Copyright to Constantine Kortesis © 2013
Published here April 2014.

Editor's Note | Introduction | Turnaround Management Constraints 
Incorporating Team Building | Case in Point


"Know your people." That's a basic tenet for any leader or would-be leader in government, military organizations, volunteer groups, any business consisting of more than one person, and Project Management.

Meyers-Briggs is an academic tool/methodology to help academic researchers to understand human psychology. We may all be able to learn something about ourselves and about our fellow coworkers, customers, inhabitants of our planet, etc. But, I have yet to find a good substitute for open communications in getting to know our colleagues, superiors, subordinates, customers, suppliers, stakeholders, etc. In very large groups or organizations, this is extremely time-consuming and difficult. So, some folks may try to rely on psychometric testing as a shortcut. That's not a great idea.

More than 30 years ago, my employer had hired Dr. W. Edwards Deming to help to "change" our corporation. Along with Deming came a team of consultants that administered psychometric tests to tens of thousand of our employees. Part of the purpose of the testing was to identify managers and executives who would not be amenable to following Dr. Deming's management principles and philosophy that made Toyota and other Japanese firms very successful after WWII, under Deming's guidance.

Many managers and executives who were obviously opposed to changes were reassigned to positions where they would "do no harm" to the corporate improvement methods. However, the consultants warned us that the personality tests only identified the persons who were not clever enough to understand the intent of the testing. Those who were clever enough were able to respond to the tests in such a way as to appear to have "amenable" personalities and thus not identified as resistors. And these people "went into hiding".

Deming and his consultants told us that, when times get really tough, the managers/executives with the resistant personalities would come out of hiding and resort to their old habits. This would actually be harmful to quality, productivity and general morale. They told us that it would take at least two generations of employees to implement the corporate changes. That's because the resistors would continue to recruit and mentor more resistors. And it came to pass that this was the case.

Editor's Note  Editor's Note

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