C-Suite Insights: Organizing People Management with Theories & Tools

I meet business leaders from all over the world who have advice, stories and personal tips for the business world. Periodically, I sit down with these leaders and give them the opportunity to provide current business advice and share personal stories as a business leader.

I’d like to introduce you to a thought leader who has certainly challenged my way of thinking. Dr. Brian Glibkowski is the founder and CEO of sixQ Software. He's discovered a way that lets you assess what's going on with the people in your workforce. They call it a next-generation assessment platform. Brian brings more than 15 years in the areas of organizational behavior and human resource management, as a professor, author and consultant with large companies by helping them be more effective successful. He specializes in assessment, measurement and evaluation.

What are the six Qs?

They are the six questions we all know: what, why, how, when, where, and who. We learned them in kindergarten. We don't really know them often times in a systematic way. I conducted some research on these questions. They're basically a way to think through your important business models to make sure you ask and answer all the questions.

What is evidence-based management?

First we must ask, where does evidence-based management come from? — From Canada, of course. Actually, in McGill University in the 1980’s, they noticed medical school doctors were not always using evidence.

The teaching of evidence-based medicine was then implemented as a whole program at McGill University and expanded around the world.

In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, management adopted the idea of evidence-based management. It hasn't quite proliferated the way it has in medicine. Particularly in academic circles, there's a big push for this to use the best available evidence within management.

Is evidence concrete or opinion? What’s included in evidence, and what’s not?

Evidence often includes strategy in regards to ‘people issues.’ It involves ideas, attitudes and behaviors. They are often very qualitative, and very important. When referring to evidence-based management, we try to systematically assess these qualitative things. Attitude is performance.

In the area of soft skills or soft assessments, we try to make those hard assessments. Basically, we look for something observable and measurable that can be reported on.

Is consciousness or intelligence a better predictor of work performance?

One of the most strategic decisions is who we hire. We have two bases to hire someone:

1. The conscientious person.

2. The intelligent person.

Of course it's not always an either/or decision. Which basis are we going to weigh more heavily? The answer is, evidence base is going to be a much better predictor of how somebody performs in their job. Intelligence is a better predictor of job performance.



The first thing we talk about is People Frameworks. There are a lot of different frameworks. Look at the different frameworks and the idea when you think of important decisions. Each company may have one or two — like if you look at a bullseye. One or two of these could have been at the center of the bullseye that they're really focusing on.

Framework is an idea about a topic – like leadership or mentoring, but it's very loose. What you want to do in developing a framework is systemically organize how you think about a topic. We published research on how these six questions can structure any framework. When you look at mentoring, you might start with what outcomes are important. Mentoring often times improves the job performance of the mentee. Mentoring in turn improves employee satisfaction, and you should document them. What is your framework if you think those are the outcomes? Second, what mentoring strategies drive those outcomes?

Social support, career development and role modeling are believed to be three central strategies for mentors. Next, look at why the outcomes occur. Think through what mentoring strategy specifically causes an outcome. Gather evidence around this and look at it in more hardened way.


The next question is "How?" Think of mentoring strategies. For example, social support is a great strategy. You want to know how the strategies are implemented.

If a mentor says "Yes, I want to provide social support," they want to also understand "Well, how do I do it?" Think through the various initiatives and tactics to accomplish that.

When and Where?

When and where is the context? A company may ask themselves, “Does mentoring vary depending on the age of the mentor and the mentee?” Does it vary depending on job function? Does it vary depending on country? Start thinking about this in a much more contingent way.


Finally, with the framework is "Who?" Who needs to understand the strategies and tactics? With mentoring, it's going to be the mentors and maybe – to some extent – the mentees. For example, take role modeling. Often times mentors don't explicitly understand that they need to be role models. With all the good stuff they're doing and all the examples they could provide, they don't do it.

Framework in a Nutshell

It's simply because they haven't thought about it. This is the framework in a nutshell. When you have this framework in place, this allows you to see the picture of what mentoring is. Subsequently, you can use this framework to then collect and gather data around it to get the evidence.

Then we bring this to bear here in this beautiful matrix we have.

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