Purple vision: A colorful way for HR to develop unique talents

Aug 25 , 2016
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Can TTI Success Insights offer HR color proofing?

What do you want to be when you grow up? This is a question we all remember getting asked when we were kids. Back then my friends would answer, Soccer player! Fireman! Police officer! Or, in my case, Pilot! Could purple vision have helped my friends and me plan our future careers?

I dreamed a lot back then about spending my time flying. But, with my first science test came my first reality check. I got a 4, which is the Dutch equivalent of a bad grade. Despite all the hard work I put in, I continued to struggle. Yet a good grade in science was a prerequisite to enter flight school. Slowly I realized my talents and abilities did not match what they asked for in the business of flying. My dream was over. From a flight safety perspective, this was probably best for everyone. Although I still think I would have made an awesome pilot, what if I had taken a different approach to career planning that better matched my unique skills and talents?


The dream vs. reality

At some point, we all run into a situation where the job we aspire to, does not seem to fit our capacities, competencies and talents. Situations like that can make the most self-assured person doubt himself. Am I ‘unfit’ to do that job? Did I make the wrong career choice after all? What is wrong with my résumé?

Admittedly, many of us do overlook the details with a new position or career. The dream can cloud our reality and judgment. But just like us being out of sync with reality, the people responsible for defining the jobs we aspire to could be out of sync too. HR can overvalue unimportant details while undervaluing the bigger scope. Focusing too much on the job description, while overlooking the human angle. It is time for HR to put on glasses - purple glasses.


Blue vision, red vision

In the past decade or so, there are two different HR approaches to the job fit process. To start with, there is the perspective of the organization. We call this the blue perspective. The key to this perspective is the organizational mission - jobs designed and defined to contribute to the goals and targets of the organization. Then the process continues by attributing specific competencies to the job. Finally, the job competencies are matched with the competencies of individual employees or hires. In short, the predefined job competencies are leading and the individual employee adapts.

The second perspective is that of the professional - the new hire or the employee. We call this the red perspective. Key to this perspective is the individual and his or her ambitions, talents, interests, values. What is my added value as a professional? What unique skills do I have to offer the organization? In this approach, there are no job descriptions to start with. They view jobs as organic concepts created along the way, while the employee applies and develops his or her unique talents. In short, the individual talents of the employee are leading, the organization adapts.


Purple vision – a colorful talent management solution

When we mix blue and red we get purple. The key to a purple HR vision and strategy is outlining individual passions and talents to align them with organizational mission and targets. It means opening up a dialogue with individual employees, helping them to discover and live their full potential while providing them with context and structure that serves the organizational needs. It uses job benchmarking that takes both the employer and the employee perspective into account.

The process is not unlike London Saville Row tailoring, with the organization as the tailor who brings out the beauty of the model, and the model doing the tailor proud by wearing the suit with confidence and flair.


TTI Success Insights and the color purple

Purple HR is a relatively new concept, but one that fits the matured and oaked vision of TTI Success Insights seamlessly. We are in the assessment business to bring out the best in people for a positive work environment. It is our mission to empower teams and individuals through state-of-the-art assessment solutions to create a climate that stimulates personal and organizational growth. A mutually satisfying, beneficial, stimulating and empathetic working relationship between employer and employee always pays off in the bottom line.

So, no rigid job descriptions and organizational charts cast in concrete, but rather shaping and canalizing the competencies, talents and motivations of individuals and teams to support and live the organizational mission. With the help of reliable, validated tools, such as the Talent Insights™ reports from TTI Success Insights, this approach provides insight at both ends.

I am not sure if this approach would have saved my boyhood dream career as an aviator. However, it might have saved my career in aviation. But to quote Edith Piaf in English, “No, nothing of nothing. No, I don't feel sorry about anything.” Via a detour in law, I did find my way and quite naturally ended up living my talents at TTI Success Insights Benelux. I simply love helping the Dutch Value Added Associates in their mission to bring out the best in people and organizations by teaching them to make optimum use of our assessments. And, though it is kind of hard to say out loud for a High S like me, TTI Success Insights Benelux seems pretty happy with me too!

 

About the Author

Henry Lowe