning agility, then step two is showing how it can be put to practical use in organizations. It’s time to take that step.

Building on the work of University of Michigan professor D. Scott DeRue, who identified the learning agility dimensions of speed and flexibility, Burke pinpointed seven others in his Talent Quarterly article: performance risk taking, interpersonal risk taking, collaborating, information gathering, feedback seeking, experimenting, and reflecting.

Burke and DeRue differentiated between learning agility and ability. While ability consists of horsepower or intelligence, agility is the versatility to access capabilities for solving problems in situations in which you don’t know what to do. Ability is certainly important—to a point. But then agility steals the show.

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Recruiting Across Cultures: One Size Does Not Fit All

zhang-kaiyv-422413-unsplashWhen scaling out a talent management program such as a wide-screening selection initiative, ensuring accurate interpretation of candidates’ assessment results across a team of recruiters is challenging in and of itself. That challenge is immeasurably amplified when these candidates hail from different regions and cultures, where the expectations of an employee can vary wildly from those of headquarters. For HR leaders at multinational corporations — or at organizations operating in countries that share a talent pool with culturally distinct neighbors — this challenge tends to arise more often than not, and has been intensely magnified by the recent shifts in the macro-business landscape.

The recent global economic turmoil galvanized the localization of jobs across the world and resulted in organizational charts catering to the new era of emerging-market consumers. As companies quickly strategized to make up for the sagging established customer bases and to capitalize on diversity of perspective, indigenous benefactors of the developing world were suddenly being considered for jobs where they were asked to carry twice the responsibility of their expat predecessors — and to do so with half the resources and little if any preparation. Though the eye of the initial financial storm has since passed, it seems those in the talent management industry forgot to ask the most pertinent question when it came to deploying recruitment models across the globe: When we apply our recruitment processes and evaluation models in different regions, do our standard interpretations still hold?

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Dr. Jekyll + Mr. Jobs

Steve Jobs*This article was originally published in the Competency Issue of Talent Quarterly earlier this month. Visit their website to purchase the full issue as well as all previous issues.

IN THIS SPECIAL ESSAY, Jorge E. Fernandez, a consultant with the Hogan Coaching Network, examines mercurial Apple founder Steve Jobs using the Hogan Development Survey (HDS), which describes the dark side of personality—qualities that emerge in times of increased strain that can disrupt relationships, damage reputations, and hinder peoples’ chances of success.

By assessing dark-side personality, you can recognize and mitigate performance risks before they become a problem. Here, Fernandez tracks the major steps of Jobs’s storied career, from Apple’s humble beginnings to the company’s unprecedented comeback two decades later, and all the sabotaging and backstabbing in between.

Introduced in 1997, the HDS is the only personality assessment that identifies critical blind spots that lead to career derailment. How might Jobs’s career have progressed if the inventory existed in the 1970s? Here’s what Jobs’s trajectory—and the HDS—can teach you when it comes to developing the next great leaders.

I’m probably the first person ever to compare Steve Jobs to Billy Joel, so here goes nothing: In his 1989 hit “I Go to Extremes,” the Rock and Roll Hall-of- Famer succinctly captured the unpredictable quality of the artistic temperament when he sang, “I don’t know why I go to extremes / Too high or too low, there ain’t no in-betweens.” Much like the protagonist in Joel’s song, the Apple cofounder’s professional life stands out for its sharp ups and downs, with few in- betweens. (Nailed it.)

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