BIOSS SA https://www.bioss.co.za Business Performance through People Fri, 17 May 2019 07:25:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Why is determining succession readiness so difficult? https://www.bioss.co.za/why-is-determining-succession-readiness-so-difficult/ Fri, 17 May 2019 07:25:49 +0000 https://www.bioss.co.za/?p=5208 Succession Readiness Currently there are many global organisations that have accepted that tracking and developing talent can be a source of competitive advantage. While this has led to the increased use of assessment tools to identify this future potential, the assessment of readiness for the next move is a tougher question to answer. The question...

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Succession Readiness

Currently there are many global organisations that have accepted that tracking and developing talent can be a source of competitive advantage. While this has led to the increased use of assessment tools to identify this future potential, the assessment of readiness for the next move is a tougher question to answer.

The question is typically something like: Will the person be ready now, in 3 months’ time, or perhaps only in 2 years’ time?

This is a very difficult question to answer, and we have seen many talent exercises where an individual is deemed ready one year from now, and then when the exercise is repeated the next year, the answer stays the same.

What makes this an even more difficult question to answer is that it is a relatively subjective consideration that is dependent on a range of variables ranging from individual performance, development, motivation, to values, competencies and potential, which are not necessarily easy to gauge. In addition, organisational changes can also impact the answer to the question of “ready for what”?

So, what does one need to take into account in being able to answer this question as honestly, fairly, and accurately as possible?  Three key variables require consideration:

  1. Flow: Given that performance at one level does not guarantee performance at the next, necessitates exploring whether the individual has the potential to be “in flow” with the type of decision-making at the next level of work. This can be assessed through a Career Path Appreciation interview which provides an indication of when an individual may be ready to transition to a more complex theme of work.
  2. Competencies: One also has to accurately identify what the required competencies are for the next level. At the next level the competencies usually change, and what may have contributed to success as a strength at the previous level, could well turn into a derailer at the next if the competency is overused, and not adjusted for the more complex context.
  3. Criteria: In addition, it is essential to define the CRITERIA for readiness very clearly. Sometimes a judgement of readiness is based merely on qualification and a pre-defined career path; however, a career path should also consist of developmental milestones that must be mastered before readiness can be achieved. Very often these development milestones have not been specified. Sometimes individuals are also accelerated at such breakneck speed that they do not spend sufficient time at a previous level embedding the competencies that are required as a foundation for competence at the next level.

Most difficult of all is that it requires human judgement to make this call of readiness; although track record speaks for itself, manager judgement can be skewed by excellent performance at the current level, favouritism factors, and inability to distinguish current competencies versus competencies required at the next level.

In summary, the judgement of individual readiness is a decision that should take into account a clear definition of what constitutes readiness “at the next level” through clearly defined competencies and milestones related to application of skill, as well as clear definitions of potential for the next level. Managers should also be trained on how to effectively identify potential and distinguish this from performance, and assessments that are strongly linked to predicting readiness and performance at the next level should be utilised as objective evidence in considering individual readiness.

For more information on determining succession readiness email info@bioss.com.

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Managing Organisational Complexity to boost Effectiveness https://www.bioss.co.za/managing-organisational-complexity-to-boost-effectiveness/ Tue, 19 Mar 2019 08:47:20 +0000 http://www.bioss.co.za/?p=4971 Organisational Complexity In a recent McKinsey article titled ‘Putting Organizational Complexity in its Place’, the authors state:  “Not all complexity is bad for business – but executives don’t always know what kind their company has. They should understand what creates complexity for most employees, remove what doesn’t add value, and channel the rest to employees...

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Organisational Complexity
In a recent McKinsey article titled ‘Putting Organizational Complexity in its Place’, the authors state: 

“Not all complexity is bad for business – but executives don’t always know what kind their company has. They should understand what creates complexity for most employees, remove what doesn’t add value, and channel the rest to employees who can handle it effectively.” 

The field of organisational complexity is central to the work that BIOSS SA does on a daily basis. We have been utilsing a complexity – management solution with our clients successfully over the last 3 decades. 

The BIOSS Approach to Managing Complexity
At BIOSS we look at complexity from an organisational and individual perspective and in doing so try answer the following questions: 

1)     What does the overall complexity in the organisation look like from a structural perspective?

2)     What does complexity look like within the organisational levels and job roles?

3)     Where is complexity causing problems i.e. overcrowding, gaps in the structure, leadership issues?

4)     Do the leaders, managers and employees have sufficient capability to deal with the complexity they face in their respective roles?

5)     How do we ensure we have the right people, in the right roles and at the right time who are able to make the right decisions in the face of the complexity they encounter?

6)     How do we ensure that complexity does not hinder effective decision-making? 

We answer these questions by: 

1)     Starting with the belief that every organisation and every role within it has an inherent amount of complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity at varying levels that needs to be managed.

2)     Applying our ‘Levels of Work’ organisational design methodology to help us understand the nature of the complexity faced at all organisational levels (i.e. what we call a Levels of Work Audit, similar to creating ‘heat maps’)

3)     Implementing a scientific process we have used with thousands of organisations across the globe  that  enables us to determine whether people have the capability to manage the complexity of their roles (i.e. Career Path Appreciation).

4)     Utilsing technology to perform talent and structural analytics to remove obstacles and boost organisational effectiveness. 

Ultimately the goal of the work BIOSS does is to help our client’s manage their institutional complexity and to ensure employees have sufficient capability and internal resources to manage the uncertainty they encounter at work, thereby enhancing both individual and institutional resilience, adaptability, decision-making and flow. 

For more information email info@bioss.co.za

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Changing your career in your thirties https://www.bioss.co.za/the-days-of-remaining-in-a-career-just-because-it-was-either-expected-of-you-or-you-had-limited-choices-are-done-and-dusted/ Thu, 14 Feb 2019 13:29:56 +0000 http://www.bioss.co.za/?p=4963 “What you are is what you have been; what you will be is what you do now” Buddha. Generally by the time you reach your thirties it is expected, either from others or yourself that you will be rather stable in your career and your time will be spent advancing in your chosen career. However,...

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What you are is what you have been; what you will be is what you do now” Buddha.

Generally by the time you reach your thirties it is expected, either from others or yourself that you will be rather stable in your career and your time will be spent advancing in your chosen career. However, life does not always go according to plan and if you find that your career is not fulfilling, the good news is that you are not stuck, doomed to have to spend the rest of your life dreading the alarm clock every weekday.

Some of the most interesting people I know, have no idea what their passion is well into their thirties and even into their forties. It is fairly common for people to change their careers numerous times and some of the most well-known and successful individuals did not make a success of things in their first careers or even their second or third. Promisingly for these individuals, the manner in which the world of work is changing lends itself to assisting individuals who want to change their direction even after having spent decades in one particular field. Due to the rise and expansion of technology the pace of business has accelerated and this now means that you cannot be an expert for very long and no longer do you have to. The days of remaining in a career just because it was either expected of you or you had limited choices are done and dusted. This does not mean that changing your career is entirely an easy route to travel, however the following provide some guidance that should assist you if you are not entirely sure what direction you want to take but are sure a “u-turn”, “short left” or “complete roundabout” is needed in your career.

Disregard your CV

The first trap so many of us fall into, is searching for our CV’S to help guide us into a particular direction. We feel that we need our past experience, our courses or our history to guide us into the future. However, the mistake of following our CV’s usually leads us into another job or career that makes us feel just as lifeless as the one we had before. We have all heard, “find a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” this is absolutely true and so fundamentally basic and yet most of us miss this vital step in finding the career we want. So forget your CV and follow your passion.

This leads us to the next big mistake we all tend to make and that is saying “I don’t know what my passion is” or even worse “I don’t have a passion”. I promise you, everyone has a passion and it is usually right in front of you, but has manifested itself in so many ways that you missed it completely. Rather than searching your past job titles, your certificates and your current field for your passion, take a holistic look at your entire life and find the common thread. For example, Jane was a lawyer by profession, she felt that through one or two choices in subject choices or one or two simple mistakes in university she had pretty much fallen into her profession. She never felt a passion for her job in the 10 years since she had first started and felt that she had made a huge mistake with her career choice. Jane felt that she didn’t have a passion and was completely lost as to where to go to from here, just knowing that she could not stay in the same career for the next 10 years. When unpacking Jane’s life she realised that, her common link was making an impact. What attracted her to law in the first place was the idea of making an impact on society as a whole, this was reiterated in the fact that she enjoyed volunteering at her local shelter on weekends and the fact that she gained the most fulfilment when the children that she taught extra maths to, showed her the difference that her help had made in their lives. Although her interests seemed scattered, the common factor was that Jane loved the impact that she made in others’ lives through all these different avenues. This now gave Jane her passion, the foundation with which she could explore her new career. How could she make the most of her joy and passion for making an impact; the possibilities were now a lot broader than just following law as her only option.

Digital Nomads

Another thing to consider is when wanting to change your career is, why? Are you perhaps just tired of the way you need to work at the moment rather than your actual work/career choice?

Most industries are embracing remote work, if you think about what is happening in the world of work today, many people have started working in an agile way. Due to smart phones most people work on the go, send emails after hours and have any information they need at their fingertips. The most productive individuals often come up with their most innovative ideas when in the bath or taking a walk; this is because the typical office space is full of distractions and more often than not is a stressful setting that is not as conducive to working as one may think. Hence organisations are now placing more focus on what their employees produce, rather than on how many hours they actually spend office bound. This means that not only can you explore changing your career path but you now also have the option of just exploring how you approach the work you do.

The idea of digital nomads (“a type of people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner. Such workers often work remotely from foreign countries, coffee shops, public libraries, co-working spaces, or recreational vehicles”) is growing and expanding and not only can you become a self-employed digital nomad, but you also have the opportunity to be a digital nomad that is employed by an organisation full time.

This way of working has a lot less restrictions and offers each individual a bubbling source of empowerment. The “digital nomad movement” is also becoming a global mind shift, meaning you will have many resources of support if you chose to go down this route. There are digital nomad communities all over the world which offer support and advice to anyone thinking of joining the community and also for those who already are part of the community and just need likeminded individuals as part of their support base.

Fluid Market

The rapid growth of technology and the pace in which people all over the world need and are able to adapt, as well as the fact that all markets are instantly global has opened up the possibilities of pursuing new markets. Bold entrepreneurs like Elon Musk now routinely attack undefined markets, by selling a vision before they even have a product. The possibilities are limitless.  In addition with the world of work becoming more fluid, it is more than likely that you can apply your skill sets across various jobs and careers. This means that you do not have to start right from the beginning, or work your way up from the bottom again.

You only need to fulfil your own potential by following your own passion and finding your own flow in the world. The good news is that everyone is different and thus everyone has something unique to contribute. If we all pursued the same goal or the same path in life we would lose out on our own unique contribution, potential and possibilities. Find your passion, pursue your passion in your own unique way and you really can’t go wrong.

It may not be an easy road to travel, but if you are like most people you spend about 2000 hours a year at work, so it is important to ask if those 2000 hours are being put to the best use.

Further Assistance

For further Assistance with changing your career or finding your passion, consider the use of Psychometric Assessments or a Professional Career Coach who can assist you with the entire process.

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A Simple Management Model – the Tripod of Work https://www.bioss.co.za/a-simple-management-model-the-tripod-of-work/ Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:49:22 +0000 http://www.bioss.co.za/?p=4944 Despite the title, management is anything but simple – it is complex, multifaceted and difficult. To be successful, managers should be able to do many or most of the following: Deliver performance through others and themselves Take accountability for others Task, guide, support, delegate, trust and monitor Provide positive as well as constructive negative feedback...

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Despite the title, management is anything but simple – it is complex, multifaceted and difficult.

To be successful, managers should be able to do many or most of the following:

  • Deliver performance through others and themselves
  • Take accountability for others
  • Task, guide, support, delegate, trust and monitor
  • Provide positive as well as constructive negative feedback
  • Create healthy work environments
  • Manage performance
  • Ensure growth and development
  • Coach
  • Empathise whilst balancing task execution
  • Motivate and encourage
  • Manage team dynamics / conflict

Very few managers will be effective at all of these. In fact, many managers are promoted into management positions as a result of their technical prowess, but have no understanding of what management, let alone good management, actually requires. What makes it even more complex is that there is not one management model / approach that is guaranteed to work in all situations with all employees, so managers need to be flexible, and mature with how they approach management in general.

Tripod of Work

Whilst management development will always be and should be a big focus in organisations, there are some simple management models that managers can utilise to help them be more effective. At BIOSS SA we make use of one such model called the Tripod of Work. The Model focuses on 3 key conditions that most employees need and want to exist at work:

  1. To be clear about what is expected of them
  2. To feel that what they are doing is important and valuable
  3. To be allowed to decide for themselves how to get the work done

According to the Tripod of Work, managers therefore need to be able to perform the 3 Tripod of Work management activities effectively. These activities are:

  1. Tasking – Explaining what needs to be done, by when, to what standard.
  2. Trusting – Entrusting someone with the purposes of the organisation, and then trusting them to use their skill and judgement to do the work.
  3. Tending – Monitoring without interference: attending to what unfolds over time, checking resources, priorities and progress, and picking up earlysigns of opportunity and risk.
  4. Managers who execute these activities effectively can create the following positive outcomes:
  • Effective employee judgement
  • A sense of coherence and effective review taking place
  • Creating the optimal conditions for flow and engagement
  • Employee empowerment, autonomy, control and self-confidence
  • Increased employee willingness to go the extra mile
  • Improved management culture and employee experience
  • Enhanced employee performance and well-being
  • Improved ability to manage in an agile work environment

When implemented effectively the Tripod of Work is a simple yet very useful model that helps managers to manage effectively.

For more information on the Tripod of Work email info@bioss.com.

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SO, YOU WANT EXPONENTIAL ORGANIZATIONS! https://www.bioss.co.za/exponential-organizations/ Thu, 18 Oct 2018 07:23:26 +0000 http://www.bioss.co.za/?p=4919 THEN, START BY DISCARDING THE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE INDIVIDUAL’S POTENTIAL CAPABILITY USING THE ‘BELL CURVE’! If you think about having an exponential organization, then do not fall into the logical error of the bell curve to look for people’s potential to be accountable for high levels of complexity of work. Exponential organizations get absurdly greater...

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THEN, START BY DISCARDING THE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE INDIVIDUAL’S POTENTIAL CAPABILITY USING THE ‘BELL CURVE’!

If you think about having an exponential organization, then do not fall into the logical error of the bell curve to look for people’s potential to be accountable for high levels of complexity of work. Exponential organizations get absurdly greater results than their competitors.

They take advantage of continuously growing technologies like IoT, learning machines, analytics; they have a massively transformative purpose and, amongst other things, leverage the relationships with the public and the external community. They are not ‘normal’ organizations’.

Tests like IQ, EQ, personality, styles, types, and similar online instruments distribute people in a bell curve. But, if you want to determine how far people can judge, plan, and take advantage of current and highly unstable variables and future developments, then you are looking for something else:  something that can make an exponential difference!

The distribution of potential capability for pure innovations, transformations, to see ahead and capture windows in the future has an exponential distribution – we are not talking about normal people.

Jim Collins, in his study of companies who achieve above average results over 15 YEAR periods of time, identified that their leaders “want to see the company even more successful in the next generation“ i.e. exponentially sustained performance was associated with leaders that thought in longer time frames.

To identify such capabilities a research-based model is needed which is sustained over the long term; this entails an exponential distribution of people without being confused by “average” medium measures.

What you want are capacities to work with fairly extended time horizons, which we find only in a few rare individuals. The nature of human capability to make decisions in the broad context of work is not explained by the ‘bell curve!


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Enhancing Employee Experience https://www.bioss.co.za/enhancing-employee-experience/ Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:14:42 +0000 http://www.bioss.co.za/?p=4906 The 3 Environments: Physical, Technological & Cultural Have you ever walked into an organisation’s offices that were so beautifully designed that you thought to yourself wow it must be amazing to work there? At your own office have upgrades and improvements been implemented that have created a more positive, motivating and uplifting working experience? Do...

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The 3 Environments: Physical, Technological & Cultural

Have you ever walked into an organisation’s offices that were so beautifully designed that you thought to yourself wow it must be amazing to work there? At your own office have upgrades and improvements been implemented that have created a more positive, motivating and uplifting working experience? Do you find working in a coffee shop, or at a café energising and stimulating?

These questions relate to the physical environment of work.

Is your company pushing innovation, yet you only have access to old, antiquated technology? Do you wonder why the technology you use at work is so outdated, complex and difficult to use compared to the technology, apps and social media you use in your personal life? Are there certain company technologies that you wish you had access to, but don’t?

These questions relate to the technological environment of work.

Is openness and transparency one of your company’s core values yet your leadership spends most of their time in closed offices or are inaccessible? Do you feel more energised and motivated working with a driven and determined team? Are you more engaged and focused when you feel valued, treated fairly and have the opportunity to learn, grow and develop under the guidance of mentors and coaches?

These questions relate to the cultural environment of work.

Whilst the above questions and scenarios may resonate with you, you may not be familiar with the concept of employee experience and how your company’s culture, technology and physical space directly impact on your employee experience and in turn your performance and engagement.

Everything that an employee encounters, observes or feels over the course of his / her employee journey at an organisation impacts on his / her employee experience and the culmination of these experiences over time directly impacts on employee engagement, productivity and flow.

Research indicates that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share yet engagement levels remain consistently low. Further, research has proven that experiential organisations that invest in their employee experience outperform other companies on all key metrics, including stock price performance, revenue, profit, productivity and turnover.

What should you be focusing on to improve your company’s employee experience? 

Companies can no longer ignore the costs associated with poor engagement nor can they deny the financial benefits associated with highly engaged and intrinsically motivated employees. Companies require a new approach—one that builds on the foundation of culture and engagement to focus on the employee experience holistically.

Employees are now demanding a holistic, end-to-end recruitment to retirement experience from their employers with new modes of delivery. In order to achieve this, companies need to focus on three core areas:

  1. Physical space
  2. Technology
  3. Culture

According to Jacob Morgan, an optimised employee experience exists at the intersection of these three environments and when all three factors are in sync. The extent to which a company focuses on each of the three environments will have a strong influence on whether the employees feel empowered, engaged and enabled.

Understanding and improving the employee experience has become critically important for companies operating in the evolving and competitive global economy. Experiential companies will dominate in the future of work and a properly designed and implemented employee experience has the power to transform a company.

For more information on how to make your company more experiential email info@bioss.com or visit our website.

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Strategic Partnership between BSA and EDAC https://www.bioss.co.za/strategic-partnership-between-bsa-and-edac/ Wed, 23 May 2018 06:28:36 +0000 http://www.bioss.co.za/?p=4825 BIOSS SA is extremely excited to announce our new strategic partnership with EDAC. EDAC, a Cyprus based technology company, distributes a number of online assessment products namely the MCPA, LPA & ELDI, which focus on the analysis of human potential. These tools are used to: Select the ‘right people into the right roles’ at all organisational levels Select...

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BIOSS SA is extremely excited to announce our new strategic partnership with EDAC.

EDAC, a Cyprus based technology company, distributes a number of online assessment products namely the MCPA, LPA & ELDI, which focus on the analysis of human potential.

These tools are used to:

  • Select the ‘right people into the right roles’ at all organisational levels
  • Select or develop management through to executive level employees
  • Increase the level of flow and engagement in your organisation
  • Create a platform for mentoring, career path management, competency development
  • Develop talent pools for succession planning and leadership development programs
  • Create meaningful leadership in your organisation
  • Enhance job and organisational performance
  • Improve talent retention, job satisfaction and commitment

When using these tools individually and combined the outputs are extremely powerful.

bioss

Bioss

BSA has been successfully distributing the EDAC products for many years, but as from 2018 will also be responsible for managing the EDAC business operations globally. This is extremely significant for BSA, as it implies that we will be operating at a truly global scale, managing the marketing, business development, and partner and technical support across the world. EDAC is currently represented by partners in the UK, Europe, Russia, India, Australia, and North and South America.

BSA is looking forward to the challenge associated with managing the EDAC business internationally.

For more information on the EDAC suite of products please email info@bioss.com or visit www.bioss.co.za or http://www.edacen.com

 

 

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Can your Company afford to ignore the significance of the Employee Experience? https://www.bioss.co.za/can-your-company-afford-to-ignore-the-significance-of-the-employee-experience/ Wed, 23 May 2018 06:17:45 +0000 http://www.bioss.co.za/?p=4834 Can your Company afford to ignore the significance of the Employee Experience? Did you know that despite all of the emphasis on employee engagement over the last decade, a Gallup study indicated that 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged. Organisations can no longer ignore the costs associated with poor engagement nor can they deny the financial...

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Can your Company afford to ignore the significance of the Employee Experience?

Did you know that despite all of the emphasis on employee engagement over the last decade, a Gallup study indicated that 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged.

Organisations can no longer ignore the costs associated with poor engagement nor can they deny the financial benefits associated with highly engaged and intrinsically motivated employees. Research indicates that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share yet engagement levels remain consistently low.

Companies require a new approach—one that builds on the foundation of culture and engagement to focus on the employee experience holistically, taking into consideration all of the contributors to worker satisfaction, engagement and wellness. Understanding and improving the employee experience has become critically important for companies operating in the evolving and competitive global economy.

Research has proven that experiential organisations that invest in their employee experience outperform other companies on all key metrics including stock price performance, revenue, profit, productivity and turnover. Experiential companies will dominate in the future of work and a properly designed and implemented employee experience has the power to transform an organisation.

Data similarly suggests that in order to build a world-class customer experience you need to create a stellar employee experience as employees deliver a customer experience that is directly proportional to their own employee experience.

How can we help you?

BIOSS SA in collaboration with just THRIVE has recognised the growing significance of the Employee Experience in today’s highly competitive and challenging economy and developed thrive@work to capitalise on this opportunity. We offer cutting edge Employee Experience solutions tailored to companies of all sizes.

Our innovative solutions combine the insight from different areas to create an integrated experience across the employee lifecycle. We identify areas for improvement whilst taking into consideration any initiatives that have been completed in your company to date.

For more information on how our EX solutions can help transform your company and optimize your performance, please contact us on info@bioss.com.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/causeintegration/2017/05/04/employee-engagement-vs-employee-experience/#3b87ce877883

 

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Is being intelligent the same as being comfortable operating in a VUCA world? https://www.bioss.co.za/is-being-intelligent-the-same-as-being-comfortable-operating-in-a-vuca-world/ Wed, 23 May 2018 06:16:58 +0000 http://www.bioss.co.za/?p=4838 Intelligence vs. Capability: Are they Related Concepts? Currently, there is a plethora of research which shows that typical “intelligence” measures such as verbal reasoning ability and numerical reasoning seem to be well correlated with better performance at work. At the same time, there is also research which indicates that vertical progression in an organisation is...

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Intelligence vs. Capability: Are they Related Concepts?

Currently, there is a plethora of research which shows that typical “intelligence” measures such as verbal reasoning ability and numerical reasoning seem to be well correlated with better performance at work. At the same time, there is also research which indicates that vertical progression in an organisation is well correlated with an individual’s capability i.e. their ability to work with increasing levels of complexity and uncertainty. The question then arises: are they related concepts?

Before we can answer this question, we should consider the definitions of intelligence and capability.

Elliott Jaques defined work as “the exercise of discretion … judgement, sense, feel, discrimination, comparing, wondering, foreseeing … a sphere of psychological activity which, although extremely familiar, remains … ill-defined. There is no satisfactory, commonly employed language for it.  We speak about judgement, intuition, nous … experience, know-how, discretion … ‘guesstimating’ …  We cannot put into words what it is that we are taking into account in doing what we are doing, and in that sense we do not know that what we are doing will get us where we want to go, will achieve the result we want to achieve. We judge that it will, we think it will, but we are not sure, and only time will tell” (Jacques, 1970).

A definition of intelligence is described by some as “what intelligence tests measure”, though a common definition by Wechsler (1958) is “the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, to think rationally and to deal effectively with his environment”.

At face value, there appears to be some overlap between these, however in order to further understand this, we can consider some of the more recent research studies undertaken in this area.

What does some of the research tell us?

In a study by Comaroff (2012), comparing and contrasting personality (CPI), intelligence (WAIS III) and capability (CPA), it was found that Verbal, Performance and Full scale IQ were unrelated to current and future capacity for complexity, even though Wechsler’s definition of intelligence appears to incorporate some aspects of complexity.

However, there were some moderate correlations between the Similarities and Block Design subscales and future capability, and both of these appear to tap into abstract thinking and reasoning. Overall, the author concluded that the WAIS III and the CPA measured different constructs.

In 2015, in a similar study by Distiller (on a smaller sample), Verbal IQ on the WAIS III showed a moderate correlation with current capability and a moderate correlation on the arithmetic and Comprehension subscales. In this study the conclusion was drawn that despite the correlations found with Verbal abilities, the measure of intelligence could not be said to be measuring the same construct as the measure of capability.

What does this mean for VUCA?

At this stage the existing research leads us to tentatively conclude that there is a moderate relationship between some aspects of typical intelligence measures and capability measures. Overall, they do not seem to measure the same construct, and users of assessments should be cautious of using intelligence or ability measurements as a substitute to measure capacity for complexity.

Where these ability or intelligence assessments claim to measure capacity for complexity, or align certain scores with certain levels of work, it could be problematic to claim that these are equivalent. Although we would not expect someone of below average intelligence to prosper in a VUCA context (and most individuals in the research studies were average or above average intelligence), achieving a higher score in a measure of intelligence does not seem to be strongly related to capacity for complexity and dealing with a VUCA world. An above average IQ does not seem to also imply a strong capacity for dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity.

Thus while a certain level of intelligence is important for work at senior levels, being above average in intelligence is not the same as having the appropriate capacity for dealing with uncertainty in a VUCA world.

BSA offers assessment products, which assess both intelligence / reasoning ability (Elite Intellect Profile) and capability (CPA, MCPA & IRIS). For more information on these products please contact info@bioss.com.

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Complexity, Work and Organisation – Part 2 https://www.bioss.co.za/complexity-work-and-organisation-part-2-2/ Sat, 05 May 2018 10:11:12 +0000 http://www.bioss.co.za/?p=4841 At the end of part 1 of this series of blogs we asked the question: Does your organisation have the required capacity to meet the complexity of it environment? We also said that if this capacity is not yet present then it is critical to determine how might you build this capacity. This question prompts 3...

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At the end of part 1 of this series of blogs we asked the question: Does your organisation have the required capacity to meet the complexity of it environment? We also said that if this capacity is not yet present then it is critical to determine how might you build this capacity. This question prompts 3 further questions, the first of which is answered in this blog.

Question 1 – How do we, as individuals, adapt to, or learn to cope with, complexity?

A paradoxical answer to this first question might be that there is no answer, at least not in terms of a particular method or tool. Because complex systems are fundamentally different, they need a different approach.  

Trying to manage a complex system using only rational methods is unlikely to produce the expected results. For example, the NHS is a complex organisation, yet we still hear stakeholders proposing simple solutions to the NHS’s problems that apparently link cause and effect e.g. get rid of managers, bring back matron, or train more doctors. However, in truly complex situations, cause and effect relationships are rarely that clear. 

How can we ‘know’ what to do in complex conditions? Clearly, our existing knowledge and experience alone will not produce the solution. Instead we need, first, to gain an understanding, to make more sense of what sort of predicament we are facing.

To take the first step to comprehending the situation, we need to welcome the complexity, and engage with it, so we can form an understanding. Only then can we start to conceive a different future i.e. to imagine, to reflect, to develop ideas, and to bring that into being using effective judgement.  

Imagination is also needed mentally to create and compare options, so we can make choices. Action can then follow from those choices, although it still needs to be treated as an experiment, where we monitor the results and amend our plans as needed.

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