Quote of the Month
"I'd rather take my chance on people with good instincts than a genius who can explain why their start-up failed." --Marc Andreessen, Netscape Co-Founder
Dr. Edward Hoffman is a licensed clinical psychologist based in New York City. A critically acclaimed author, he is best known as the official biographer of Abraham Maslow, the noted guru who first articulated the now-famous hierarchy of inborn needs.
Now that we've established the credentials, we're excited to give you information on Hoffman's latest book, Psychological Testing at Work, just released by McGraw-Hill. Prominently featured in this seminal resource for Human Resources executives is Kathy Kolbe's work, particularly in what Hoffman calls the identification of "problem solving styles." Here are some excerpts:
"The focus only on personality and cognition has badly ignored a third, and definitely separate, dimension of human performance. For too long it's been unexplored both conceptually and methodologically. Fortunately, the situation is now changing...To a degree difficult to imagine a generation ago, (managers and executives are) awakening to the realization that this third way offers a huge opportunity for enhancing individual and group productivity."
According to Hoffman, Maslow's work on human potential attributes the success of high achievers to "knowing, trusting and, above all, acting upon their particular innate nature." Maslow became convinced that this was the secret to employees working productively in teams but did not live long enough to do the empirical work to substantiate his theory.
Here's where it gets very exciting because Hoffman then proclaims that Maslow's "torch has been passed to two particular organizational consultants, Dr. Michael Kirton and Kathy Kolbe." Continuing with a review of each of their work, Kirton in the UK and Kolbe in the US, Hoffman comes to the conclusion that both rightly see cognition and personality alone as inadequate to focus on how people go about solving problems. His conclusion is that the approach, which includes finding solutions to problems, "offers a fresh, 'third way' of measuring and optimizing individual employee and team achievement."