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I borrow the title from Stephen J Gould to reflect the closing in or convergence of social biology and human resources management.

 

How many of you have been assessed by a psychometric test or otherwise and felt disillusioned by the whole process of seemingly random interview questions and graphical analysis.

 

We have looked at the various current methods for assessment, selection and development of the people in our organizations. Perhaps sometimes we use them to discriminate between interviewees looking for a position. How fair is it to use a system that does not appear to have a scientific basis.

Experience has shown that senior people use the results as a guide and follow their ‘gut’ feelings when making the final decision. This gut feeling is something that has developed over many generations and is itself influenced by our genes and chemicals- the gut has recently been called the ‘second brain’ and is the topic of a new book.

 

We have discussed the recent discoveries flowing from the sequencing of the human genome in 2003 and their importance to the understanding of our motivations and behaviors. We need to incorporate these into our practices. Individuals would then need to be tested based on nature (heredity) and nurture (experience) to evaluate their suitability.

 

We will need to find a way to assess and measure people as individuals and it seems that we will need a system that allows us to gather data about both the nature and nurture of the subject. The current questions and assessment methods appear to gather only nurture information.

 

To assess nature and heredity we could do a genealogical study of each individual. However this would be expensive and not time efficient. We could do a DNA test on each individual. However this would run into ethical and privacy issues.

We could build a better database based on known genetic differences between individuals in certain locations. These differences would have been genetic based and have offered some advantage to the carrier(s). We would use that as a starting point to develop further nurtured differences that will have varying influence over time. However this is a major undertaking and credibility would be an issue.

 

Such a database would indeed be valuable. It would need to be web based, global, scientific, easy to use, sexist, ageist, verifiable, flexible to add new discoveries, approved by psychologists and scientists.

It would be used as:

Use case 1 – as a self-development tool

Use case 2 – as an interviewing aid tool

Use case 3 – for selection between candidates for a position

Use case 4 – for team development

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