4 Guidelines to Building a Business Case for Workforce Analytics

This blog post is a repost of a PI Worldwide newsletter article that I felt should be shared.

Today’s leadership teams recognize the value of data to solve business challenges and gain a competitive advantage. However, creating the necessary support and sponsorship can be an obstacle to establishing a data-driven culture. As more business leaders look to secure funding for their workforce analytics initiatives, success hinges on their ability to make an effective business case. A May 2014 MIT Sloan Management research studyreports that investments in analytics have steadily increased since 2009 by an annual average growth rate of 8.5%. Further industry research suggests that organizations making these investments are two times more likely to improve their recruiting efforts and leadership pipelines, and are three times more likely to realize cost reductions and efficiency gains2.

Here are four guidelines to follow when building a business case for talent analytics3:

Define the business issue and determine your key stakeholders. In addition to understanding (and prioritizing) specific problem(s) that need to be solved, you must determine the individuals who will be impacted and involved in the process. Ask questions like: Who owns the issue we need to solve? Who would help champion this program? Who might challenge this program? Start by speaking with internal business leaders, line managers and other executives as you also conduct industry and market research.

Build a compelling solution. Detail the key components of your chosen solution and how it will be implemented. Consider dependencies like time, people and other projects. Key questions to pose include: Where will the solution be used? How will we roll out a multi-phase process? Should we combine the solution with another related initiative?

Quantify solution costs. Detail the hard and opportunity cost drivers of the solution—from the people expenses (e.g. headcount, training, hiring) to process costs (e.g. assessment costs, technology, overhead, etc.). Partner with key stakeholders to guide and validate cost assumptions.

Determine key metrics and define what success looks like. To make a concept meaningful, you need to make it measurable. Determine how you will quantify the benefits of the program/solution in terms of bottom line impact or other drivers that will resonate with your key audiences.

1 Kiron, Kirk Prentice, Boucher Ferguson. “The Analytics Mandate,” MIT Sloan Management Review. May 2014
2 Bersin by Deloitte. WhatWorks Brief. September 2013
3 Bersin by Deloitte. 2014

Download the PI Worldwide case study to learn how a National Healthcare Company Leverages Workforce Analytics to Build Strong Teams 

For more information contact John Inman at john@johninmandialogue.com and at 425-954-7256

Do you measure the results of your sales training?

Over 30 years ago I had the opportunity to experience Counselor Selling, pioneered by Larry Wilson. I still have the materials for the 40 hour course. Through hard work and application of consultative sales principles in that course, I transformed my career in sales. As a 30 year student of consultative sales and having participated in numerous consultative sales programs, I am very excited to now represent a sales development solution from PI Worldwide that scientifically combines a behavioral assessment and a consultative sales assessment with an outstanding course on consultative sales. The combination of assessments and workshops provides a powerful solution that will transform the performance of your sales team.

Scientific Selling PI Worldwide

This approach to the field of consultative selling was introduced to PI Worldwide by Nancy Martini in her ground breaking book “Scientific Selling: Creating High-Performance Sales Teams Through Applied Psychology and Testing”. I highly recommend this book if you would like to fully understand the power of this solution. Nancy is now the CEO of PI Worldwide and has provided this extraordinary program to those of us who represent PI Worldwide in the market.

How does our approach differ and why should you pay attention? We are not just offering a sales training, we provide the PI assessment to hire the right people into sales jobs who have the genetics that match the requirements of the sales position. Once the right person is hired, you no longer are trying to train people who are not suited for the job. With a genetic fit, you can focus on skill development of a person who can and will perform in the job. The next step is a consultative skill assessment, the Sales Skill Assessment Tool (SSAT). This assessment will assess where each current or new sales person is against 5 core consultative sales skills. This will give you a baseline of current skill level before the team members participate in the Customer-Focused Sales workshop. After the workshop, each team member is reassessed against those sames five skill sets to gauge learning. Where there are gaps, team members can be coached and developed to gain the skills necessary to be leaders in your field. And you will have the confidence in knowing that you will be investing time and energy in people who are genetically suited to do the very important work of sales.

Here are brief descriptions of each piece of this performance solution set.

The Predictive Index® System is a powerful set of management tools that help you make science-based decisions about the people and teams who work to drive your organization’s success. Delivering valuable insights into workplace behaviors and skills, the PI® system transfers the knowledge of our systems to you, allowing you to predict fits and gaps, pinpoint coaching, and develop future leaders. A PI Worldwide® solution.

The Predictive Index Management Workshop™ transfers PI® knowledge to managers at all levels of your organization. Like no other course, the PI® Workshop gives you invaluable insight into yourself and the power to predict how others will perform. Learn to develop people-smart management skills, decipher leadership styles and how to promote an environment of productivity and cohesion by adopting and applying PI® data throughout your organization. A PI Worldwide® solution.

The Sales Skills Assessment Tool™ (SSAT) uses scientific methodology to obtain skill data about a person’s sales skills. Consisting of 25 targeted, scenario-based questions that assess the critical skills essential to successful consultative selling, managers are equipped with a detailed and accurate quantification of selling ability, allowing you to tailor your training initiative to exacting degrees. A PI Worldwide® solution.

Customer Focused Selling™ Workshop is a unique training course based upon statistical assessment that provides all the core competencies needed for effective consultative selling. This highly interactive two-day workshop will be specified to your team’s specific development needs. The ability to target training to needed areas of improvement produces motivation for individuals to perform at their full potential. A PI Worldwide® solution.

If you are involved in selecting and developing sales people or if you are responsible for the performance of a sales organization, this is a solution that you must explore.

Contact John Inman today to learn how these solutions can help you accelerate performance in your organization! john@johninmandialogue.com 425-954-7256

If I were funding a startup, I would require this solution…

The failure rate for startups is high. It is not only about the idea, it is about the team assembled to take the startup forward. Whether selecting, developing, or severing a team member, the wrong decision can be costly for a small enterprise. A wrong decision in hiring key players can spell the success or failure of an enterprise. Although large organization processes tend to be out of reach for a startup or small business, this is not so for our solutions. We specialize in helping get the right people in the right positions at all levels and then helping them accelerate performance. And this is done using tools that have been validated for nearly 60 years.

John Inman Dialogue has introduced a new solution for startups and small businesses that can substantially improve the success of placing the right people into the right jobs. The profit and startup success implications are compelling.

For details, explore the following introduction to this powerful solution. Note that this solution is designed to be easily scaled to any size organization:

Accelerate the Performance of your Startup

Retaining Employees – The Key to Competitive Success

Often the primary distinguishing characteristic between industry-leading companies and their less successful competitors is the quality and motivation of their people. Retaining talented, motivated people is critical to both current and future success. Studies of successful businesses indicate that the quality of employee life is largely a function of the quality of leadership. The better the boss is at recognizing, rewarding and developing the employees, the more willingly and enthusiastically those employees will stay and contribute to the company’s success.

Good leadership requires fine-tuning your messages and the conditions of work for each of your valuable employees. Here are some tips to help you more effectively retain people and maximize their energy and productivity from PI Worldwide.


  1. Clearly understand the job and context into which you place people. The closer the fit the more you tap into the natural energy and drive the individual can contribute and the better the work conditions positively affect and reward the person. The greater the extent to which the job requires opposing behaviors, the less likely it is that the job will consistently motivate excellent performance. So the key is to clarify, clarify, clarify! Keep working the job design to weed out non-essential requirements. Hone in on the key outputs and processes that will drive results. Remove competing, non-essential requirements and reassign them to a more appropriate person or eliminate the requirement altogether.
  2. Having clarified and fine-tuned the core job requirements, aim all supporting efforts such as performance tracking, training, coaching, and communicating at that core. Know the PI®’s (motivating needs) of your people and keep them in mind in your interactions with each individual. In each interaction, ask yourself how you can best approach the individual and positively stimulate them toward productive action.
  3. Don’t assume that all employees are looking for fast-track growth. Many would prefer to continue to do what they have been trained and educated to do. Look for opportunities to challenge them with more complex and interesting work utilizing their skills. Find ways to recognize their contributions and increased expertise. For those who are upward-bound, keep an eye on the individual’s career path:
  • Are his or her skills developing at the pace required to move forward when needed?
  • Have you and they identified the range of possible future opportunities? Remember, the best opportunities may not lie in a straight line upward.
  • Are you helping pave the way by creating opportunities for others in leadership to gain an understanding of their skills and potential?

Finally, look to your own PI®. Which of these leadership mandates come easily to you? Which are more difficult? What are you doing to design your own work or team to meet the mandate in the ways that will be most successful for you?

I can help you find your local PI® Consultant so that you and your company learn how PI® can transform your organization. Contact John Inman for more information atjohn@johninmandialogue.com and at 425-954-7256.

Originally distributed by PI Worldwide in ActionPI.

A poor hiring decision can equal 30% of that hire’s first year earnings.

Can you afford to make a bad hire?

Organizations have the opportunity to simplify the hiring process and make far better hiring decisions if they pay attention to the talent of the applicant before they dig into the resume of the applicant. The vast majority of hiring decisions are made based on the resume of the applicant without regard to the genetics of that person. Genetics accounts for close to 55% of the success of someone placed into a position. 20% of the success is based on the resume. The underlying problem is that with one exception, there really isn’t a simple hiring model that screens for talent first before screening for resume. So organizations get stuck in the rut of hiring of based on inadequate information and putting people into positions that they are not genetically suited to do. To compound the problem, fewer and fewer applicants have a robust resume leaving recruiters and hiring managers struggling to find applicants who can excel in the position.

So what do we do about this? As organizations we cannot simply throw up our hands and continue to accept the status quo. This is where Predictive Index and cognitive assessment with Professional Learning Indicator come in. With these tools, a recruiter can screen on talent before even looking at a resume insuring that the applicants that are moved to resume screening actually have the genetics to do the job. This one very simply step can eliminate so many frustrations for an organization and reduce turnover and improve performance. This also insures that early talent applicants are not removed from consideration particularly if they have the right genetics to do the job. To see how this process looks, review this presentation on HiPo Talent and see how a very simple and cost effective simplified hiring model can transform your organization.

Getting the right people in the right positions transforms organizations

There is so much time and energy invested trying to get people to perform in jobs for which they are not suited. There is a better way. And that better way is to do a better job in the selection process. This cannot be done by simply screening resumes better, as resume screening is ineffective 80% of the time. Doing better on this is not yielding results. We need predictable performance improvement and resume screening is not the way to get it. Genetic predisposition is what creates over 50% of the success of a person in an organization. This is where the focus must be, understanding the genetic behaviors and cognition that a person brings to the organization. As well, if an employee is failing, rather than removing them from the organization, a much better and more respectful approach is finding a job that suits their genetics. So whether it is initial screening of applicants, repositioning of struggling employees, screening for advancement, or accelerating high performance, effectively assessing genetics is the best solution. Visit my people analytics page to learn more about a potential solution.

New Dialogic OD article published in OD Practitioner

Inman, J. L., & Thompson, T. A. (2013). Using dialogue then deliberation to transform a warring leadership team. OD Practitioner, 45,  35-40. ODP-V45,No1-Inman & Thompson

This article provides a case study for a dialogic OD intervention.

Calling a focus on social systems the softer side of management is in error…

Although the article from Fast Company, The Perils of Ignoring the Softer Side of Management,  is right on target, I do not like the implication that is softer. We in organizations have to become world class both in work and in social systems to thrive in complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity. We simply must get away from this terminology as its implication is that soft is somehow weaker than hard. And how do we reconsile that women run companies out perform men run companies? Are they softer? Not at all. Women simply are as competent in work as men and far out perform men in social systems. See my About Practice page to explore this further.

The new site for John Inman Dialogue is live!

It has been a long time coming, particularly waiting on my decision to build out my business presence. A special thank you to Mayuri Reddy for her help in getting this done. I will be active in writing on topics that engage to transform the world. Here are my social sites for anyone who wishes to connect.