As I mentioned in a previous post, the Birkman Method® Data at the heart of your hoozyu™ package underwent a major upgrade at the beginning of this year. If you took the Questionnaire before January 9th, 2012, you won’t have seen your Areas of Interest or Grid change, but you might see big changes in Org Focus and Career Families.

Not a Short Yellow Bar Not a Short Yellow Bar

The big change is that your Career data is now worked out in a much more fine-grained way. The way you answered the Questionnaire (really: question by question) is now compared with people from each of 207 specific career roles, who have previously had at least 3 years in those specific roles AND who have indicated that they enjoyed high levels of job satisfaction while in those roles. So your scores in this area are highly indicative of the likelihood that you would succeed in, and enjoy, these roles. (But, as ever, they are NOT telling you what to do. That is a decision for you to make; these scores give you things to think about!)

Here, however, is one by-product of this change: some people now get Org Focus bars that are very short. I mean… very, very , very short. Take a pencil. Sharpen it. Pressing lightly, draw a short line segment. Yes, that narrow.

So what does this mean? If you have these super invisible Organizational Focus Bars, are you a person with no discernible strengths and giftings? Should you prepare for a life of unemployability? Is all hope lost? Are paragraphs comprising nothing but questions annoying?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. (Except for the last one. Yes, paragraphs comprising nothing but questions are extremely annoying. Sorry…)

The new Org Focus scores are a measure of how strongly typical you are of ALL the different career titles which are classified under a particular colour. So if you have a long Blue Bar, we know we can drop you into just about any creative or idea-oriented environment and you will have a (blue) whale of a time. If you have a long Red Bar, then ditto just about any operational or technical environment. Long Green, yes to just about any sales or comms environment and Long Yellow, ditoo just about any admin or systems environment.

So what does a super duper short bar mean? It DOESN’T mean that there are NO Blue (or Red or whatever colour) type environments that will suit you. It means you might have one or two high individual matches within that colour family, but cancelled out by other very low matches.

Now you will have to take this next bit on trust, unless you want half an hour of explanation of data structures: “All short Org Focus Bars” almost certainly means that you can’t tell from your report what your highest individual career title matches are. That is the bad news; if it is any comfort, this may well be true for many of those who have reasonably long bars too. It is simply because in the pdf Job Families Report, your results are sorted by Job Family first, then Career Title. Your highest individual matches will be listed, but they could be surprisingly far down the list of Families. My digging through the data suggests this happens all the time if you have very short bars.

This seems quite an important deficit to me; I have suggested to Birkman some ways this could be addressed. However, I am currently working on a simple online report that will allow you to see your highest scores in context. So for example, my highest score is not from my highest Job Family. I have a maximum 99 on a Job Title which comes from a Family for which I only have a 48. I never would have guessed that Chef / Head Cook was my strongest job match from my report, because the FoodService Job Family is way down my listing (I might have guessed from all the times I wished I could just open a restaurant, or the fact that I cook to relax). My next two highest Job Titles are from even lower-ranking Job Families

Does this matter, especially if – as I keep saying – these scores aren’t telling you what to do? Well, yes, for the simple reason that especially if you have all short Org Focus Bars, you aren’t likely to slip easily from one role to another; there are probably some very specific areas in which you might shine and it therefore makes sense to at least know what those look like.

So watch this space, and if you would like to be one of the first to get this data, contact me at, along with your name and Birkman ID (usually G followed by 5 other characters).