January 24, 2024

Hi, I'm Melinda Hoffman here at Ideal HR. Continuing conversations with Liz Parker and we are talking today about the Acumen Capacity Index, which is part of the TTI assessment system and we're getting a little bit more scientific here, Miss Liz.

We are Melinda! This is one of those assessments that does take someone to help you understand what the results mean. So, it is important that if an individual takes this that they are given a chance to have it debriefed. There is a lot of information in this, but I think the most interesting thing about the Capacity Index is, it tells you about the capability somebody has to do the job. Somebody has to be able to demonstrate what you need them to do.

Before we jump too far, let's say your behavior tells us how they do a job?


The motivator tells us why they would do a job.


The competency tells us what strengths they have for the job. And now the acumen tells us, can they do it?

Yes! Do they have the capacity or the capability? That's exactly right. And that's our shorthand for it. Right. So as you think about this, when an individual sits down to take this particular assessment, it's very sensitive to anything that's going on in their environment. So, we asked them to sit down when they're rested and they're just feeling fresh. Because the tool is so sensitive, it will pick up on if they're angry, if they're happy, if they're not happy. The tool itself has a page in there that will tell us exactly the emotion they were feeling when they went through this. You'll find it probably funny because we attach this usually to two or three of the other assessments that you were talking about. When we go through and analyze a person for a job, we want to see them in all their different areas. So, we want to evaluate you know, how do they do it? Why do they do it? Can they do it and what are their strengths? So, when we do that, they might spend 40 minutes on an assessment. So, by the time they get to this assessment, they're going to be frustrated if they're tired, they're going to show up as angry. And we talked to them about that, right. It's like this is what the emotion showed in the assessment and they're like, oh, I was so over having to take another assessment. And so we try to be very sensitive to that when people have to take the assessment. Would you be interested in hearing a little background about who created this?

Yes, I think so.

Robert Hartman was an individual who actually created this tool, he originally created it as a clinical tool. But this story behind Robert Hartman is he was alive when Hitler was young in his career. He happened to beat some kind of a court hearing where Hitler was on trial for just something that was going on in Germany at that point. He was not in command. He wasn't a commander at that point and Hartman saw such evil in him that he was motivated at that point to create this tool, and he worked for the next 20 years, perfecting a tool that identified evil or good in a person.

Well, you told me that acumen is the measuring of good in people.

Yes, that's right. So, when what we do with the acumen is it helps you look at how a person views the world. So there are two parts to this. There is a worldview and how people view the external world and an internal view and how they view themselves. So, if you think about it, I used to live in Asia and work in Asia.. the Asians are much more self-aware than the Americans are. So they always score higher on the internal self-view than they do on the external world, however, we Americans, we are all about business, especially the baby boomers, right? We were all out there. just what does the world see? What is it about the Joneses? All that kind of thing. Right. So our external perception is usually much higher and our self is much lower.

And you mentioned that age plays into this as well.

It can play into this and again it shows up very differently. If a person has worked in a role all their life, that's been very similar - you won't see a lot of change in their tool. But when I have found this younger generation with the technology, they are showing up sometimes looking like they're a 40 or a 50 year old person because they have such high ability to look at flow, look at systems, look at technology. They see how the world fits together, whereas some of us who might be older, we weren't exposed to that as much, so we might look like we have a lower rating in that. It is all very relative to what the person has experienced and who they are. But I see this in the younger generation that they have a very systems judgment view.

So the acumen is a clinical science based tool. But it also takes a facilitator like you, with years and years of experience, to bring that balance into understanding it.

Yes, part of what TTI did is because it was a clinical tool, they said we don't need to know that personal information about someone. So, we bought them our scores out at a 40. You can go anywhere between 40 and 99, and so that's what we know. If somebody's at a 40, it means there's something going on here that we need to ask some questions about. And once we start talking with them, we're not therapists. So we then say, hey, there might be something going on that you might want to get some outside of.

So bring that around for me as how this works with our other benchmarking and things.

This one for me is the one you want to use to find out if you want to bring these people into your company.


If you have some kind of a higher level job where you need somebody to think in a big picture way, you want to make sure this person has that capacity to see how an organization fits, where it's going to fit in the marketplace, how this is all going to work right? You need to know that. This tool shows you where their level of ability is in that. You may also find that there's a production manager position that you're trying to hire, and they need to know how does the flow work? Do they see how these parts fit together? Do they have common sense? There is a section in here that helps you understand common sense. You might have a person who needs to work with people. There is an understanding people indicator that's different than our DISC. And it shows, do these people understand how people tick? Do they understand what motivates them? Does it motivate them? How do we get more work out of them? So the acumen helps you in many of these questions while also looking at do these people understand the roles in their life? Do they have positive or negative self-direction? How do they view themselves? So, it really is a very helpful tool.

Sounds like a deep insight into understanding who you're hiring.

It is. It really is. It really helps you look almost like into the soul of a person. I don't start out with this assessment. I want to make sure people understand who they are when we go through the DISC and the motivators, then they're able to hear what's going on in the acumen. Because the other tools marry very nicely with it. They don't match, but they marry nicely with it. This one also helps you see how people troubleshoot, how they actually problem solve, how their concentration is. So, there's a lot of value in this tool, but it does take some expert facilitation to kind of work through.

Well, I would say thank you, Liz, for an overview of a pretty involved scientific system, but again a tool at Ideal HR that we use along with your expertise to make good decisions for our clients and help other clients. And they can always get in touch with Ideal HR. The link and everything is in the details on this podcast, and we've been talking with Liz Parker here at Ideal HR. And I'm Melinda Hoffman, and we'll talk to you again soon.

Thank you!