top of page


  • Introduction
    See Introduction
  • The Transforming Workplace
    • Brief History of Workplace Change • How Technology Is Transforming Work • Reskilling the Automated Workplace • Takeaways
  • Meeting the Challenge of Change
    • Envision, Plan, and Communicate Your Digital Transformation Strategy • Execute Your Digital Transformation Strategy • Takeaways
  • Holistic Framework: The Talent Transformation Pyramid
    • Overview • The Twelve Factors That Support Performance • Arranging the Factors to Reveal Connections • Bringing It All Together • Takeaways
  • Assessments - Past, Present and Future"
    • The Evolution of Assessments • How Are Assessments Used Today? • The Future of Assessments • Takeaways
  • Principles of Measurement
    • Error of Measurement • Validity and Reliability • Mitigating Errors of Measurement • The Power of Comparisons • Correlation vs. Causation • Takeaways
  • Assessing Individuals
    • For Effective Assessments, Start with Competencies • Why Assess Individuals? • When to Assess Individuals? • What to Assess? • Where to Assess? • Takeaways
  • Assessing Teams
    • Understanding Team Leaders • Understanding Teams • Goals and Types of Team Assessments • When to Assess Teams • Takeaways
  • Assessing Organizations
    • Goals vs. Objectives • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) • Making Sense of Organizational Metrics • Measuring Organizational Performance • Takeaways
  • Looking Ahead
    • Four Trends Driving Exponential Change • The Future of Learning • New World of Assessments • Using the Talent Transformation Pyramid • Takeaways
  • Acknowledgements
    We could not have written this book without the support of our family, friends, colleagues, advisors, cheerleaders, and previewers. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have been there for us during our journeys in life—those who have counseled, motivated, taught, corrected, influenced, and encouraged us to be our best selves. Without your help this book would not have been possible. To list everyone we appreciate would take an encyclopedia. Please know that we are grateful to you all. Special thanks to those whose sou nd guidance and constructive advice have kept us on track: • Graham Phaup, Supportive and Patient Husband • Laura Bonazzoli, Development Editor • Martin Belton, Advisor and Previewer • Elliott Masie, Inspirer • Mike Cooke, Inspirer • Mike Pino, Previewer and Inspirer • Bill Coscarelli, Previewer • G Harris, Previewer • Gene Hawkins, Previewer •James Lehman, Previewer • James Lower, Previewer • Jim Parry, Previewer • John Horton, Previewer • John Kleeman, Previewer • Judith Hale, Previewer • Logan Block, Previewer
  • Appendix
    i. References ii. Types of Assessments iii. Outcomes and Performance Indicators iv. Technology Glossary v. Recommended Reading



Powerful technologies and new business models are remaking the workplace, setting the stage for new jobs and careers, empowering individuals and teams to advance organizational goals through creativity and collaboration. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) presents enormous challenges and opportunities, at high speed, calling on leaders to move quickly and plan for a dramatically different world of work.


This book answers these questions with a strategic approach for improving performance. The Talent Transformation Pyramid brings together twelve factors that enable the success of individuals, teams, and entire organizations. These factors include technical and functional skills as well as the social, emotional, and conversational intelligences that enable robust, meaningful relationships. This framework also acknowledges that psychological safety, a supportive culture, free-flowing information, and appropriate tools are crucial to performance. The creation of workplaces that empower teams of people with diverse skills and backgrounds is critical for success in the twenty-first century. Understanding the twelve factors, measuring them accurately, and finding correlations among them will guide you in determining interventions that will help your workforce build competencies for current and future jobs. This approach is viable thanks to new technologies that make it possible to collect vast amounts of data, identify patterns, correlate findings, and determine causation. In writing this book, we have tapped into the wisdom and experience of the researchers, thinkers, and practitioners whose work has brought measurement, assessment, and talent management to the point where we can address the challenges and opportunities before us. We have also built on our affiliation with the Talent Transformation Guild, a community of executives, human resource leaders, talent development specialists, personal coaches, and consultants who want to keep pace with the technology-driven revolution now underway.


We have designed this book to help executives, leaders, managers, and human resource professionals create a better work environment today while meeting tomorrow’s demands. We hope this book makes work more enjoyable, engaging, and fulfilling for you, your colleagues, and your clients. We assume that you, as a reader:

  • want to create a harmonious, high-performing team or coach others to so

  • see dramatic changes looming in the workplace and wish to prepare for them

  • know about factors that affect performance but would like to understand better how these factors interact to support success

  • welcome fresh approaches to talent transformation


We recommend reading this book straight through, but since each chapter stands on its own, you can skip around as much as you wish. If you are an expert in the subject of a particular chapter or feel out of your depth, feel free to skip ahead. And we hope you will keep the book for reference when you encounter issues and need to refresh your understanding. In the nine chapters of this book, you can:

  1. Explore the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s impact on how tasks will change as powerful technologies generate massive job losses and gains. Recognize the urgent need to prepare for these changes through reskilling.

  2. Get pointers for managing change, reassigning tasks to take advantage of helpful technologies, and position workers to learn new competencies or succeed in their roles.

  3. Meet the Talent Transformation Pyramid—the heart of this book and our inspiration for writing it! Here, we describe the twelve factors that underpin individual, team, and organizational success, from behaviors and work environments to technical and functional skills. We explain the importance of measuring the factors individually and correlating the results to help you determine valuable interventions for building competence.

  4. Trace the progress of assessment as an increasingly reliable means of measuring personalities and functional skills. Read about the many uses of assessments and get a glimpse of how they may change in an age of massive-scale automation.

  5. Delve into the principles and science of measurement that support valid, reliable assessment. Get pointers on mitigating potential errors of measurement, defending against fraud, and understanding assessment results.

  6. Find out how assessments based on clearly defined competencies can help predict how well and how safely individuals are likely to perform the tasks their roles require. Discover options for assessment delivery, including innovative approaches to predicting job readiness.

  7. Discover how teams benefit from personality, strength-finder, and emotional intelligence assessments, which can inform team selection and help members of new teams understand themselves and each other. Assessments can also help established teams regain their sense of direction when problems emerge.

  8. Investigate how to improve organizational results and decision making by tracking metrics and detecting correlations. This chapter discusses the importance of identifying sound goals and monitoring progress using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), and other methods.

  9. Look into our crystal ball at the impacts of four trends that are changing the way we live and learn: blended technologies, innovative business models, greater emphasis on social responsibility, and new ways to nurture and inspire talent. Consider the potential of the Talent Transformation Pyramid, by providing a strategic approach to defining competencies and the factors for successful performance, can help you engage and energize your workforce.


ERIC SHEPHERD has led international businesses and associations focused on talent, assessments, and success. As CEO of Questionmark, an assessment software company, Eric helped grow the organization’s software and SaaS platform into a multi-million-dollar international enterprise with tens of millions of assessments delivered per year. Eric has led industry efforts and open standards initiatives to promote best practices for assessments, learning, competencies, and interoperability. As a recognized thought leader and futurist, Eric co-founded the Talent Transformation Guild as a community of professionals preparing for the new world of work.

JOAN PHAUP is an award-winning newspaper reporter turned human-interest columnist, technical writer, radio editorialist, and public relations executive. She has managed communications for local governments, academic institutions, nonprofit agencies, property developers, and transportation authorities. As public relations manager for assessment software provider Questionmark, Joan helped educational institutions, businesses, and government agencies appreciate the potential of computerized and online testing. She now provides editorial services to businesses, magazines, nonfiction authors, and nonprofit organizations in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. 


United States       Canada       United Kingdom       Germany       France       Japan       Spain       Italy       Australia *


United Kingdom
Book Depository

Sweden, Norway, Finland


Australia/New Zealand


South Africa
Takealot Loot 
Exclusive Books




Barnes & Noble Nook 
Gardners Extended Retail


United States
Barnes & Noble 
Porchlight Books


Chapters/Indigo (eBook) 
McNally Robinson


Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Peru
Amazon **
Amazon **

*KDP Publishing (Amazon’s print-on-demand service) does not directly service There may be issues with title availability and buy button activation in this territory. Please see alternate Australian retail sites listed below. These issues are isolated to print-on-demand service and do not impact digital distribution for Kindle. *


**KDP Publishing (Amazon’s print-on-demand service) does not directly service and There may be issues with title availability and buy button activation in this territory. These issues are isolated to print-on-demand service and do not impact digital distribution for Kindle. **

***KDP Publishing (Amazon’s print-on-demand and Kindle service) does not directly service Amazon.ea. There may be issues with title availability and buy button activation in this territory. Buyers can order direct from using Amazon’s Global Shipping options.***


Elliot Masie

Learning Advocate & Broadway Producer

"Packed with insights about the past, present, and future of work, Talent Transformation is a must-read for anyone developing and leading a diverse workforce."


Judith Hale

Principal, Hale Associates

"Refreshing, insightful, and inspirational. Talent Transformation is full of thought-provoking yet actionable ideas for developing a workforce that adapts to the immensity of change ahead."

William Tincup

President at RecruitingDaily

"Software runs the world, but frameworks help us make sense of the world. The Talent Transformation Pyramid is a complete game-changer. This framework is a thoughtful and progressive way to look at, evaluate, and develop talent in the modern organization. In my humble opinion, this book is a MUST-read for yourself and your team. You'll thank me later."

Linda Steedman

Chairwoman/Director, eCom

“Mixing people’s personalities and tasks with new technologies gets complicated. Talent Transformation provides a simple framework for understanding what is required to support performance in competency models. This book is a must-read for executives, leaders of human resources, and learning and development teams.”

Charles Jennings

Strategy & Performance Partner, TULSER

“We can only achieve high levels of organizational and human performance when we adopt a systemic approach that goes beyond individual skills development. In Talent Transformation, Eric Shepherd and Joan Phaup look beyond knowledge and skills to the critical role that experiences, psychological safety, and output measurement play in building talent bench strength.”

John Kleeman

Founder and Executive Director of Questionmark

“Strongly recommend Eric Shepherd and Joan Phaup new book "Talent Transformation". It explains the talent challenge that organizations have and presents a framework in which to measure characteristics of people to meet the challenge, and then explains well how assessments work to gather data on people. Eric and Joan have huge expertise in this area, and it's an excellent book.”

Steven Forth

Cofounder of Ibbaka

“Individuals and organizations need to rewire for resilience and adaptation. The old ways will not deliver the organizations we need to survive and thrive in a changeable future. Reskilling is a key mandate for many of us. The Talent Transformation Pyramid set out in this book provides a blueprint for how to achieve this. Importantly, it covers not only organizational and individual issues but has a compelling chapter on teams. Many organizations are evolving from hierarchical structures into teams of teams.”


The book, due out in early October, answers important questions - How will competency models, assessments, and learning keep pace with this revolution? Our current practices have worked by helping us recognize the challenges and opportunities of the twentieth century and develop skills to address them. But new ways of work demand new solutions that embrace changes in technology, social attitudes, and business models. As we witnessed at the onset of COVID-19, agility and flexibility enabled many people to adopt new practices with surprising speed. These types of qualities will help them navigate the the coming years of exponential change.

The Talent Transformation Pyramid addresses the questions that leaders, managers, and coaches face today:

  • How can we promote a culture in which people enjoy their roles and perform well within a continually changing workplace?

  • How will we evaluate competencies and identify the factors that support them?

  • How can we use data to evaluate culture fit and job fit?

  • How can we gauge someone’s potential for taking on new responsibilities and performing well?

  • How can we help individuals adapt to using new technologies to perform in new or updated roles?


Thanks for subscribing!

Hey, I’m Erica 👋 I’m ready for you to ask me anything!

bottom of page