What if Business Took Personality Tests? Would you want a Pizza this?

Ah, football, pizza, personality tests, brand, business. Not much in common? You’ll see. Chances are, at some point in your career you have filled out a personality test. Some companies even give them as a basis for employment. Back in 2008, 40 percent of members responding to an American Management Association survey indicated that they use testing to hire. (Imagine that’s even greater today). Much of that was about thinking skills and job aptitude but even then personality testing was on the rise.

During the same timeframe, another survey found that 40 percent of the Fortune 100 used some form of psychological testing. (Whew, makes one glad to have passed the test, huh?) Today, Wharton professor Adam Grant claims that 89 of the Fortune 100 all use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

Some people can rattle off their MBTI  at will. It is the most widely known of all the tests, but it’s not the only one. When I was in grad school, we were all schooled in Birkman. Yet another version in a leadership course had each of us pegged as animal types.

I don’t know about you, but no matter what the test, it never ceases to amaze me how dead-on they can be – even the shortened, quick quiz versions currently making their way around Facebook. From what Disney character you are (uh, the grown up one, I think), to what character you are on any number of popular shows. While there have been arguments against the use of personality tests for employment, when the stakes aren’t so high and/or choice is involved, people do seem to have fun with them.

Maybe it’s the whole “New Year, New Beginning” state-of-mind that is drawing so many to take, repost and report on those quizzes lately in the very public social media world, but there it is, your quick-look personality compilation staring back at you like the whole world knew before you did. Okay, yes, I admit it can be intriguing. I actually did the MBTI quick quiz recently and posted the result. For me, the fun part was finding those kindred spirits with the same traits, not so much thinking how I might manage a relationship differently due to the newfound wisdom about someone who apparently doesn’t fall in the same sandbox. I mean, I don’t know what to do with a guy who claims to be Chewbacca.

But this all makes me wonder — what would happen if we were able to turn the tests around? Would you want to know the unofficial, official “personality” of your company or one you want to join? Would the world of work be any different if businesses had to do personality tests? And who would do them? I mean, the leadership team might have a different perspective than, say, the new hire; the HR team different than the frontline; and we all know Marketing somehow manages to see the world differently than Sales, right? But those darn tests have found a way to be incredibly accurate so some smart researcher could surely figure this out.

Of course, there are firms that conduct surveys of various businesses and get a pulse for how in-tune the top is with how the employees are feeling. And people like me regularly consult with organizations who want consistency in their brand, particularly from a message perspective. And others do study corporate cultures. And brand firms get a lot of money to help you figure out your brand personality. But, hey, why keep that to yourself? Shouldn’t there be a free, quick-test for company personality? One that they can’t wait to share on their social media sites?

So while we are all having fun with those silly yet insightful personality tests, I thought I’d have a little fun with one for organizational personality. Which brings me to pizza. Did you know Super Bowl Sunday is one of the 5 best sales days for pizza, according to Pizza Today? So maybe a little comparison to pizza brands would be fun.

Lookover the list below. Which one most sounds like your company? Are you brave and proud enough to repost? Join in. Chow down. Sure, get a beer if you want. Maybe you’ll even come up with the questions we would need to ask in such a test. Or for now, just figure out which pizza brand your company is most like.

Who knows, maybe someone will actually come up with a quick business persona quiz that we all want a ‘pizza.’

If Our Business Were Like Pizza, We Would Be:

  • Papa ain’t on the Prairie – At our company, we go big or go home. Our CEO is the brand. We are the rest of the team. If it is worth making, it is worth fighting for. This is family and our secret sauce is thicker than water. We have a right to believe our product is and always will be #1. We’ll bring it home! Go team!
  • Don’t Tear Down the Roof – Sure, we’ve seen competitors come and go. But if it’s under our roof, we got it goin’ on. Even when the rain must fall, we’ll be here. I mean, haven’t we always been? You don’t come to our house looking for anything different, do you? We’re the sure thing. Come on over!
  • Hey, no more 30 or free from me – Yeah, your org has made mistakes. Probably incentivized some practices that just didn’t pan out, but we’ve got a new flavor of the month for you and we’ll guarantee the quality this time, not the speed. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll just keep adding on the goodies until you can’t resist the price per temptation. Ah, sweet!
  • Two-fer, two-fer and cheap, cheap – Hey, we don’t claim to be the best, but we’ll make sure you don’t part with too much of your hard earned dollars. We can get you all the product you need, heck we’ll give you double or nothing. Little man will spin around thinking there’s two of you coming and going. And that cheap, cheap just keeps repeat, repeat!
  • Papa don’t preach, we can catch you with raw talent – We’re the new guy on the block, relatively speaking. And we’ve got a novel idea. We can make just as much by serving up our product in its unfinished state. Let someone else do the thing that’s not central to our core. We’ll rake in the dough with half the reach of the big boys. Ah, innovation!

So, what will you be serving up this year?


About csrtrans

President/Senior Consultant & Global PR professional. CSR Transformations, Ltd. offers a consortium of independent consultants from around the world providing contracted expertise in Communications, Public Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility.
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