The Sacred Cow of Organizational Development Reaches an Inflection Point

What are the Next Steps for the MBTI in Corporate America?

 

Lillian Cunningham reported recently in the Washington Post how the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has become one of the most influential and popular assessements over the past five decades, and will be taken by approxiately 2 million people annually, primarily in corporate America, academia, and the military.

However, with its family namesake, Katherine Myers, stepping back from the foundation that oversees the MBTI, we have to wonder what the leadership will do. What new research directions will be taken? Will it lead to changes in the MBTI or expansion into other areas that help leaders and managers build teams and improve communications in organizations?

Read on for more and share your reactions below…

Some grandmothers pass down cameo necklaces. Katharine Cook Briggs passed down the world’s most widely used personality test.

Chances are you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or will. Roughly 2 million people a year do. It has become the gold standard of psychological assessments, used in businesses, government agencies and educational institutions. Along the way, it has spawned a multimillion-dollar business around its simple concept that everyone fits one of 16 personality types.

Now, 50 years after the first time anyone paid money for the test, the Myers-Briggs legacy is reaching the end of the family line. The youngest heirs don’t want it. And it’s not clear whether organizations should, either.

That’s not to say it hasn’t had a major influence.

More than 10,000 companies, 2,500 colleges and universities and 200 government agencies in the United States use the test. From the State Department to McKinsey & Co., it’s a rite of passage. It’s estimated that 50 million people have taken the Myers-Briggs personality test since the Educational Testing Service first added the research to its portfolio in 1962.

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About the Author Bill Ringle

Bill Ringle is a CEO, former Apple exec, published author, and angel investor. Through Grow Business Now, he offers strategies and tools to elevate growth for executives and entrepreneurs from more than 46 industries. Bill has conducted nearly 200 podcast interviews on My Quest for the Best, where industry and business leaders share their secrets to success.

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