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DT’s Tower: Divergent, Profiling and Talent Dynamics

I recently went to see the film “Divergent” in the cinema.  The plot in summary:

“In a futuristic dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions: Abnegation (selfless), Amity (peaceful), Candor (truthful), Erudite (intelligent) and Dauntless (brave), based on their personalities. Beatrice Prior is in Abnegation, the faction that looks after the poor and the factionless, as well as runs the government; though she has always been fascinated by Dauntless.

Young 16-year old citizens have undergone aptitude test using a serum to indicate which faction they would really fit and which they would need to choose on the Choosing Ceremony.   Beatrice’s test has resulted different attributes of several factions (Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless), which means she is Divergent. Since Divergent people can think independently and government cannot conform their thinking, they are considered threats to the social orders. These are the reasons why she needs to keep her true test results a secret.”

The film deals with one of the big objections to profiling, individuality and conformity.  How can a test capture the unique characteristics of an individual?  Can you really reduce a person to a category?

The short answers are “it can’t” and “you can’t”.  But underlying these questions is a more powerful question.  “Why take a profile test in the first place?”

In the film the answer is because that is how society is ordered.  On the surface this does seem like a good idea, and fits with Talent Dynamics’s philosophy.  People doing what they are good at are more productive and happier.  If you can understand yourself to a greater depth, you will grow.

Now, in our society it is not compulsory to take a profile test.  So why take one?  Again it is down to understanding yourself and others.  In Talent Dynamics it is about finding out your route to Flow, a route to a more focused, productive and stress-less work/life.

The film’s profile offers no recognition of individuality.  If you don’t conform to one of the profile types (or Factions) then you are dangerous as the profile is there to control you and society.

And this is where people often get unstuck.  The Talent Dynamics profile is not an end point but a starting point.  It’s not trying to put you in a box.  Here’s why:

  1. Your profile is made up of characteristic ‘energies’ Dynamo (Creativity), Blaze (People), Tempo (Timing) and Steel (Information).  Within the profile is an energy frequency or mix as EVERYONE is different they will have a different mix of these energies.  The profile is simply a trend towards the strongest energy.
  2. Sometimes a profile will resonate with you more strongly than the test result.  A profile debrief with a Talent Dynamics consultant can help challenge the results and unpick why you are drawn to another profile.  It could just be that the profile is wrong!
  3. The profile describes how you work, not who you are.  I am a Lord in a creative industry… doesn’t mean that I can’t be creative but my approach is more methodical and slow than a Creator (though I have quite a bit of Dynamo in my profile).  Your profile can help you find a role you are better suited to OR let you explore different ways of working to the strengths of your profile that will naturally help you into Flow.
  4. Although many people who take the Talent Dynamics profile test have an ‘a-ha’ moment when they get their results, the profile is not a quick fix or a one shot answer.  It is a road map that can help you learn more about what makes you tick, guide you through challenging situations or when making important decisions.

Oh … and the film is pretty good too! 🙂

How about you?  Do you try and conform to the Talent Dynamics profile or are you ‘divergent’?  How do you approach this?

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