What’s your personal Research & Development program?

Research and Development has long been at the core of innovation efforts of companies worldwide. While many other innovation tools have since come into use, R & D remains an essential activity—especially in any technology sector.

And so it is with individuals. What are you doing on the research side, to learn more about yourself, to define your strengths and identify gaps, to better understand your own underlying “technologies?” What are you doing on the development side, to enhance your skills, increase your value, and in effect make yourself a better more competitive “product?” How are you recreating yourself to meet new and evolving challenges?

And, how well is your research and development aligned? Are you using appropriate tools to gauge the most relevant and important characteristics? Are you then focusing your development efforts on those issues?

There are many self-assessment tools available, from the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to the DISC Profile to KAI to FourSight and countless others. They are typically designed to assess unchanging personality traits, and then suggest ways to best manage yourself and others based on those findings. But because these tools are designed to primarily measure innate or fixed characteristics, there isn’t a lot of subsequent “development” to prescribe.

We’ve taken an alternative approach. The Stauffer Iterative Thinking Assessment (SITA) is designed not to measure innate characteristics, but rather what researchers call “mental models.” That is the assumptions and beliefs we hold—often unconsciously—about how the world works. These often unconscious and unexamined mental models can have a powerful impact on our behaviors and therefore on our personal effectiveness, including how well we adapt and problem solve and innovate, and how well we lead others in those tasks.

Mental models are particularly powerful tools for personal and organizational development because, unlike personality traits, they’re discretionary. We can choose to change our mindset, and in so doing change our behaviors. Our mental models get at the very core of how we think and make decisions and interact with others, and research shows that our mental models can be surprisingly malleable.

This statistically-validated instrument is based on the conviction that at the end of the day, how each of us interacts with the world around us is a matter of personal choice. The key is to understand exactly what our choices are and their implications, so we can adopt an approach that will be most effective.

If this sounds intriguing, you can learn more about SITA at www.insightfusion.com/assessment.