Q) If a company is using a simple psychological appraisal method and it is working, why would it have a need for a more comprehensive method?

To say that something is working is a relative statement. In the 30s and 40s, radio worked and it still does. Yet beginning in the 50s, the invention of television plainly worked better. The very idea /invention of television is more advanced and comprehensive than radio. Now television did not altogether replace radio, but in most ways it takes us further.

Similarly, with appraising people, the stakes are so high, making the right “people decisions” so crucial, that we need an appraisal method that goes beyond the state-of-the-art of the 70s and 80s.

In the competitive climate of today, we need to be asking, “is there a method that works better… that facilitates clearer, more far reaching insight… that can significantly increase our odds, and confidence in making our most important business decisions?”

People are not so simple. People are comprehensive. Thus, to appraise people effectively, we cannot rely solely on simple methods. We need a method that can appraise people comprehensively.

Q) Does this mean a comprehensive method is difficult to use?

Not at all. Is a television set difficult to use… any more so than a radio? The brilliance of the ADVANCED ANALYSIS is that it provides real comprehensiveness without sacrificing simplicity.

Q) Just what makes PLM’s ADVANCED ANALYSIS (C) method more comprehensive? How does it go beyond the simple methods (such as the well-known Myers-Briggs), that you denote as (A)-level methods?

There are many (A)-level methods, and they are generally very good and useful, their conceptual schemas very compelling. They are only limited by their simplicity and limited comprehensiveness.

Q) What else distinguishes the ADVANCED ANALYSIS?

The (C)-level is able to take an expanded (panorama-like) view of someone’s attributes, to provide a well-rounded and more pinpointed picture of him or her. By contrast, descriptions of personality /temperament or behavioral style at (A)-level leave too much out of the picture. They provide more of a sketch, a caricature or a profile, that highlights certain features of a person at the expense of others, so that there is a kind of distortion factor. To compensate for this, people are placed in categories, and this is where the objection of labeling or stereotyping arises.

Q) Can you say more about the (C)’s expanded view of personality and temperament—indeed, expanded view of the individual?

Firstly, the theory of the (C) makes a clear distinction between the surface of the individual and what lies underneath. What we call personality, “behavioral style” and now “core competencies” is the surface if you will of what is more substantial and deep-seated. This is generative of personality, temperament, behavioral style and core competencies—a whole array of dispositions that can be referred to as one’s dispositional set. (The now fashionable term, core competencies, is in most respects synonymous with what is meant here by temperament.)

Secondly, it is because of the (C)’s capacity to represent this whole array of dispositions comprehensively, that it is able to home in on the uniqueness of the individual by providing what is more like a portrait than a caricature.

To produce a well-rounded picture, the (C)’s view of temperament and personality incorporates specific values, attitudes, interests, motivations and aptitudes, which are usually excluded, over-generalized, or insufficiently differentiated at (A)-level. Since the (C)’s perspective is so integrated and inclusive, each of these facets might be considered aspects of temperament in a new-found expanded sense. This means so many new and useful distinctions—all internally consistent and picture-enhancing—can now be made.

Take, for example, the role distinctions between selling, marketing and management. At (A)-level, these distinctions are at best hazy. There is no adequate conceptual basis for saying that an individual is generally more suited to selling or to marketing, and surprisingly little basis for differentiating between sales and management. The conceptualization of the (C), on the other hand, is able to make such distinctions easily and clearly.

Q) When you mention the important distinction between sales and management, you are speaking very generally. If we take selling, for example, are there not many different kinds of selling, depending on the industry and the sales environment?

Absolutely. And this points up the limitation, even possible danger, in putting too much stock in a general sales profile or a general management profile. Here again is where the (C)’s capacity for specificity is employed, because numerous features of the product, type of selling and environment can be effectively taken into account in calculating someone’s suitability. First we consider the role in general, and then we layer on the specifics of context and circumstances.

Q) Surely your competitors take into account context and circumstances?

They do in general, but due to the limitations of their methodology, they are unable to explicitly and effectively take into account the specifics. The new technology of PLM’s (C) is uniquely capable in this domain.