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Can Assessments Predict Future Performance?
by Dr. Marilyn Buckner

In today's world we have so many different options when considering assessments and their value in building teams and developing leaders. I'd like to share a two of my favorites below. 


1. The Decision Leader StyleView report identifies a leader’s decision-making style in regards to people and data, compares one’s style to that of other successful leaders and offers specific information to capitalize on one’s style for greater success. It also points out possible areas of conflict or tension and offers suggestions for improving your style or relationships in a team or with internal/external customers. Research on over 200,000 executives show a definite statistical relationship with decision style changes at different points in the management ladder. 


2. TALENTx7 Learning Agility.  This assessment and resulting report focus on your agility as a leader and is a measure of Learning Agility. The report focuses on your ability and willingness to learn quickly and then apply these new learnings to a new and challenging situation and research has shown that these factors predict leadership performance.


Why are these so great?  Because they are predictive of future performance.  

Here are a couple of quick synopses of articles that demonstrate the predictive validity of the Decision StyleView assessment:

Synopsis 1: The Seasoned Executive’s Decision-Making Style. Harvard Business Review, February 2006, Brousseau, K., Driver, M., Hourihan, G., and Larsson, R. (2006).


This article describes what may be one of the largest concurrent validation studies ever published. The sample included over 120,000 managers and executives who completed the StyleView assessment. The data were collected in collaboration with Korn Ferry, a leading executive search firm, and included a great deal of information beyond the assessment about individuals whose data were reported. As you will see, the results clearly show a striking progression of decision styles profiles for respondents at different points on the management ladder, from entry level supervision up to the most senior, “C-level” executives. The data show that styles of decision-making change quite dramatically from top to bottom on the ladder. The profiles of the most successful executives effectively reverse at middle level management and then proceed increasingly to profiles indicative of highly inter-personally interactive and highly analytic individuals at the most senior levels. Contrasts between the profiles of the most successful versus least successful managers and executives leave little doubt that the changes in profiles observed are associated with success. The findings are all exceedingly valid statistically, given the huge size of our research sample. This study has been widely cited in the literature. Most importantly, the findings demonstrate the truth of the adage, “What got me here, won’t get me there!” I will be happy to provide additional information on request.

Predictive Decision Styles Synopsis 2: Pre-Hiring Assessment Improves the Executive Talent Pipeline, Landis, D., Brousseau, K. and Johnson, P. (2011) . The Korn/Ferry Institute, February.

This study is similar in scope that the HBR study summarized above. However, it represents a rare, predictive validation of the StyleView tool. In this case, Korn Ferry hired a research firm to follow-up on several hundred senior executives who were pre-screened and placed with client firms during 2006. About half of the executives had been screened using the StyleView assessment and validated benchmark profiles (based on the HBR study). The other half were screened using traditional search methods not involving psychometric assessment. The follow-up was conducted during 2009 to determine how well the placed executives had fared. The findings showed that executives placed using the StyleView tool experienced an eight-times greater chance of being given promotions or increased responsibility after being hired compared to those who were placed without use of the StyleView assessment. This difference was highly significant statistically. Further, the degree to which the assessed executives’ profiles conformed to the senior executive benchmark profile was shown (with statistical significance) to predict the likelihood that the executives continued to be employed with the firms where they were placed during the period of the study. 

But let's not forget about Learning Agility and the fact that it's not only predictive, but it can be learned.

Agility grows over a career: It covers 7 dimensions of agility and we will cover these at a high level during our discussion. This predictive leadership concept was only discovered a little over two decades ago but is already used in about half of the Fortune 500 with their high potential leaders to accelerate their growth. Scores can change over time so this is just a measure of where you are at this point in your career. Research has documented the importance of these factors since in the dynamic business world of today, a leader's success seems largely dependent upon his or her ability and willingness to learn, grow, and respond flexibly. The concept of learning agility scientifically captures this characteristic.

Send me a message if you want to learn more!