Denkwerkstatt für Manager

Geschwill & Nieswandt


Measuring peak performance with the PEAK-A battery of tests

In cooperation with Dr. Peter Görlich and Prof. Dr. Jan Mayer, two proven football experts, Denkwerkstatt has developed the PEAK-A test procedure for managers. In order to be able to measure the top performance of managers in the future, we have combined our scientifically based management diagnostics with the data from the performance diagnostics of top sports. This makes PEAK-A more valid than all known procedures currently used in management diagnostics.

The PEAK-A explained in a nutshell:

PEAK-A is a test battery that combines four excellent test procedures in a single diagnostic tool. Four test procedures that are already being used very successfully in very different segments. For the measurement of top performance in management, the individual procedures were specifically further developed and modified in crucial points.

The central questions are:

_ What test instruments does the market offer and are they useful for measuring top management performance?

_ Can established measurement tools from elite sports be transferred to business?

The Denkwerkstatt has been working hard on these issues.

The answers are very simple:

Yes, there are many different ways of measuring performance - but most of them are based on an outdated idea of leadership and usually only measure a certain psychological area.

_ Yes,the measurement techniques used from sports can be combined to enable management of organizations to measure peak performance.

Implementation idea:

In the sense of Gestalt psychology: The whole is more than the sum of all parts ...
We measure top performance on the level of motivational scales from top sport, personality, leadership competence and language impact together, collect corresponding data and evaluate - with the aim of enabling meaningful and comprehensive personnel development.

What exactly is behind PEAK-A?

The PEAK-A test battery consists of four procedures, which thus allow a comprehensive view from Management & Sport:

Lateral Culture Index (LCI) the Denkwerkstatt, which measures the performance potential of contemporary leadership.

Motivation scales from top-class sport, which measure performance motives from elite sports that are also relevant for managers.

One based on the construct of the BIG FIVE Personality Model based test

On the AI-based speech impact analysis..

The items of the 4 tests are checked for measurement accuracy (reliability) and validity in the management area, especially with regard to their informative value for top performance. There are benchmarks from top management for the individual tests so that there is comparability with other top performers. All scales have been newly developed in the last 10 years and are therefore up-to-date.

What distinguishes PEAK-A from previous methods?


First of all, there are the methods that claim to have something to do with the perception typology of the psychoanalyst C.G. Jung: MBTI, DISG, Golden Profile, INSIGHTS, STAB, etc. The documents show average correlations of measurement accuracy and quality. The basic concept was already developed in the 1930s and then further developed as the 4 Factor Model of Personality.

What the sellers of these tests fail to mention is the lack of product validity. Has leadership not evolved since the 1930s? What company today still needs a "rule through" at the top? Not to mention the fact that the idea of promoting top executives exclusively according to personality types is rejected by academic personality researchers.

We continue with the STAB model at CONECTA. It is fascinating at first, but unfortunately does little for management development. It says nothing about top performance.

More exciting are the U.S. methods including REISS Profile and HOGAN.

REISS is not used for top performance, HOGAN is a method that was developed in the 1980s. It is used especially in executive search to fill top positions. The product has a high face validity - this means that those who fill top positions in companies consider it useful. HR managers in organizations, according to our interviews, turn away from HOGAN because it is too bureaucratic and a typical US expensive franchise system. It was also initiated and developed in the 1980s, but based on an old management model.

page10image41677760Then there is the 360° feedback. Measurement accuracy and validity may apply to the items, but not to product validity. The problem with this method is the assumption of self-directed self-awareness. Subjects choose their raters and the result is interpreted either by themselves or with a coach.

We have worked with many already established 360° feedbacks and used them in management development. One advantage of these procedures is that they are known and accepted by many managers and can be adapted to competence models of a company.


Properly usable for measuring top performance at the highest level, none of these methods is. If companies want to strive for excellence, they need balanced instruments for personnel development at the highest level.

How do companies benefit from PEAK-A?

With PEAK-A, an innovative instrument has been developed that could determine the future of personnel development. Average was yesterday. Today, in a rapidly changing world, what counts for companies is top performance. Like all successful projects, this starts from the top.

What can PEAK-A do for companies?

> Individual development of top executives

Top executives discover their opportunities to further improve their personal top performance. They receive feedback for key management areas. All results are compared with benchmarks from more than 100 companies.

> Promotion of young talent in the company

Future-oriented diagnostic instruments are needed to identify the next generation of top managers. The PEAK-A test battery is the first such instrument of top diagnostics for executives.

> Leadership assessment as 180°-360° feedback

The PEAK-A test battery improves every feedback system in companies. The scientifically evaluated dimensions replace previous management tests and feedback procedures.

What does the implementation look like?

_ The tests and the feedback of the results take place online via an LMS, the evaluation discussions via teams or similar procedures.

_ Participants complete a total of only 150 items (30 ́) and conduct an interview with an avatar (15 ́).

_ This is followed by a personal evaluation interview with Dr. Roland Geschwill or Dr. Martina Nieswandt (90 ́).

_ At 135 ́, the time investment for a test-based management diagnostic on the basis described above is just over 2 hours for implementation, expert opinion preparation, and evaluation.

_ As a rule, participants develop two to three goals to improve their performance as top managers.

_ For the external evaluation of the peer groups, we also have a dimension evaluation available for the LCI® and the motivational scales, which is less time-consuming than the more detailed version. Employees could thus do a self-assessment in the dimensions and tell us their coworker or boss who also assesses the dimensions.

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"Practice should be the result of reflection, not the other way around."
Hermann Hesse (1877-1962)