People & Behaviour

The Application of Psychometrics in Continuous Improvement

To gain a better understanding of the cognitive, behavioural and emotional dimension of effective CI practitioners and leaders.

Collaborators involved:
Thomas International, TBC


What is Psychometrics?

The design, administration and interpretation of quantitative tests for the measurements of psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, motivation and personality.

  • Ability – Refers to an individual’s cognitive ability or fluid intelligence. Considered to be static and unchanging throughout time.
  • Personality – An individual’s characteristic patterns of behaviour –or how they prefer to behave at work

General Proposition

  • The LCS focuses on practical competency – using tools and techniques to improve processes.
  • There is an implicit element in this competency concerned with behaviour, communication & motivation –> ‘lean management’ has developed to  cover these .
  • There has been a significant growth of CI practitioner managers in organisations – arguably, it’s now a profession
  • Lean requires that these practitioners act as teachers and coaches
  • “How to lead and do lean?” – > a key question now being asked
  • There is also the notion that  ‘everyone should be a lean thinker’ (a problem-solver).
  • Organisations should have an interest in selecting people with the right attributes for lean roles:
    • Critical for improving the impact of lean programmes.
    • Important for lean leadership development
    • Coaching skills.
  • Do organisations have sufficient understanding of the attributes of a ‘good’ lean practitioner and a ‘good’ lean leader?
    • Probably not…so there is (arguably) a gap waiting to be filled

Research Approach

Research Questions

  • How do effective Lean/CI practitioners/leaders behave at work?
  • What are their strengths and limitations, communication styles, ability to self-manage and what are their motivation triggers?
  • What are the cognitive aptitudes of an effective Lean/CI practitioner/leader?
  • What are the emotional capabilities required to be an effective Lean/CI practitioner/leader (Emotional intelligence…)
  • How might these compare with ‘traditional leadership’ attributes and motivations?
  • How might differences affect the relationship and therefore effectiveness with other ‘business leaders’ or board members i.e. the ones who can, and often do, pull the plug?

Research Method

Review of current practices and data collection:

  • Exploratory research (Go See) with known, ‘effective’ practitioners in conjunction with some unstructured interviews.
  • Use CI staff as respondents; selection process to ensure effective practitioners are identified.
  • Respondents complete a range of psychometric assessments eg Personal Profile Analysis, General Intelligence Assessment, etc
  • Aggregate data, identify trends and common factors
  • Selected personal interviews

Research Network to Design & Deliver

  • Recruit LCS accredited organisations and Thomas International clients to form a research network.
  • Members subscribe to a fixed term programme – fee covers all costs of delivery. The cost will depend on the nature of the final research plan and the number of members involved; indicative fee range – £2, 500 to £10,000.
  • Members offer staff as respondents – to provide data
Research Network Benefits
  • First access to results
  • New knowledge leads to more effective CI recruitment
  • Improved communication
  • Better motivation and engagement of CI staff
  • Identify areas for development of CI staff
  • Improved performance management of CI staff
  • Improved Lean/CI implementation within the organisation
Research Network Outputs
  • Articles –from website blogs to peer reviewed academic papers
  • Workshops, ongoing networks (research continuation)
  • Webinars
  • Guides
  • Diagnostics


Project length: 6 to 12 months (TBA)

Start: Q2/3 2019 (TBA)

Involvement & Next Steps

  1. Submit a Contact Form (below) with an expression of interest in involvement
  2. Potential members meet to consider the proposition, discuss options, decide focus and direction
  3. Formal proposal made & sign up commitment (or withdraw)
  4. Project initiation meeting
  5. Research delivery


Sponsor this project or collaborate

LERC welcomes and encourages research collaboration, so contact us for a discussion.

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