Lunchtime Links: A Pop Quiz on Tests and Surveys

Insight into the Myers-Briggs personality test. Plus: What’s the answer to all these association surveys?

Whether you’re an extrovert, whether you’re “emotional,” or whether you think only with your head—these things can matter in a day-to-day work environment. At least, that’s what Katharine Cook Myers and Isabel Briggs, inventors of the Myers-Briggs personality test thought. Does your work use the Myers-Briggs personality test? Just how did it start, anyway?

That and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Type A: Ever wonder how the Myers-Briggs personality test came about? An article in the Washington Post profiles the test, which came from two women in the 1940s who were trying to “use personality testing as a way to identify women’s job proclivities on the basis of innate character traits rather than prior professional experience.” Now, the test—though scientifically questioned—is widely used as an employee assessment tool to help create training programs and fix other work environment issues, such as seeing if a collaborative environment would be a good idea for coworkers, or if someone might be cut out for a leadership position.

Survey says: Are your members feeling inundated with surveys? Perhaps your approach is all wrong. That’s what Eric Lanke of the National Fluid Power Association suggests, at the very least. He encourages a simplification of the survey and a more transparent response. “The next time you’re uncertain of a direction, send out a poll with one question and a finite number of options. And when the responses come in, do something you’ve probably never done before. Post the results,” he says. Beyond that, Lanke suggests emphasizing that you’ll actually do something with the results, rather than simply taking the advice for later. By being willing to act on the information, the association will be able to encourage further comments.

The hub: Google is known for giving its employees 20 percent of its time to do “anything they want,” with the idea that the freedom sparks creativity. It looks like LinkedIn is (kind of) following suit with the new LinkedIn [in]cubator. The new idea, written about on the LinkedIn Blog, allows employees to come up with an idea, put together a team, and pitch their project to the executive staff once a quarter. If the project is approved, the team members can then spend up to three months making their dream come true. Would your association try out an experiment like this to spark creativity?

What are you reading over lunch? Tell us your best links in the comments.


Chloe Thompson

By Chloe Thompson

Chloe Thompson is a contributing writer to Associations Now. MORE

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