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What is SIMA®?

The System for Identifying Motivated Abilities® (SIMA®) is a proprietary, non-psychological, qualitative process for clearly identifying a person’s innate giftedness—their motivated strengths, interests, contextual circumstances, preferred roles, and motivational drives.

Using SIMA®, we can demonstrate that every person has been endowed with a uniquely motivated and purposeful behavioral pattern. When people live and work in accordance with their pattern, they experience remarkably productive and meaningful lives.

The SIMA® process involves an in-depth interview in which a candidate tells us about activities they have done in life that they enjoyed doing and did well, beginning in childhood all the way to the present. We then analyze those stories to discover the unique motivational pattern of the person. We call that a Motivated Abilities Pattern (MAP®).

The Motivated Abilities Pattern (MAP®)

A Motivated Abilities Pattern (MAP®) identifies five aspects of a person’s functioning:

  • the motivated abilities the person naturally and instinctively uses to accomplish anything that matters to him/her.
  • the subject matter that s/he most naturally works on, with, or through.
  • the circumstances or environmental conditions in which s/he thrives.
  • the roles and relationships s/he prefers to have relative to others.
  • the central motivational thrust or “payoff” that drives the person’s behavior.

A MAP® is very predictive in terms of career success and satisfaction. JobFitMatters® and SIMA® International have used MAPs® for more than 50 years and with thousands of organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit, to make strategic hires, improve organizational effectiveness, assemble and align teams, diagnose performance issues, develop up-and-coming leaders, and think through succession planning.

Based on that experience and research, we have found that a person’s MAP® is:

  • Enduring. The pattern emerges early in life and remains constant throughout life.
  • Irresistible. Regardless of environment or circumstance, a person’s pattern will express itself. If one’s work does not permit its expression, the person will seek to fulfill their pattern outside of work. Even if a job does not fully accommodate one’s pattern, the person will nonetheless attempt to perform the job in accordance with their MAP®. For example, an innovator will try to innovate. A detail-oriented person will continue to focus on details. A person who seeks recognition will concentrate on what gets attention from others.
  • Insatiable. People never satisfy or exhaust their motivation in an ultimate, final way, regardless of how often they have a chance to express it.
  • Explanatory. Once you understand the pattern of a person, you are able to account for why they perform as they do: what they find satisfying or frustrating; how they learn; how they make decisions; in what roles they will make their most successful contributions; who they need around them to be effective; how long they will stay motivated in a given assignment or job; even where they are vulnerable to failure.

The Power of Giftedness

At JobFitMatters® we take leverage and integrate the phenomenon of giftedness in the way we conduct executive searches for our clients.

  • What drives someone’s behavior?
  • What are they naturally and instinctively born to do?
  • And from the standpoint of selection: what happens if you hire a given person into a given role?

We can answer these questions because of our deep expertise in human giftedness. Giftedness is the inborn core strengths and natural motivation a person instinctively uses to do things that they find satisfying and productive. Giftedness is not just about what a person can do, but what they love to do, and indeed are born to do.

Every human being has his/her own giftedness. For one person, it’s the satisfaction of reaching a goal or completing a task. For someone else, it’s the triumph of solving a problem. To someone else, it’s being able to stand back and look at a finished product that they’ve built. For another, it’s getting others to respond to them and influencing their behavior. For still another, it’s all about having an exhaustive and encyclopedic knowledge about a particular subject. For yet another, it’s the instinct to take charge and lead the way.

Everyone has giftedness, and everyone’s giftedness is unique to them. We make that assertion as members of SIMA® International, which for more than 50 years has been studying giftedness and identifying it in hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world.

JobFitMatters® takes advantage of the phenomenon of giftedness in the way we conduct executive searches for our clients. We learn as much as we can about an organization and its needs for a given leadership role in order to determine what elements of giftedness a person would needs to possess to succeed in that organization and in that role. Then, when we have a qualified candidate, we assess the giftedness of the candidate and do an apples-to-apples comparison between the person and the position in order to evaluate the extent to which s/he is the “right” person for the job. In short, we can predict with uncanny accuracy what will happen if that candidate is hired into that position.

That process allows us to assess the value of any given person to an organization’s functioning and bottom line. It also enables us to help the organization maximize a person’s contribution by setting up the optimal conditions that their giftedness requires. The result for the organization is good fit and great performance. For the individual, it’s a sense of deep satisfaction and fulfillment as they live out their inherent design through the work the get to do.