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A simple way to evaluate people and clients for success

Here’s a simple and efficient way to evaluate yourself and your employees. Clients, too, for that matter. Where do you think you and your closest friends would “plot” on the graphic below? Where would you plot your best employee? The worst?

A simple way

Pretty neat. Like all brilliantly simple concepts, it is clear and useful. And it’s teachable. Yes, it is intuitive. What I like most is that it puts intuition to paper. It also helps to add volume to that little voice inside your head that is sometimes unfortunately ignored.

I learned about this technique from the very bright Melissa Murray, Chief Inspiration Officer of Mosaix Group and currently in Asheville, NC. Like most of us Melissa detests having to deal with dumb issues related to people management, but unlike most people she figured out how to deal with the problem.

This new “tool” allowed her to make good assessments quickly so she could get on with her real work. She developed it while traveling the world producing events for large corporations back in a former life. She found that time and distance amplified strengths (and defects) in the people working on the account with her.

The technique is founded on the principle that a person’s ability to perform in a progressive organization can be isolated into two discrete camps: (1) their knowledge and (2) their motivation. And, it is a way to evaluate the degrees of each component. One person can have more knowledge, or greater motivation, than another can.

Recently, I asked her to lunch to refresh me on how this system worked. The diagram above is a slightly modified version of what she drew.

Here’s how it works

The relationship between knowledge and motivation is depicted with a simple diagram, and the relative placement of the intersection within the diagram allows a manager to make a meaningful assessment of the employee. Thus, we have Motivated and Unmotivated one axis, Clueless, and Knowledgeable at each respective end of the other axis. (How you assess where the person would appear on the axis is a topic for another post.) Melissa notes that in addition to never hiring a clueless and unmotivated person, she will never hire a knowledgeable person that is not motivated. In addition, in evaluating potential cuts, determining the relative value of employees is greatly helped by this system.

What’s important is that you carefully consider the implications of hiring a motivated but relatively clueless person as opposed to a highly motivated and highly knowledgeable one. (It occurred to me that this same decision model could help determine the efficacy of a new product or marketing campaign. I found this process helped me to figure out what was wrong with a particular client’s reaction to a campaign, and helped me get my groove back. Whatever works.)

So, what do you think? What has been your experience in evaluating employees? Do you see this system working as part of an evaluation of how to invest in customers? Too simple to be effective?

Drop us a line and let’s talk about it. (And be sure to thank Melissa Murray for the insight.)