Written by Abe Maingi, Senior Analyst, Kineticos
With the NFL draft just being completed and the NBA draft forthcoming, I’ve been spending some time thinking about objective vs. subjective evaluation. Both are utilized in most evaluation processes but I’d like to compare the two as they relate to my interests: Sports and Biotech.
Starting with sports, the first way draft prospects are evaluated is in an objective manner. The players are measured and evaluated athletically to see how they stack up to their competition (height, weight, speed, vertical jump, etc.). They are compared to their draft peers, current players, and statistical programs that project performance. Prospects are also evaluated by their production in college. If a player performed at a high level in college, that typically bodes well for their professional endeavors. This type of evaluation is factual; there is no denying how tall somebody stands or how high one can jump.
Evaluating draft prospects through a subjective lens is arguably more useful but rife with confirmation bias. It is rather difficult to measure attributes such as toughness, work ethic, response to adversity, and how a player handles both money and pressure. These are often the characteristics that separate good performers from elite performers. However, these characteristics are open to interpretation, as many organizations have differing opinions on what “toughness” means to them.
With my other passion being my work, I wanted to also look at how biotechs utilize both methods of evaluation.
The objective method of evaluation is obviously critical to the success of an organization. Ensuring that a team or function hits their targets is paramount to the success of the firm. Evaluating a business unit or team member through the lens of a data driven, objective approach can give valuable insight on whether they are performing at, below, or above the level of expectations.
The subjective method is crucial as well (and more likely to be overlooked). There are many instances of candidates fitting in objectively on paper (excellent academic background, superb technical skills, great references) but not meshing with the rest of the organization. While somebody may look great objectively, that does not mean he or she will fit in with your organizational culture.
As organizations become more data drive in their decision making, it’s critical to weigh these objective measurements as well as subjective factors when making decisions, whether its to hire a potentially superstar executive, or to re-organize a poorly performing business unit.
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Abe Maingi, Senior Analyst, is responsible for the delivery of customized solutions to clients across the life science ecosystem. Mr. Maingi’s analytical mindset and problem solving skills help him execute on client engagements ranging from market research, strategy, and operational excellence.