How the Invisible Becomes Visible

Prior to 1608, stargazers relied on a keen eye and a dark night to chart the celestial realms.



Prior to 1608, stargazers relied on a keen eye and a dark night to chart the celestial realms. But thanks to the creativity and curiosity of a Dutch eyeglass maker named Hans Lippershey, we have telescopes. Today, the powerful Hubble telescope takes incredibly sharp images of distant galaxies from its moving perch 350 miles above.

For far too long, humanity made do with incremental gains as it strived to make the invisible visible. Now, with the advent of new analytical tools, often called “big data” and sometimes “predictive analytics,” science is again bringing clarity to what was once obscure. Human behavior—specifically, human behavior inside groups—is being subjected to the sharp eye of analysis. The aim of this analysis is to find the right person for the right role inside an organization. But instead of examining job candidates through the blurred lenses of the past, Korn Ferry has approached the problem by harnessing the power of analysis.

KF4D (Korn Ferry’s Four Dimensional Executive Assessment) transforms the firm’s powerful storehouse of executive knowledge from static to active. Instead of simply warehousing data, KF4D is capable of conducting “live” assessments and making predictive judgments based on years of research and the results of Korn Ferry’s assessments of 2.5 million people. It does this in data-rich ways while presenting that data in visually rich ways. KF4D marries art and science with highly disciplined analytics in an intuitively insightful way.

This three-part report explains the evolution of predictive analytics as an important tool in the identification of talent and the rise of the agile leaders. It will also show how cultural fit trumps experience in evaluating talent and developing tomorrow’s highest performers.

Korn Ferry’s four dimensions of leadership and talent framework:


The skills and behaviors required for success. Competencies can be observed in others, and they can be assessed, tested and taught.


Assignments or roles that prepare an individual for future opportunities. They are life and work incidents that develop a person in measurable ways.


Individual inclinations, aptitudes and natural tendencies that are inherent in a person. These often include intellectual capacity as well as their personality traits.


Values and interests that influence a person’s career path, including their motivation and engagement, and shape the way they make decisions.

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