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Improve talent management with acumen

Talent Management

Whether you’re recruiting new talent, or you’re mining your team to develop star performers into tomorrow’s leaders, identifying and understanding a person’s acumen, or keenness and depth of perception, will help both you and your employee better understand how to analyze and interpret experiences that lead to a higher level of performance.

At Pinnacle Group International - InSights, one of our competitive advantages is our multivariate assessments, which allows us to get a very complete picture of an individual. Of course, the beauty of this is that in one report we can take both an overall view, as well as a much more specific look at the individual (for example, how one does things, why one does things or what skills are brought to the job). Our Acumen Capacity Index shows the extent to which you have developed the capacity to make decisions and solve problems. You may be able to increase this capacity through appropriate awareness and effort. In addition, you can increase the effectiveness of your current capacity to make decisions and solve problems.  Most people tend to agree that making good decisions is a critical piece of their success.

Consider the game of golf. There are three main aspects of the game: the long game, short game, and putting. A professional golfer competing on the PGA Tour must have a well-developed capacity in all three aspects of the game. An athlete who can drive the ball 300 yards but struggles to get the ball on the green or is putting 36 or more putts per round isn’t going to be successful on the professional tour. Much like the three aspects of the game of golf, leaders require development in three areas: individuality, practical situations and systems/order. The more balanced these three areas are, the more potential success an individual will have as a leader.

Let’s take into consideration a regional manager, John. John tends to have a systems and procedures focus, and he has a very well developed capacity for systems and order. He is so focused in this area that he approaches every decision or challenge from the mindset, ‘if we put a system in place, failure will be impossible as long as the system is followed.’ But failure is possible because by focusing on only the system, John leaves out people and fails to examine the problem through practical situations.

Meanwhile, John works with another regional manager, Karen. Similar to the way John relies heavily on systems and order, Karen is well developed in practical situations. For Karen, the answer to her division’s problems is always more training, different resources, better technology. Like John, she overlooks the “people” aspect of her problem, and fails to recognize the need for systems and order to improve division functions. If the problem lies in the way you aren’t communicating with an individual, it doesn’t matter how many systems or resources you throw at it. That people problem will still be there.

Awareness is the first step in self-improvement, and for leaders it’s important to be aware of where their current strengths are and where their weaknesses will be (and to consider that the overextension of a strength can easily become a weakness). For highly developed leaders seeking to grow budding talent from within their companies, acumen can play an important role in understanding the whole person so those individuals can be groomed for successful leadership roles in the future.

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