“Hire for characters, and train for skills,” is one of the popular quotes to inspire talent management innovation and break through the routine way to do things in practicing digital philosophy. Characters are not just about personalities, more about how people think and react to the circumstances. And it can be "translated" into more tangible cognitive capabilities. So the revised mantra could be: “High mindset, and build capabilities." and capability is, even more, critical than skills due to the nonlinear nature and the shortened knowledge life cycle in the digital age. But how do you define a “superior mindset” and measure capabilities, can you qualify and quantify them to hire the right people in the right position at the right time?
The definition of "superior mindset" is probably not a single construct: Whether for selection, career development, promotion, or self-development, the conventional performance assessments are really about ascertaining the individual's "current state." A snapshot of where they are at in that moment of time. To dig into the mindset level, it’s perhaps helpful to break down assessment types to evaluable multiple aspects such as critical thinking, creativity, cognitive skills and decision-making biases; motivational drivers and passions; behavioral styles and patterns, etc. Altogether and combined, they give you a well-rounded baseline of the "character,” or even deeper, why does a person thinking in a certain way, how does he/she get things done? Does he/she have intellectual curiosity, or the desire to learn new things? You then know what types of individuals they will have challenges with, how inclined are they to guide/inspire/develop other people, what types of roles and careers they connect with, and much more.
All power is in the assessor, not in the tests: The quality of assessors is critical to the quality of assessment result. A short ruler can't measure a longer string, and a conventional mind can't imagine "out of box thinking," it’s also difficult to see the broader vision via narrow lenses. The shadow mind always hunts for dark traits, and only the wise eyes can recognize deep minds and thought. Most talent managers and recruiters keep hanging in the duality tests, that show preferred behaviors. It's of course not a surprise that the learning points are the opposites. All assessors had hardly more baggage than Freud, Maslow, and Belbin. How are these people capable of judging others and their capacity as long as they do not know the measurement starting points (= themselves). The assessor is just as important as the testing tool. Any tool, like a hammer, can do harm if used by someone who was incompetent in how to use the tool well. Some assessors use their tools to make profits. Some assessors are trying to create positive impact. And it’s the assessor that needs to assist in creating helpful action plans and programs for the assessed individuals.
One needs to understand that character oozes out of, thought processes, expressions, actions, and so on so forth. Within every human being, there are core ways of thinking that, when activated, genuinely and authentically unlock their maximum potential to create value in any situation. The character is fed by the heart and mind through the blood running in one’s veins and the heart and mind are guarded by the subconscious. Thus, in order to allow a correct assessment the guard has to be lowered and in order to understand correctly, you really need the acumen and insight to probe in a profound way. This is particularly important to explore character-based leadership. The understanding character is very relevant and timely for those leaders who are seeking new ways to maximize themselves and human capital initiatives in their organizations. For enduring success, we must respect, embrace and then go beyond traditional (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ) measures, to individual and collective attitudes, beliefs and commitment principles. CHARACTER or CQ, the Character Quotient!
The character or mindset assessment not only measures thinking but teaches the person how to tap into their most powerful and brilliant modes of thinking anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances. It raises emotional intelligence to the level of emotional wisdom. It's not about fixing weaknesses, it's about maximizing sound thinking and eliminating the negative influence of "weaknesses" and habits so that maximize value (in all forms) can be created. The character or mindset assessment is NOT just a stand-alone assessment. It is the foundation of a full-blown, structured personal and leadership development process. It is also used to assess the "character" of entire organizations -the collective mindset, behaviors and actions. So it’s about how to build and amplify the collective human capabilities and accelerate business growth, innovation and digital transformation.