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Making a case for using assessments in small businesses

Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 30, 2012 9:58PM



Imagine for a moment you visit your doctor because you have ongoing headaches. The doctor recommends immediate brain surgery based upon what you have told him.

You then ask, “What about the diagnostics, the MRI, the tests to confirm your diagnosis?”

“We don’t need to run any assessments because I will take your word that the pain you are suffering is from your headaches,” he said. “Let’s get that surgery schedule.”

Most patients, figuratively if not literally, would run for the hills. To have brain surgery scheduled without running a battery of assessments would be a case for malpractice.

Yet there are many small business owners who self-diagnose their own problems and attempt to operate on their own businesses without conducting any assessments to confirm or validate the real problems. From my experience, many of the perceived problems, such as poor sales, are actually symptoms disguised as problems. The real problems causing the headache pains are never ascertained.

Then there are those small business owners who recognize they are not experts and seek outside support via small business coaches, marketing specialists or organizational development consultants. Unfortunately, in many cases these outside resources fail to employ any assessments to separate the symptoms from the problems. Small business coaching or executive consulting firms who do not confirm through assessments the real problems are very much like those doctors who recommend brain surgery without any diagnostics.

Assessments when packaged and conducted well are truly gifts that may surprise the small business owners. From these proven instruments, a plethora of information is possible about the small business owners, their employees, their customers as well as the operations of the organization. Much of this information was present, but hiding just like the gifts under the Christmas tree.

What is even better, these instruments are available at nominal to reasonable investments. No longer must a consulting firm construct an assessment for the climate organization’s culture unless of course the firm wishes to take advantage of its clients. This is also true for proven employee assessments. There are many firms that provide proven online assessments such as TTI Performance Systems or Innermetrix and certify consultants to deliver these instruments.

Maybe now is the time to consider having some real temperature checks taken and validated to ensure you are correcting the real problems and not buying solutions for symptoms posing as problems?

A small thanks to all readers of this weekly small business column. This week’s column is number 300. Thank you for your continued loyalty and remember the mailbox is always open for new topic suggestions.

Next week this column will explore a talent assessment that from my experience can predict within 75 percent accuracy the current earning or potential earning capacity of any employee.

P.S. Shout Out: The Schererville Lounge in Schererville is an established restaurant with good food and excellent service. Over in Valparaiso during the month of December, The Old Style Inn will be celebrating 80 years in business.

TTI Performance Systems – http://www.ttiassessments.com/

Innermetrix – www.innermetrix.com



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