Archive for the ‘development’ category

Zircon Management Consulting a rare gem of an opportunity

January 18th, 2016

At the start of the year I began looking for work experience opportunities within management consultancies. This tied in with the Assessment module on my Occupational and Business Psychology MSc, as I was really enjoying learning about selection and development. Zircon and its sister company Talent Gene® prominently stood out to me as they offer a highly unique approach to the application of business psychology and talent assessment. » Read more: Zircon Management Consulting a rare gem of an opportunity

PA Consulting future-proofs HR with Talent Gene

January 18th, 2016

Talent Gene logo


Global management consulting firm PA Consulting Group has adopted the Talent Gene range of assessment tools to help its clients find the best fit of talents and skills for their future business needs.

Talent Gene is a sister company of Zircon Management Consulting. It provides a suite of online tools based on extensive research with leading companies. These tools help businesses ensure their talent is fit for purpose, both now and in the future.

PA Consulting Group talent management expert Lesley Uren says “many leaders struggle to implement effective strategies and find their current approaches are no longer delivering results”.

“The range of options provided by Talent Gene enables them to develop the right talent management system to meet the challenges of today’s demanding and uncertain world,” she adds.

To read the full press release about PA Consulting Group’s partnership with Talent Gene, click here.

To view PA Consulting Group’s microsite dedicated to Talent and Change, click here.

Inspirational Leadership (Part1): Introduction of Intrapersonal & Interpersonal Qualities

December 14th, 2015

Our most recent company white-paper entitled ‘Inspirational Leadership and Executive Presence: Do you need to have Executive Presence to be Inspirational?’ was based on a comprehensive analysis of available research investigating the core elements of truly Inspirational Leadership. The results from the 196 interviews conducted by Zircon found seven qualities evident in organisations today associated with Inspirational leadership. Principally, we found that there was a great deal of diversity in the descriptions of Inspirational Leadership;  with Leaders alluding to a wide variety of intrapersonal and interpersonal characteristics including being morally principled, charming, tenacious, innovative, motivating, attentive, driven, aspirational, focused, enthusiastic, and passionate. » Read more: Inspirational Leadership (Part1): Introduction of Intrapersonal & Interpersonal Qualities

Can you Develop Leaders to be Inspirational and have Executive Presence?

December 7th, 2015

From a Talent Management perspective, one of the most pertinent questions that must be asked following our research, is to what extent we can develop leaders to be Inspirational and have Executive Presence? We have identified that there is a clear demand for such qualities within the competitive workplace environment, however, there is a considerably lower supply of these qualities within the workplace. » Read more: Can you Develop Leaders to be Inspirational and have Executive Presence?

How many people have Executive Presence?

November 30th, 2015

At Zircon, we strive to define and accurately highlight the key elements that underwrite effective performance and leadership potential, in order to develop and direct others towards realising their organisational potential. However, within the leadership domain, effective performance and influential leadership remains a somewhat difficult concept to grasp, with many leaders admitting that they recognise effective leadership when they see it, but experience difficulty in accurately defining what skills provide the highest level of success. The tacit, intangible nature of Executive Presence is thought to lead to a clear and consistent disparity between the demand of such a quality and the overall supply within the workplace. » Read more: How many people have Executive Presence?

How many people have Inspirational Leadership?

November 26th, 2015

Within Zircon, we take a strong, applied approach to talent management and leadership development. Our recent research indicated a strong appreciation for the qualities commonly associated with an Inspirational Leader.  However, research linking the supply with the demand of such a quality is somewhat limited. While many recognise the potential value of those characteristics thought typical of truly inspirational leaders, many leaders recognise that some characteristics are elusive and difficult to achieve. » Read more: How many people have Inspirational Leadership?

What are the differences between Inspirational Leadership & Executive Presence?

November 23rd, 2015

At Zircon, we place a strong emphasis on trying to determine exactly what constitutes effective and energising styles of leadership. Two concepts in particular are often linked to high potential, and highly talented performers with leadership; Inspirational Leadership and Executive Presence. Whilst many claim to recognise each of these broad characteristics when they see them, the differences between them and the possible overlap remains somewhat uncertain. » Read more: What are the differences between Inspirational Leadership & Executive Presence?

Fantastic Summer Internship at Zircon and Talent Gene

November 19th, 2015

Rapidly approaching the end of my MSc. course, I decided that I wanted to gain some hands-on experience of Occupational Psychology in practice before finally entering the ‘real world’. I came across the advert for Zircon’s internship positions on the ABP website, and thought it sounded like a fantastic opportunity. » Read more: Fantastic Summer Internship at Zircon and Talent Gene

What is Executive Presence? Why is it Important?

November 16th, 2015

Here at Zircon, we recognise that truly talented and influential leaders possess a range of qualities and attributes; many of which are easily defined, however others are difficult to grasp and even more challenging to describe in a meaningful sense. Executive Presence is rapidly becoming one of the most popular concepts within Business Psychology and Talent Management as a whole. It has be argued that Executive Presence is a highly beneficial attribute within business; one that is sought after by many organisations. The majority of business leaders can recognise when their fellow leaders possess Executive Presence, however, the majority of research hints that this is a tacit strength; one that is difficult to define or describe clearly, and therefore one that has typically been described in a very broad manner. » Read more: What is Executive Presence? Why is it Important?

The Apprentice: candidate suffers from the halo and horns effect

November 5th, 2015

 The Halo and horns effect

On BBC One’s The Apprentice last night, team leader Charleine Wain fell victim to something many of us can experience in business: the halo and horns effect.

After being appointed to lead her team in the task of writing, publishing and selling an original children’s book, one of Charleine’s very first decisions was to make fellow candidate Richard Woods sub-team leader.

Charleine made this decision for very negative reasons: rather than appointing Richard as her deputy for his strengths, she did it as a means of controlling him.

“Richard thinks he is better than everyone else,” said Charleine when justifying the decision to camera.

“The reason I have made Richard sub-team leader is because I know Richard is really hard to control, and if he didn’t feel in power he would throw his toys out of the pram.”

Charleine made sure Richard didn’t have any real power by appointing fellow candidate David Stevenson to report back to her with all of the market research findings from Richard’s sub-team.

Charleine was suffering from a common ailment that can prove fatal to business success – the halo and horns effect.

This effect is a cognitive bias that assumes if someone is “good” or “bad” on a particular characteristic or activity, then they will be “good” or “bad” at everything else.

For example, during interviews candidates who are well-presented and well-spoken are often rated more highly on all assessment criteria than those who are not.

– Click here to view more posts on the current series of The Apprentice – 

Charleine clearly saw something bad in Richard and allowed the horns effect to cloud her judgement when managing him.

This proved particularly disastrous when deciding which three members of her team should pitch their book to major bookshop Foyles.

Charleine didn’t include Richard in the pitch and the team failed miserably, recording zero sales (the opposing team, led by candidate Sam Curry, managed to successfully sell 50 books to Waterstones).

Businessman Claude Littner, acting as advisor to Lord Alan Sugar in this series of The Apprentice, didn’t mince his words: “You had the wrong team selling to hard-nosed buyers.”

Likewise Alan Sugar was less than impressed by Charleine’s poor judgement: “You may have a disagreement with someone like Richard but I think one thing he has demonstrated in the last few weeks is that he can sell, and you needed to take your strongest pitchers to the most professional people you were pitching to, and you didn’t. Bad management decision I think.”

We are all human, and we may all at times have to work with people that rub us up the wrong way – or, indeed, in the case of the halo effect be so blinded by someone’s strengths that we fail to see their flaws.

The only way we can avoid the halo effect and horns effect when managing people is to make sure to make sure we have a clear understanding of where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

This can be done through an objective process such as the Talent Gene Unique Strengths questionnaire. This questionnaire has been informed by our over 20 years of working with businesses to develop their talent, and helps employees to identify their core seven strengths from a list of 30.

  • Dr Amanda Potter is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist, and the CEO of Zircon Management Consulting and Talent Gene.


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