about ssca

The following articles give background information on the LPMA and PCM models:

Wisdom in Action
Think like a company who acts. Act like a company who thinks.

By Bradford F. Spencer, Ph.D.

We all seek wisdom as a guiding standard to align our decisions, especially the tougher the decision, the more wisdom we call upon. Wisdom in the marketplace derives from making practical but tough decisions that produce maximum results, regardless of the circumstances or dilemmas involved.

As we continue to consult with clients in making difficult decisions easier by guiding a greater awareness in their own behaviors, clients increase focus on taking responsibility, concentrated intelligence, and accurately measuring a firm’s achievement. This improved clarity of perception along with effectively assessing your firm’s position in the business world to engage in higher standards, SSCA aptly titles, “Wisdom in Action.”

We see our task as encouraging clients to recognize the importance of clear awareness and understanding through the notion of holding a mirror to diagnose uncertainties. Be wise, be honest, and move forward with visibly defined goals for your firm’s own “Wisdom in Action.”

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The Leadership Chain: McClelland and his Legacy

By Bradford F. Spencer, Ph.D.

Leadership is a much written about topic. The popular business magazines and indeed, some rather well selling books are often focused on specific leaders. In America, we often deify or crucify our leaders, and our business leaders are no exception to this foible.

However, today’s research into the true causes of the patterns of what molds leaders does not focus on nearly enough. Certainly the scientific community looks down on the “research methodology.” The fact is the research often consists of interviews by business professors asking prominent captains of industry to speculate on why they are so different. To give credit where it is due, most executives admit they have no clue -- before they continue the dialogue to try to help the struggling researcher find the childhood incident which led to the drive that has set him or her apart. No wonder the conclusions are both suspect and not helpful to those asking what they do to improve themselves. This is where the approach of Dr. David McClelland differed so dramatically.

This series of articles is designed as a pre-reading for the workshop (Leadership Process: Motivating Achievement) designed to both explain and cover how to apply the extensive work of Dr. McClelland and his students.

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The History of the Process Communication Model in Astronaut Selection
By Scott Spencer

The process of selecting an astronaut is no easy task. The people who select the astronauts are choosing from the best of the best, physically and mentally. There are many factors that go into picking an astronaut besides the physical testing and background checks. One example of this is a little known tool NASA uses to find out which astronauts will be the most mentally strong and capable under situations of intense stress and pressure. It is called the Process Communication Model, or PCM. Developed by Dr. Taibi Kahler in 1972, PCM breaks down each person into 6 different personality types. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses, but none are necessarily better or worse. However, the data shows that one personality type in particular has a much higher percentage in the astronaut core than in the general population. The persister personality type is far more likely to succeed in the astronaut selection process as well as actual space travel than any other personality type due to their underlying drive to be perfect and to help others reach perfection, which ultimately has the effect of making NASA the best organization it can be.

Post-Mortems - Are you sure you want to engage - can you afford not to?
By Tom Shenk

Why are they so important? What is the bottom-line? The answer - if a post-mortem is conducted well it allows for:
  • An organization to capture important learning from goal directed activity that supports an "achievement aroused organization climate." For an organization to operate at a high standard of performance it must have active, candid, and open feedback systems. A process of post-mortems is part of that system.
  • People (learn) to take more responsibility for outcomes.