Korn Ferry Research 2014 - Self Awareness

An August 2013 report - ABetter Return on Self-Awareness - by the world's largest executive search firm, Korn/Ferry, found - following research with 7,000 people in 500 companies - that “public companies with a higher rate of return (ROR) also employ professionals who exhibit higher levels of self-awareness.”

One of the Korn/Ferry authors explains: “self-awareness is not a soft skill, a nice-to-have.  It’s playing out in your bottom line. This is about leadership effectiveness.”

The research also found that:

     Companies with the greater percentage of self-aware employees consistently outperformed those with a lower percentage. (Stock performance was tracked over thirty months, from July 2010 through January 2013).

     Poor-performing companies’ employees were 79 percent more likely to have low overall self-awareness than those at firms with robust rate of return.

     Poorly performing companies’ employees had 20 percent more blind spots than those working at financially strong companies.

     People with fewer blind spots had improved performance, as well as greater satisfaction.

Above: Korn/Ferry research shows impact of high self-awareness on stock returns

The report concludes: “In the constant drive for competitive advantage, it turns out that helping employees to better understand themselves and fostering a culture of healthy feedback could also help to improve an organization’s overall performance.” 

Research using this psychological assessment has shown that reflection, discussion and related practices even over a short period - 10 weekly sessions - can see a shift in a person’s growing edge as new capacities emerge, compared to a control group that is engaged in other practices that aren’t deliberately transformative.