The Success Disconnect: Bridging the Gap Between Belief and Reality | DisruptHR Talks | Mike Erlin

Disrupt HR is a conference-style event that aims to ‘energise, inform and empower people in the HR field’. With 14 guests speaking for just 5 minutes each, the idea is for audience members to quickly discover new concepts.

Our Co-Founder & CEO, Mike Erlin, used his 5 minutes to talk about the disconnect between the capabilities line managers think the ideal candidate holds, and those that predict actual success in the role.

In his talk, Mike discusses AbilityMap’s research into ‘The X Factor’. This study deep-dived into how hiring decisions at a leading cloud-based software vendor drive business goal completion. The research identified a strong need for better balance between the two, whether that’s due to unconscious biases or incorrect assumptions about job requirements.

Mike uses his expertise in organisational dynamics and performance to shed light on the success disconnect. Bridging the gap between belief and reality, Mike presents a fascinating case study that explores the disparity between what managers believe drives success and the actual factors that lead to positive outcomes.

Watch the video below:


Mike Irwin, co-founder and ceo of Ability, Matt. Today, Mike is going to use his expertise in organizational dynamics and performance, and he will shed light on the success disconnect. Bridging the gap between belief and reality. Mike presents a fascinating case study that explores the disparity between what managers believe drives success and the actual factors that lead positive outcomes.

Welcome. Thank you very much.

We are each a result of our reaction to life’s experiences and observations. These form our personal preferences and they are our beliefs. The magic of success lies and understanding. They play both the villain and the hero when it comes to bridging the death. There are 8 billion people on this incredible spaceship with different perspectives and beliefs on this continent.

17 million Australians, uh, and I, uh, are working and I believe a good portion want to make it. One third of our life is spent sleeping. One third of our life is spent with others, uh, family, and one third of the life is spent working in. The main people want to do good and to be successful. Some see doing good as their purpose, and a lot of us believe that what we do actually defines it.

According to McKinsey, 62% of the global workforce is looking for purpose from their works. From the work that we do, and it actually is a gap when we flip the purpose lens to business. Unsurprisingly, CEOs have workforce as a priority in making growth happen in the digital age that are hiring retention and dir diverse de fit to culture is important.

Unfortunately, good, really just isn’t good enough. And our efforts to hire, uh, and retain a fit workforce is resulting in ones that are often exhausted and. What if our own beliefs and assumptions actually are the villain? The barriers preventing our people from better realizing their sense of purpose and business achieving their growth, and people achieving what they, what they need.

Within hiring decisions are assumptions and pol uh, beliefs are producing teams that don’t fit. Our culture often don’t deliver, and we often see our people struggling. We know our biases and subjective views cause us to incorrectly predict what a person is and what they can do. But when it comes to fit, the real villain of the root of the problem is incorrectly predicting what actually needs to be done.

Determining what a job needs and a person can do is the domain of the villain. Quantitative measures are easy, but they’re poor predictors. The performance factors are transferable skills and the human level of natural capability to do them. To tackle the assumption villain, we need to bridge the gap our between our beliefs, the reality of human performance and personal purpose.

Capability Frameworks provide the infrastructure by describing the human skills and as well as the jobs that apply to it. Job performance and work satisfaction markedly improved when our assumptions and our beliefs are applied within structured observation, informed by objective measurement of both the environment and the individual.

Just as different driving conditions require different skills, so do different environments and roles. Understanding the differences is key to unlocking high performance and improving our decision making process as in find and finding people that dig driving in the conditions in which we’re asking.

Let’s look at a real world example of two global software vendors. Both companies had market leading talent acquisition teams and experienced managers, yet they faced the one third problem amongst their sales teams ability. Map surveyed all of the sales managers to find out what they thought drove performance in these sales roles.

In one company, we received 41 participants and 41 different points of view as to what performance is, and they can’t all be correct. The company salespeople then completed our capability assessment. And we produced the strongest common capabilities that exist in the top 10% over a two year stack ranking.

These were the company’s X factor sales capabilities, and it was very different to what managers wanted. We completed the same process for that other Australian software company. However, their top performers held very different capabilities, um, abilities, um, different capability sets. Environment dictates the performance criteria.

We then applied the X factor to the existing team of 300 to understand the current fit. 44% of the team maintained inherent friction to applying the X factor capabilities. Sometimes good just isn’t good enough when a business applies objective science and rigor to define success, they earn the right to have genuine conversations with their people about how well they fit a culture and a role.

The world’s got a lot of people on it, and ultimately we want to stay healthy and do good. Our belief is that work is the perfect opportunity to, close the gap to success so that businesses could grow and people can enjoy and achieve their sense of purpose.

Thank you.

Related Posts

See AbilityMap in Action

Request a demo to learn how we can redefine the future of work together.​

Sign up for a AbilityMap free trial!

Free Tour Sign Up
Please enter your business email address. This form does not accept addresses from @.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.