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
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
Use case 2 – as an
interviewing aid tool
Use case 3 – for selection
between candidates for a positionUse
case 4 – for team development