Talent — Does It Come from Desire, Ability, or Both?


*In this guest post, Melvyn Payne, Development Director at Advanced People Strategies, takes a look at the challenges facing Talent Management.

It is no surprise to see hard-working, collaborative individuals with great social skills emerging as potential leaders and being nominated for talent development programmes. In fact, it makes a welcome change to some of the overly ambitious, pushy individuals who feel they deserve a space at the top table but do not always demonstrate the capabilities to be effective.

So why is it that many of these apparently talented individuals subsequently have problems, or even fail, when they take on more responsibility or lead a team?

Perhaps we should start by considering why they are nominated in the first place. Their willingness to take on work and commitment to delivering high quality output for their boss often means they are some of the highest performers in the team.

They tend to be valued by their colleagues and their manager as they are typically modest about their own achievements and avoid playing politics – they tend to be someone everyone enjoys working with.

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Career Connections Celebrating 20 Years of Success

Career-Connection-20years-logoWhen Bob and Joyce Hogan set out to develop better solutions to improve the global workforce, they knew they would need people and organizations from all over the world to help them sell these solutions. This resulted in the formation of a robust international distributor network spanning 56 countries. However, there was one key value each Hogan distributor was required to uphold: A commitment to excellence.

Excellence is defined as “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good”. For Career Connections, a Hogan distributor located in Nairobi, Kenya, excellence isn’t just found in the quality of the organization’s work, but also in the organization’s longevity.

Celebrating 20 years in business, Career Connections has evolved into one of Africa’s most prominent talent consulting firms. Under the leadership of Founding Director and Managing Director, Madeleine Dunford, the company continues to thrive in an area that is overflowing with potential. In our latest Distributor Spotlight, Madeleine gives us an overview how they increase ROI for their clients using the Hogan Assessment Suite.

Career Connections  is the largest specialized talent consulting firm in East Africa and recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2017. Although the firm is headquartered in Nairobi, we service clients across Africa, excluding South Africa, in 3 broad areas: Executive Search; Executive Coaching and Accredited Coach training (in partnership with the Academy of Executive Coaching); and Assessments for selection or development. We have been a Hogan distributor for 12 years and in 2017 generated over 7,000 Hogan reports.

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Six Lessons on Leadership from Bob Hogan

RT Leadership2I am obsessed with the topic of leadership. Organizations need leaders to make key decisions, anticipate and manage changing market trends, and set strategic vision. When competent leadership prevails, people and companies prosper. Bad leadership almost always creates disengaged workers, corporate chicanery, and, eventually, business failure.

The problem with most leadership competency models is they fail to distinguish between successful managers—people who are rapidly promoted in their organizations, and effective managers—people whose subordinates are committed and whose organizational units perform well. If we distinguish between these groups and review of the leadership literature from the perspective of team effectiveness we find six useful generalizations.

1. What followers want from their leaders

The first concerns the characteristics that people want to see in their leaders. Kouzes and Posner (2010) devised a simple paradigm for studying this: ask people to describe the best and the worst managers they have ever had using a standardized format. This research reveals that people evaluate leaders in terms of four broad categories: Read More »

Hogan Assessments Names Ryne Sherman as Chief Science Officer

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 10.15.56 AMHogan Assessments announced Monday that Dr. Ryne Sherman will join the company as Chief Science Officer.

In this role, Sherman will be responsible for managing the primary functions within Hogan’s industry-leading research department, including client research, product development and maintenance, and Hogan’s research archive and infrastructure.

“We’re thrilled to have Ryne join the Hogan team,” says Hogan CEO Scott Gregory. “He’s been an incredible asset to our organization in recent years through the work he’s done with our research team, and he has positioned himself as one of the premier thought leaders in the world of personality psychology.”

Sherman is currently an associate professor at Texas Tech University, and prior to that he taught at Florida Atlantic University where he was recognized as the FAU College of Science Distinguished Teacher of the Year in 2013. In addition, his research on the psychological properties of situations and their interaction with personality has been awarded federal support from the National Science Foundation, and in 2016 he was named a “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science. Read More »

Bob Hogan and Ryne Sherman: Briefing Socioanalytic Theory

Ident_Rep_Blog_HS_2Socioanalytic theory draws on key ideas of Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, and George Herbert Mead to explain why people act as they do. All three writers noted that humans evolved as group living animals; we also know that all groups contain status hierarchies and myths about their origins and purpose. This suggests that the big problems in life concern: (1) Getting along with other people; (2) Acquiring status and power; and (3) Finding one’s place in the group. In modern life, individual differences in the ability to solve these three problems translate into individual differences in career success. Successful people live longer, have healthier lives, and are better able to care for their dependents—and that is the definition of biological fitness. Thus, Socioanalytic theory is about fitness and career success.

Socioanalytic theory defines personality from two perspectives: (1) Identity; and (2) Reputation.  Identity concerns who you think you are; reputation concerns who we think you are. Research on identity has produced few useful generalizations; in contrast, research on reputation has been highly productive; e.g., the Five-Factor Model—a taxonomy of reputation—is a useful way to organize personality research findings. Past behavior predicts future behavior; reputation is a summary of past behavior; thus, reputation is the best possible data source for predicting future behavior.

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VIDEO: Bob Hogan on the Bright Side of Personality

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 11.53.56 AMDeveloped in 1980, the Hogan Personality Inventory, which describes the bright side of personality, has aged like a fine wine. With a commitment to validity and reliability, Hogan’s flagship assessment is continuously updated and analyzed by our industry-leading research division.

Whether your goal is to find the right hire or develop stronger leaders, assessing bright-side personality gives you valuable insight into how people work, how they lead, and how successful they will be. Simply put, the bright side is who you are when you are at your best.

“The bright side of personality is you when you’re keeping your real self under control,” says Bob Hogan. “It’s you when you’re a smoothly functioning hypocrite.”

In this video Bob Hogan discuss the bright side of personality and how some people have more attractive bright sides than others, which allows them to get along, get ahead, and have more successful careers.

Our Assessments Are Biased

RT_Hogan_Blog_HSThe personality assessment industry gets a lot of criticism, and rightfully so. The vast majority of assessment providers care little about validity. At Hogan, we’ve spent 30 years building a reputation based on providing valid assessments that are proven to predict workplace performance.

One frequent question we get from skeptics is “are your assessments biased?” Although our competitors dance around this question or answer it dishonestly, we proudly admit that our assessments are biased.

First, we are biased toward data over intuition and toward data-based decision making.  

Second, we are biased toward equal opportunity in hiring and promotion: if a woman or a minority is more talented than a white male candidate, then the talented person should get the job regardless of internal politics. 

Third, we are biased toward revising our standard recommendations if new data shows our standard recommendations are wrong—that is, we are biased toward admitting our mistakes. 

And fourth, we assume that people are fundamentally irrational and that getting them to behave rationally is a constant struggle. Specifically, people tend to choose actions that lead to short term payoffs but are contrary to their own long term best interests.              

And yes, our assessments reflect these biases.

Blue Coach Delivers Results on and off the Court

home01Leadership is the most important single factor determining success in business. At Hogan, we believe good leaders are those who are able to build and maintain high performing teams. At Blue CoachSrdjan Vukcevic, the company’s founder and CEO, has been able to do that and so much more.

In addition to assembling a team that has positioned Blue Coach as Montenegro’s premier firm in delivering executive coaching, management consulting, and assessment-based solutions, Srdjan and his team have the opportunity to help others do that same at their organizations. As the Chinese proverb says: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” 

In the first edition of the Distributor Spotlight Series for 2018, Srdjan provides a breakdown of the services Blue Coach offers, and how combining his team’s expertise with Hogan’s assessments has made a significant impact across a variety of industries and organizations.

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The HDS Turns 2 Million

Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 11.58.38 AMHogan was the first personality assessment provider to recognize the value of assessing derailers, or dark side personality, with working adults. First launched in 1995, the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) measures 11 derailing tendencies that can impede career success and interpersonal effectiveness. In 1998, we were the first test publisher to develop a web-based assessment platform to administer the HDS. After we fully integrated the system to score assessment responses for personnel selection and employee development in 2001, our online platform became the most popular way to complete our assessments. As a result, we hit a new milestone as 2017 ended, surpassing over 2 million HDS assessments on our core platform. Put another way, we’ve administered the HDS using this one platform to more people than the population of Paris, France.

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The Neuropsychology of Teamwork

alex-sajan-402957“Why can’t they just act like adults!”

“It’s like herding cats!”

Although teams are our default organizational unit, team leaders often struggle to get individuals to cooperate and coordinate. Partly, that’s down to the fact that each individual has their own agenda for getting ahead, which they balance with getting along with everyone else.

Getting along is the hard part. We became hard-wired through evolution to prefer our own kind and to distinguish friend from foe. Although we are inclined to cooperate, we are also hard-wired for competition and war, which makes coordinating with others tricky. Science is now telling us more about how to manage people and teams to activate neural pathways for either trust and collaboration or conflict and competition. Here’s how to harness our neuropsychology to build better teams.

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