A CykoMetrix Spotlight Production

Every week, the Spotlight shines on an amazing professional with a story to tell and lessons to teach. Welcome to the CykoMetrix Spotlight.

The following is an adapted transcript of the exchange between Sylvain Rochon, CMO at CykoMetrix as host, and Carly Lund, Chief Digital and Data Officer at YSC Consulting. www.ysc.com

Sylvain Rochon: Welcome to the CykoMetrix Spotlight. My name is Sylvain Rochon. I’m the Chief Marketing Officer at CykoMetrix a leading-edge combinatorial, psychometric, and human data analytics company that brings the employee assessment industry to the cloud with instant assessments, in-depth analysis, trait measurements, and team-based reporting features that simplify informed decision-making around recruiting and training, managing today’s modern workplace.

Today I am with Carly Lund. She is currently in England. She’s the Chief Digital and Data Officer at YSC Consulting. Carly has a blend of experience across consulting and product and service design. She spends a large amount of her time with YSCs clients translating their needs directly back into the development of YSCQ and Associated Data Services. She has a specialization and expertise in psychometrics and people analytics, and she’s particularly interested in how we combine the unique contributions of technology and humans to create unparalleled diagnostics, insight, and user experience.

She’s a chartered occupational psychologist who has a Master of Science in Occupational Psychology from London Metropolitan University and another Bachelor of Science with honors in psychology from the University of Kent at Canterbury. She’s a chartered occupational psychologist and a member of the British Psychological Society. You have a lot of education in psychology, Carly. We’re going to talk a lot about psychology and technology today, so that’s exactly why you’re in the Spotlight. Thank you for being here.

Carly: Oh, you’re very welcome. No problem at all.

Sylvain: Now, let’s get right into it because that combination of technology and psychology is not that common. Usually, it’s one or the other. At least in my surroundings, they don’t really cross over all that much. Why don’t you start by telling us how this technology and data combine well with consulting in your field which is psychology, human analytics, and all that stuff? How does that work?

Carly: Yeah, the consultancy business that I work for is a leadership strategy consultancy business. Effectively, what we do is we go to client organizations and we go, “Do you have the right leaders to achieve your business strategy?” Predominantly, a lot of that work has been done face-to-face through our consultants. I think whilst that’s been wildly successful, and YSC has been wildly successful deploying consultants when you start to look out into the HR industry, now you can see an awful lot of HR tech players coming into the market. They’re able to do lots of things at scale with technology. They’re able to do lots of things with data because they’re deploying technology.

Those things together ensure that we can actually get insight into our clients at greater speed with greater precision. We are looking at the market going. Well actually there’s probably space here to bring technology into the consulting work that we’re doing. By bringing technology into the work that we’re doing and underpinning our services with technology, we can therefore capture a whole range of data on our clients, on our client’s systems in order to generate insight back for them. I set about looking at, well, we’ve got some brilliant consultants and we’ve got some brilliant opportunities afforded to us by technology. How do we bring those things together so that we can get the best out of our humans in that interaction and the best out of our technology in that interaction?

Sylvain: Can you give me an example of that process at YSC? First interaction with a client down to parting ways or even better continuous engagements? Of where you just hand in hand helping them grow over time. Can you give us an example of that, and how that works?

Carly: Yeah. The intention of the platform, I think you mentioned it in my intro, the platform that we’ve got is called YSCQ. The intention of that platform across all of our services is to really do two things. One is to collect data in order to diagnose a client’s pain points, so that’s the first one. The second part is to then leverage that data and more data over time to show the progress that the client is making toward their desired future state. Okay. If we look across all of our services, one of our biggest services is our assessment service, for example. We would go into a client and would help them understand their leadership and help them understand how they align to either a current job role or a future job role for succession planning.

What we’ve done with YSCQ is we’ve underpinned that entire process with the technology. At the upfront part of that assessment process, YSCQ would be responsible for deploying a set of psychometrics. That data would come into the system. The consultant would look at those psychometrics, they would use them as part of a four-hour interview with an individual. Then after the interview, they would bring together the psychometric data, the data they’ve collected in the room, and they will write a report in the system as well where there’s some automatically generated insight that’s already in there for them to leverage as well.

Then once they release the report back to the individual and back to the client, the individual will then access that data via the dashboard and via that dashboard, they are able to understand their own profile. They can read their report, they can see their strengths and development areas in a very data-driven way. They can access development planning tools, they can access development content, and they can access feedback tools. What it’s designed to do is go, well, actually, you haven’t just been through this really super developmental assessment process, and then we forget all about it.

It’s designed to then make that an ongoing experience for the individual so that they can really focus on their development and translate what they’ve learned into action, and then get feedback on how that’s manifesting in their job on the day-to-day. Once they get that feedback in, it starts to generate that trend over time so they can see where they’re translating into any gaps they had into progress over time as well.

Sylvain: That’s very exciting. As you were talking about this platform, I’m reminded of our platform because it’s very similar in ideology and business model. There are obvious differences that we could discover. That is excellent because one of the things I’ve noticed speaking with people from all over the world, especially consultants, training companies and hiring/ staffing companies is that it is a big gap. To have a client continuously engage and be able to see the development and the improvements and offer services to specific individuals in a targeted way, right?

Carly: Yeah.

Sylvain: That is something that is extremely rare in the technology that’s offered in this arena. That’s amazing that you have also developed something because it doesn’t exist elsewhere.

Carly: Nope.

Sylvain: No, we know. That’s great. How do you find the responses from the client side because it is a unique offering. What’s the response when they discover that, “Oh, we can track these things over time and we have visibility over the different elements and steps.” What have you seen?

Carly: Yeah, I think it’s quite interesting actually. There’s a varied response and I think it depends on the maturity of the organization that you are working with. I think the more an organization is already used to using data as part of their day-to-day operations, or it’s part of their go to market, then actually, they’re really hungry for data on their people. Therefore, they’re almost asking for it before we’re offering it because they just consider it as such a fundamental part of their business. I think in that way, HR is already set up to say, “Well, we really need this data to prove the value back to the business of the work that we are doing.”

Their response in that situation is, “it’s amazing because we’ve now got all of this data on our people that we didn’t have before.” It takes some of the subjectivity out of it so we can now have a data-driven conversation with people in the business about their talent. We can build more robust succession plans, we could leverage a more diverse workforce than we thought we had et cetera, and they’re delighted with it.

I think where we found it harder is where you’ve got more of a business that is potentially less mature around their people practices. Could still be a relatively large organization, but just doesn’t necessarily have the infrastructure that you would need to suddenly plug in this type of technology. I think as well, it’s where you’ve got the belief in the system that actually people are the best judges of talent. If you believe that, then it could be quite a challenge to turn that around.

Sylvain: Yes. I can understand that. No, that’s a harder sell Indeed.

Carly: Yeah.

Sylvain: How efficient is it because I know you’re specialized in leadership consulting, right? How efficient is this process in developing leadership? Just to frame this a bit more, I’m particularly excited about the idea of being able to identify potential leaders before they are [in leadership positions].  These assessments are predictive, right? You can see people as a diamond in the rough and conversely, you have a leader that is already in a position to leadership being able to help that leader flourish and perhaps even in cases figure out this person maybe shouldn’t be there in this position.

Carly: Yeah.

Sylvain: Tell me about this leadership landscape from all these angles.

Carly: Okay. Yes, so there’s one element of what we do with organizations to help them understand who their future potential leaders are. I’ve done quite a lot of work in potential both within this organization and in my past career as well. The technology and the data that it collects helps us to do is it helps us to do exactly as you’ve said, like early identification of people who have the future potential to hold a leadership position. We have a potential model that we call JDI. It stands for Judgment Drive and Influence. We use that framework, it’s driven by a psychometric, but basically the data from the psychometric reports out against that potential framework.

It helps on three different levels to identify future talent for leadership positions. It helps the individual, so the individual can see their data against say, a leadership profile, and they can start to see where their strengths and development areas are and what are the things they might need to focus on if they want to step into a leadership position in the future. It helps the line manager, so there’s a line manager user journey throughout the technology, and the line manager can therefore gain access into not only what individuals in their team look like, and therefore what support would they need, but also they can access development materials and recommendations to support those individuals on their path towards becoming a leader.

Then we have HR access, which is across all of the data. They would see all of the data and they can use that for succession planning. They can use that to overlay a role profile perhaps for a critical leadership position. Then can shortlist individuals against that particular profile according to the data that’s already in the system.

Sylvain: That seems to be a system that’s been in place for a while. It’s fairly mature from your description, right?

Carly: Oh, you’d think, but it’s actually only been in the market for just over a year.  It’s developing all the time.

Sylvain: Yes. That is the nature of software though, especially a young one. It’s an amazing product from your description. We should know because we’re software makers ourselves. I understand the difficulties in creating something from scratch. Certainly, we understand how useful it is to have an unbiased third-party system tell you and your clients, “Hey, this is a thing,”  It’s not to your point when are you talking about the clients that are not as tech-savvy or that don’t depend on data, the bias of the human is often in the way but data doesn’t lie, right? It just presents you exactly what things are like at that moment in time to give you that snapshot. Well, first off, do you exclusively serve the UK, or do you have clients internationally?

Carly: Yeah, we’re a global business. We have a presence in Europe, North America and in Australia, New Zealand, Asia as well.

Sylvain: The follow-up question to that is, have you seen differences by culture in responding to your services and system?

Carly: Yes. I think so. I think it’s, as I say, we’ve only been in the market for a year with this particular technology. It’s early days for us to really dig into that data and really understand it in depth. I would fully anticipate us to see similar patterns as we would see more generally in that, there are some elements of personality that may differ from culture to culture. But then obviously as we know as well, they differ as much within the culture.

I would anticipate seeing that we haven’t seen anything significant in how they use it though. Any differences in how they use it, their interaction with the technology, their excitement about what the technology can do and how it can help them develop and progress is the same wherever we use it. I would just expect to see some cultural differences come through in the data as and when we’ve got enough to look at that.

Sylvain: Yeah, I think that can be expected, but since the system is very young… so is ours. We don’t know yet either.

Carly: No, and you can do your best to build these tools so that they’ve got globalization built straight in. We make sure that the language is always checked to make sure that we haven’t got anything over the UK-centric or whatever in there. We’ve made sure that we’ve used Hexaco as our personality model to make sure that’s more culturally relevant and things like that. We’ve done as good a job as we possibly can to make sure that we don’t introduce any unnecessary bias into the tool, but until we’ve got that data through, it’s difficult to say.

Sylvain: What are future plans for overlay services, consulting services, and platforms that the people watching this or reading this would anticipate could excite them?

Carly: Our most recent services that we’ve deployed on the platform, I think is quite exciting. We’ve had the individual journey that I talked you through earlier, we’ve had that for quite a while. That’s been used quite significantly across a number of our different clients. We’ve just started to broaden our team solutions and our organizational solutions. Our team solutions are there to sit alongside our team coaching process. It’s there to create a wholly owned or team-owned dashboard, basically, where they know what their profile is, and what they need to do to get to high performance quickly.

They know what they sign up for in terms of their goals. They’ve got some joint goals and everything else, they can track their progress over time through the dashboards. We’ve also just released or are in the process of releasing our organizational solutions. There’s two of those, there’s our inclusive culture, so our diversity, equity, and inclusion service. We’ve just released a diagnostic to understand how people experience the inclusivity of an organization. Through that they can then set goals they can dive into the data in greater depth to see if there’s particular sub-populations within the organization that experience inclusivity differently, set goals against that, and again, track progress over time.

Similarly, we’ve done that on a broader cultural level. We’ve got a broader cultural model and through the technology, clients can understand how aligned their businesses are to the culture they need to drive their business into the future. I think that’s really exciting because actually what that organizational data gives us the ability to do then cascades down to the team level and to the individual level to make sure that everybody is aligned to where the organization wants to go. Everybody is pushing in the right direction, so you can see them from an individual point of view. The goals that they’re setting are aligned with where you want to take the business from either an inclusion point of view or a cultural point of view.

Sylvain: That all sounds fantastic to me for an organization. I applaud the effort from YSC which is not a technology company, but is using a lot of really great ideas in tech to do exactly what you talked about, to properly apply the consultation where it needs to be, provide visibility of the client team, and provide them access to all sorts of information it can play with. That is conducive to continuous engagements and that’s what the client wants and that’s what YSC wants.

Every consulting company wants that, of course. Yeah, definitely applause from me on that. It’s amazing. I think this caps this interview perfectly because I think anybody reading this or watching this is going to want to contact you now to know what’s this about? This sounds very exciting and I want to have access to that. The companies that are seeking data to inform their decision-making should check this out.

Thank you so much for participating in this and explaining YSC services and the platform used to do leadership consulting. It’s been amazing.

Carly: You’re welcome. It’s great to speak with you.

About Carly Lund – www.ysc.com

Carly is responsible for Digitalising YSC’s core services through the development and deployment of technology solutions. A core part of her remit is building YSC’s new technology platform YSCQ, designed to help clients formulate their Leadership Strategy and track progress towards their desired state. Carly has a blend of experience across Consulting and Product and Service Design. She spends a large amount of her time with YSC’s clients, translating their needs directly back into the development of YSCQ and associated data services.

She has specialist expertise in Psychometrics and People Analytics and is particularly interested in how we combine the unique contributions of Technology and Humans to create unparalleled diagnostics, insight and user experience.

She is a chartered occupational psychologist who holds an MSc in Occupational Psychology from London Metropolitan University and a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Kent at Canterbury. She is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and a member of the British Psychological Society. 

She has two young children who are her most demanding clients yet. She is yet to figure out a technology solution to parenting.

About CykoMetrix – www.CykoMetrix.com

CykoMetrix is a leading edge combinatorial psychometric and human data analytics company that brings the employee assessment industry to the cloud, with instant assessments, in-depth analysis, trait measurements, and team-based reporting features that simplify informed decision-making around recruiting, training, and managing today’s modern workplace.

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