Stories of Changing the Assessment Business

Tom GibbonsPreference Assessments, Stories from the Field, TMS Applications2 Comments

Team Management Systems

The key points of what we mean about changing the assessment business were outlined in this post some time ago, summarized as follows:

  1. Extend the use of assessment data by moving to more of a process design of debrief and ongoing profile usage.
  2. Creating more interaction between people to understand the assessment data.
  3. Encouraging higher levels of self management and utilization of assessment data by the end user.
  4. Making assessments more accessible to wider ranges of demographics.
  5. Balancing the dominant psychological approach to assessment use with more of a social one.

It is so encouraging to see these changes start to take shape!  Below are 3 stories of how this is happening:

The first is a blended design accreditation we are doing with US Cellular with the TMP and QO2 profiles.  We created their own discussion group on our web site and they started with some distance work doing a Types of Work Model analysis on a work scenario that was important to each ofthem.  The group of 10 shared their analysis in the discussion group and it took on a life of its own with very little input from us; it was their work after all.  We did a group web meeting debrief of this work then each person did their TMP and more discussion occurred regarding their thinking about their results and what this might mean.  Additional web meetings were held and the QO2 profile was added.  There was additional distance work required and a face to face session for a day as people prepare for their first work with the profiles.

The important thing with this story is that points 1, 2 and 3 above were very evident and the group’s interactions were less dependent on us as the ‘profile experts’ and more dependent on participants making sense of the data within their own context.  The level of questions we did get were thoughtful and complex and pushed us to consider our responses carefully and deeply.  Some questions required us to find new answers from our own experiences.  Perhaps most important however was a discussion near the end of our face to face meeting where the group decided to make their own use of the profiles much more of an extended process rather than a one time workshop event.  The first person to design an initiative using the TMP is doing just that; their work with the profile will extend over a number of months, with an initial focus on the Types of Work Model, then the actual profile itself, then using the TMP applications more extensively.  A really good design which is a change to the assessment business.

Second is some extended work with a social service not for profit; ATN – Access For Persons With Disabilities Inc.  This is somewhat of a test initiative with a focus on all 5 of the points above, with special importance of point 4.  This group was set up with a discussion group on our web site and was asked to do a Types of Work Analysis prior to using the TMP itself.  While the discussion group was not as active as in the story above, this co-located group began to have more of their own interactions about the profile, using the Pacing application and working together to make sense of their data.  There were a few one hour face to face meetings where my input was of value, but not as valuable as their own day to day interactions.  In fact, it was somewhat uncomfortable for me as a lot seemed to be going on and I was not part of a lot of it

This work has been going on for a few months now and the last step was using the My Team application.  The group was doing this on their own and I checked in via email with the leader to see how things were going.  The following excerpt from her response says a lot:

Actually we have all but one completed the My Team app and shared. It resulted in a very productive conversation when one of the team had us rated as 0 in some aspects.  It began rather uncomfortable and then became a problem solving process with some team members picking up additional tasks and thereby relieving others.  Yesterday we had a full day staff meeting. The JD teams all rewrote their job descriptions. I have yet to see them but there seemed to be a lot of optimism around how it may impact the process.

And lastly, some work with a senior management team (CEO and VP’s) in the natural resources industry using the TMP.  This work was a little more traditional with a half day debrief workshop being the primary focus.  Nevertheless participants had profiles within 5 minutes of completion and were encouraged to share results and start conversations.  They were asked to watch the first 2 videos of the Overview application, and were also encouraged to experiment with any other applications they wanted although their was no requirement to do so.  They were also sent their ‘team map’ about a week prior to the session for additional discussion.

Near the end of the workshop I over-viewed the Pacing and My Team apps and position them for follow up use.  Before doing this I asked if anyone had experimented with any of the applications.  About half the group had tried the Pacing app and then one person said they had used the My Team app and pulled out 2 printed copies of the report that is generated.  She read 2 specific tips the report had suggested to improve performance and told the group she had already started to implement them with her team.  This person may have actually found more value from the MY Team application than her actual TMP!

Three stories about changing the assessment business and we’re seeing more all the time.  Do you have a story to share about how you are changing the assessment business?

2 Comments on “Stories of Changing the Assessment Business”

  1. Thanks Tom – A tremendous read and great to hear about the impact you are generating using the latest resources. It sounds like you are creating some significant and sustainable performance improvement with your programmes.
    Just this morning here in Brisbane, we had the first of a series of events for our Australian Network and industry professionals. The feedback we’re receiving reflects your comments and it is so good to hear about how companies are using the resources to implement long-term programmes that encourage a deep and applied understanding. Next week at our events in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra we’ll be sure to share your stories too.
    Thanks again for the post – we look forward to hearing and sharing more.

  2. Hi Tom,
    Following on from Chris, today we concluded a series of events around Australia to promote the Hub and I’d like to share a couple of insights: Like you Tom, our clients in the L&D /consulting field particularly like the way the Hub helps them go beyond a training session, to a process that engages their learners in a variety of ways over time to sustain change.
    They also liked that the applications could be used by a team leader to apply the TMS concepts with their team on an ongoing basis.
    Thanks for sharing your successes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.