I am always looking for methodologies and tools that will help me make organizational transformations smoother and more effective. About four months ago I was introduced to an incredible tool called the Hartman Value Profile (HVP). I’m impressed with the Hartman Value Profile for several reasons: 1) it’s an easy assessment for a person to take, 2) it can’t be gamed and 3) it’s scary accurate. While the input and output of the HVP are very straight forward, the concepts and science behind it are very complex. For this reason I’m going to devote my next several blog posting to the Hartman Value Profile.
The best way to start explaining what the HVP does is to put it in context with other assessment tools. The world of assessment tools are categorized in the following clusters:
- IQ Tests
- Emotional Balance Tests (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory)
- Personality Profiles (Myers-Briggs)
- Judgment/Decision-Making Capacity (Hartman Value Profile)
So the Hartman Value Profile measures a person’s or team’s capacity for good judgment – something none of these other tests do. Said another way, the HVP quantifies (and to a degree, qualifies) the decision-making judgment capacity of people and teams. This is an incredibly powerful concept.
When you apply the knowledge of how judgment decisions are made in an organizational transformation the success rate of that transformation skyrockets because now you understand “why”.
But the Hartman Value Judgment has implications far beyond organizational transformation and even beyond the workplace. If you understand why a person makes certain decisions or acts in a certain way then you can begin to understand the rationality behind their actions. I once read that no one makes an irrational decision. While a decision or action may seem irrational to you and your perspective, from their perspective, what they did was totally rational. Once you understand the “why” behind a person’s judgment capacity you can use the knowledge to better work with and communicate with that person.
It’s amazing what you learn about yourself, your colleagues or a team from spending 15 minute taking the Hartman Value Profile. Especially, since you never answer any personal questions – all you do is rank items based on how you feel about them. I am so impressed with the power of this assessment that I spent last week becoming certified in it. Even though the assessment is simple to take, and there is absolutely no way to game it. While the assessment itself is simple, the science behind it is incredibly complex. And I deliberately used the word “science”.
You can find loads of information on the Hartman Value Profile on the Internet, so I’ll only give a broad brush background on it here. The Hartman Value Profile was developed by Robert Hartman in the mid-1900s. “….Hartman was a logician and philosopher. His primary field of study was scientific axiology and he is known as the original theorist of the science of value. His axiology is the basis of the Hartman Value Inventory which is used in psychology to measure the character of an individual” (Wikipedia). In 1973, Hartman’s work was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
The assessment has been thoroughly validated by a variety of methods and institutions, so it isn’t snake-oil. The HVP has been validated using “concurrent validation” where outcomes from the HVP were correlated to the outcomes of other reputable and highly proven psychological tests that measure comparable behavioral patterns. Another validation study was done using a process called “construct validation”. This validation used a factor analysis to determine if the HVP does what it says it does – and yes it does. Beyond these two validations the HVP has also been validated by reputable researchers using strict scientific methodologies under the following areas: 1) cross-cultural validity, 2) clinical validity, 3) normative validity and 4) biomedical validity.
That’s all well and good you’re saying, but tell me more about what it does….ah, for that you’re going to have to read my next post. In this post I just wanted to set the stage and introduce the Hartman Value Profile, next time I’ll explain more about what it does.