Predicting the Performance of Human Assets

Every business, regardless of its product or service offering, is, at its heart, a people business.  It is imperative to have a great product or service offering.  However, it is the people who make the company truly successful.  Harvest CFO has as its criteria “spot on” and “spotless” for the CFOs/financial leaders we place with companies. We have created a due diligence process that starts with the foundation of creating with the decision makers the “blueprint” for success in their CFO/financial leadership role. This “blueprint” defines the required skills, functions and attributes that are needed for success in a specific role. Our due diligence includes utilizing behavioral assessment tools to evaluate and benchmark a candidate against the “blueprint” for success.

Market-leading organizations are increasingly applying analytical methodologies to understand and optimize their biggest single competitive advantage – their people. According to a recent Aberdeen Group study, high-performing companies consistently rank behavior and skill assessments as most valuable in identifying high-potential employees. And 94% of best-in-class organizations leverage behavior assessments, compared to just 65% of all others.

The following article was provided to Harvest CFO by Bruce Price, a Cleveland-based Executive Consultant for Predictive Synergistic Systems.

Where Do Human Assets Show Up on the Balance Sheet?

When a C-level executive is asked to assess the health and viability of a company, he will inevitably ask to “look at the books.”  He will draw on the myriad of available financial analytics to examine and assess the established value, the status and pattern of fiduciary performance, and the capacity of the enterprise to pursue growth by taking on additional risk.  Yet, Michael Milken states, “Most balance sheets are dramatically inaccurate because they fail to include the value of human capital.”

The Sophistication Paradox

Experienced leaders are becoming increasingly sophisticated in using analytics to look beyond the obvious and ferret out the hidden clues that can differentiate what will win, what will fail and what will simply lead to prolonged mediocrity.  Despite the overwhelming confidence possessed by those who rise to these ranks and the ultimate need to “trust their guts,” rare is the individual who proceeds without the benefit of a thorough and objective analysis to inform their decisions regarding the utilization of available assets.  The oft-affirmed contemporary statement is that “our people are our most valuable asset.”

The sophistication paradox is that the decisions regarding the acquisition, deployment and management of the human talent that are deemed most precious are commonly supported by very simple and subjective analytics that rely heavily on intuition and opinion.  It is as though the long held belief that people are difficult to understand and even harder to predict has discouraged the consistent application of more scientific and objective methods.

Where There is Muck There is Money

Assuming it is true that people are difficult to understand and hard to predict, then whoever is better at this has a competitive advantage.  While access to financial capital is a requirement for entry, money is a tool in the hands of the people who are the company. The biggest winners will be those who do the best job of getting the right people, in the right roles, doing the right things.

Human Performance is Predictable

There are two critical questions to predicting human performance: Can the person do the job? Will he do the job?  The “Can” question requires a cognitive assessment: intelligence, experience, skills, education, interests, values and beliefs.  These characteristics can be assessed in a straightforward manner.

The “Will” question requires an assessment of behavioral style and motivational drives.  No one requires motivation.  Everyone is already motivated.  The key is in identifying what the person’s motivations are and aligning them with the work that suits his natural tendencies.  The Predictive Index® (PI®) will easily and accurately assess an individual’s behavioral style and motivational drives.

Context is Everything

The fastest propeller plane in the world cannot compete with a jet engine.  In analyzing the competitive potential of a company, it is necessary to compare its assets and resources to the landscape of the market in which it is competing.  Likewise, a behavioral profile of an individual is merely interesting information until it is measured against the behavioral requirements of the role to be fulfilled.  The Predictive Index® can be compared to the Performance Requirement Options® (PRO®) to provide this context.  Together, the PRO® and the PI® provide the yin and yang of effective talent management and the performance of human assets made predictable.

Alignment and Clarity = Predictably Excellent Results

The use of the Predictive Index® suite of tools empowers leaders to get the right people in the right roles. When people are properly aligned and all the common performance problems that result from misalignment are eliminated, clarity becomes the singular focus of leadership.  The right people in the right roles guided by clear expectations inevitably leads to predictably excellent results.

Contact Bruce Price at to learn more about Predictive Index® or visit the Predictive Synergistic Systems website

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