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I recently heard a question posed that really resonated with me: “Are sports organizations irresponsible if they don’t use behavioral data and assessments in the pre-screening and player development process if it’s available?” Which made me look closer at, when should we go with our gut, or when should we use hard data to make organizational decisions? I wanted to share.

Statisticians love numbers, but the mark of a good statistician is one who knows which numbers are important, which ones are relatively meaningless and understands the limitations of formulas and numeric data.

We would all like to have a single formula or a single number that tells us everything we want to know, but particularly when dealing with human beings, there are far too many variables for this to be practical (or accurate). …


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Before every basketball game, be it a professional one or at the local high school, we’ll often see the players line-up and take their turns making lay-ups. These lay-up lines are done as a warm-up, a good practice considering the fact that lay-ups are one of the highest percentage shots hit during a game, but the question is, is this practice a little stale and dated? Think about this: every team does this. We see they have the same warm-ups, similar strategies, and yet, not all of these teams are performing at the same level. …


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We know what we want in a new hire or in our teams: We want someone who is highly motivated, who has good character and strong talent. I know countless folks who have read the books or articles on leadership and hiring, and they’re very good at throwing out buzzwords like ‘grit’ and ‘gusto,’ but when I asked them how exactly they hire for ‘grit’ or what ‘grit’ even looks like to them, I often just get a shrug or a smirk and the response of I just know it when I see it. But is that enough or would it be more beneficial in the long run to the company, the team, and the prospect, to know exactly what you’re looking for? …


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A lot of folks who haven’t taken assessments roll their eyes at personality assessment tools. In tandem, many folks are subject to DISC, Myers Briggs, and a myriad of other tests and while results are being thrown at them, the root of why these tests are being administered are never explained. We’ve consistently stressed that it’s not the test alone that will give you all the answers. After all, how are you going to find the right answers when you’re not even asking any questions? By sitting down and asking can I learn more or can I get better with these results?


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As I, and many others, have been reiterating over the last few weeks: the world as we know it is fundamentally different now, and who knows what kind of normalcy we’ll return to after all of this is over. While I’ve been thinking about where we are now and what people are looking for in this time of crisis, I took to heart some of the things my brother and I talked about the other day over some drinks. I’ll spare you every word of the conversation, but one of the more striking things he said to me was about how he’s been trying to use his past as a means to connect with and grow how he builds his present and future. …


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Before we get anywhere in today’s piece, let me be clear that I understand how many of you here, given the current state of the globe, really have no option but to make these tough choices in regards to your organization. But I know there are people out there sitting comfortably with their businesses and organizations and still making drastic cuts or structural changes just for the sake of making capital gains, or using this pandemic as the scapegoat to make dangerous decisions for their workers in favor of shareholders.

What am I talking about?

I’m talking about Disney laying off 100,000 workers but still securing $1.5 billion for shareholders, about Harvard taking $9 million in stimulus money with a $41 billion endowment, about Amazon firing another warehouse worker for protesting against working conditions, and so, so much more. The crux of the matter is this: if you’re a business or an organization that says you are committed to serving and helping people, and then you engage in behavior such as the above, then why say you’re doing people at all? …


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There is no doubt that we are in a historically unprecedented time, a time filled with new challenges and scenarios. Like many of you at home, I’m trying to walk the different lines of partner, parent, and employer. Whether it’s the balance of trying to keep my kids sane while they’re cooped up away from their friends, or figuring out how my wife and I can both efficiently work from home, these are novel situations that have required a lot of adapting and adjusting. …


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We are, once again, going to attempt defining something that seems almost indefinable. In our look at intuition, we know that much of our senses for it relies on gut-feelings in response to certain tangible measurements such as resumes, references, and so on. Talent, while also subjective and living in an abstract pool, can be assessed a little more clearly than intuition.

I’m sure we all have an intuitive/subjective side to what talent looks like in our field, whether it’s sales, marketing, medicine, insurance, etc. An example of this is that I got a Tony Soprano type buddy who runs a construction company who says to me often, “I just know when a guy is talented,” when it comes to his hiring process. And while that’s a sentiment we can all identify with, it’s certainly a very loose standard for identifying talent. …


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To all our esteemed friends and clients,

We here at Profile hope you are staying safe and healthy in these times of global crisis. We understand that circumstances keep some of our clients from working from home or from practicing social distancing, and we understand others have the ability in taking these precautions. Regardless of which side one might be on, all businesses and teams are operating in a time of great strain and pressure. In these times, we feel it is more imperative than ever that we commit to strong communication and ensure all our team members feel adequately supported and heard. Seeing as we are in the business of people, we wanted to offer that same level of commitment to you. If you feel your team or organization could use some assistance in figuring out how to manage strong, open communication, or feel that extra steps should be taken to lift team camaraderie in these testing days, please don’t hesitate to call or reach out via e-mail to us. …


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(Associated Press, 1964)

In our last article, we mentioned the idea of putting more effort into your people over your processes. Today I’m here to explore these two integral components in any organization, and the way these two ends of the rope push and pull at each other.

Let’s use the example of a basketball team and you, the decision-maker, are the head coach. Your people are your coaching staff, your players, athletic trainers, etc. Basically, any physical human being that is playing for your team or supporting your team is a part of this ‘people’ category. (I know this seems like I’m just holding your hand and stringing you along for the ride with some common sense ideas, but bear with me.) Your processes are the things peripheral to or actions from your people. For our intents and purposes with the basketball team, this breaks down to practices, workouts, team nutrition, recovery plans, team-building exercises, and so forth. …

Chad Q Brown

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