There are far too many people in organizations doing the 'wrong' job. There's a lot of pressure on the brightest people in economies across the world to land the 'highest paying job'. That's the current paradigm of urban success. And its horribly wrong.
What if we could use data to help young people make choices that set them up for long term success rather than a meteoric rise followed by a mid-life crisis with a few heat surgeries thrown in for good measure. I'm being a little dramatic, but there are stories aplenty to suggest that a large number of people in organizations aren't exactly whistling to work every day and doing something that they are intrinsically motivated to do.
That's precisely why we don't have more Steve Jobs', Van Gogh's, Roger Federer's & Usain Bolt's. The moment you join an organization, you start to conform, to do whatever it takes and before you know it you have what I call a 'Settled' life. You are no longer aiming to make a ding in the universe, you are settling; for the next promotion, for the next raise, to take the A out of AVP, for the next mortgage. After a while, you have more inertia going for you than perhaps the Ayres Rock.
What we desperately need is a context that allows for young people in organizations to discover their 'calling'. Now this is a time consuming meandering journey for most, but one that can produce miraculous results once the calling becomes loud and clear.
Unfortunately, the way organizations are set up today, there's no room for this magical journey that can put you into the orbit called 'making a difference'. The rat-race and keeping-up-with-the-latest-lifestyle ensues everyone's in one mad rush to get to the top. After a while your calling has lost its voice, and you are living from one promotion to the next as though your life depended on it. By the time you retire your biggest relief is that your company has your ballooning medical expense covered.
There has to be a better way to harness this human potential and it involves starting early. It is the key to more vibrant, passionate and masterful organizations.
There is a story about Birbal who was walking home one evening, when he saw a group of people searching for a valuable ring under a street lamp. Birbal joined them in the search.
After some futile crawling around on his knees and peering, it struck him to ask them, "where was the ring lost?" "Out there", one of them pointed.
Then why are you searching for it here?" "Oh well" one of them said, " it is dark over there, and there is light here"
Some people in organizations decide to search for their 'calling'. And then, most often they search in places they are familiar with, with a few people they are comfortable with. In places where there is light...
Enter Big Data, big Human Data. Imagine all the soft stuff you have about your employees in a single database. MBTI, Hogan, FIRO-b, Belbin, DISC, 360 feedback, past performance appraisals... everything. Run analytics with the sophistication of the ones they use to do automatic trades on Wall Streets. Put that same rigor into profiling roles in the organization. Look at fitment. Start matching people to the right roles, the roles that they are passionate about, the roles that set them up to succeed. Give them the jobs that will have them whistling to work every day.
1. Job Satisfaction: There's no greater joy than a satisfying day's work. When you are playing to your strength it's hard to stop. You aren't a workaholic, you are a 'workafrolic'.
2. Engagement: There's more engagement with your organization and when everyone's enjoying what they are doing and hitting the ball out of the park the work place is more likely to be buzzing with positive energy.
3. Lower Attrition: People are less likely to resign and leave your organization if they are working on their strengths.
1. Confidentiality: Most psychometric instruments are confidential and the employees have to be willing to allow for these to be used for their benefit.
1. Run a Pilot.
2. Match it with their profiles
3. Demonstrate the results.
4. Make a case for an organization wide implementation.