Fiona Smith reports in BRW this week that the Myers Briggs Type Indicator is under attack for having little more validity than the Zodiac in the workplace. A part of me agrees - primarily because I think the Zodiac, like MBTI, does have some value in the workplace. Any model or framework that type-casts people is dangerous when used inappropriately, but such models can be helpful in understanding the ways that different talent management initiatives will impact attraction and retention differently, depending on the employee. That's why we segment by generations too. Nobody (I hope) really thinks that someone born on 1st January 1982 is going to be highly narcissistic, whereas if they had been born one day earlier, they would have been team players.
That doesn't mean that we can assume that people will always respond a particular way if they're Gen X (guilty), an Aquarius (guilty) or an INTJ (guilty again), but it does help us to understand that the way we might react to an initiative will be different to how others will. Whether you believe in the validity of the Zodiac, the Generations, or the MBTI, they do give us a framework for broadening our perspective.
Talent Segmentation is a critical component of Strategic Workforce Planning, but does need to be used carefully. When you're using these frameworks as a method for determining whether someone is suitable for a position, as opposed to ways that different groups of people may be attracted, motivated, and retained in your organisation, then you're going to lose some great talent.
- Myers-Briggs personality types. - Psychology and Mental Health ... (psychforums.com)
- The Myers-Briggs Personality Test Is Pretty Much Meaningless (blogs.smithsonianmag.com)