Introducing Personas

Korn Ferry’s new framework offers a simple starting point for describing people.

When determining the right fit, sometimes an occasion calls for a custom-tailored suit, with carefully measured dimensions. Other times, a close estimate—say, a small, medium, or large t-shirt—is easier and more effective for the situation.

Like clothing, personality feedback can come in a carefully measured fit or a more general one. And like sizing, the preferred approach will depend on the purpose. Conventional personality feedback is powerful, but complex. Korn Ferry’s personas, however, offer a simplified view of personality—much like a small, medium, or large t-shirt.

In its latest paper, Korn Ferry’s Personas, the Korn Ferry Institute introduces a new framework of eight personas that gives a simpler alternative to understanding personality. Personas, like other personality typologies, provide broad descriptions with a high level of abstraction, enabling a more manageable, less detailed set of personality insights that people can use to understand themselves and others. Their descriptive power make them well-suited for individual self-awareness and development, as they lay a foundation for deeper and broader feedback on personality in the workplace.

However, personas should not be viewed as an exact or complete description of a person’s personality, and should not be used for talent selection, identification, or comparison purposes. To this end, the paper explains not only the science behind Korn Ferry’s persona development, but also the personas’ intended uses and limitations to ensure they are applied appropriately.

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