How Capacio helped me to learn everything about me that I never knew I wanted to know

There is a lot of things you hear about personality testing, profiling, talent identification and character traits that presumingly tell you whether you are going to be successful in your career – or not. When stumbling across Capacio and their offer to do a free assessment, that is based on neuropsychology, regarding my cognitive and executive capacity I was agreeing to run through their so called “GAME Analysis” being curious but honestly did not expect too much in terms of exciting results.

Having gone through many assessment centers and recruiting procedures with a lot of logic, math, leadership, capability and skills testing I honestly thought I knew it all. I know I am not the very best and fastest when it comes to numbers but above average in terms of data analytics, I am outgoing with leadership traits willing t0 take responsibility and ownership and am equipped with strong social and intercultural skills making me a well-functioning team player especially across hierarchies.

Snap – yes, I was (mostly) right, but was missing a hell lot more about me! Here is the short story of my very own Game Analysis and its cognitive functioning assessment, how I took the test and now know a lot more about myself than I did before.

My expectations were not too high. But what did I have to lose?

My name is Pascal, 27 years old, and I am currently enrolled as a Business & Management Master Student at Stockholm School of Economics (SSE). Hoping that people will never stop learning during their life, I currently find myself in a phase of my mid- to end-twenties (yes, slowly approaching 30) willing to take very steep learning curves professionally along the way but most importantly personally as well when it comes to my character, behavior, performance and capabilities.

The acquaintance with Anders Norén (CEO, Capacio) through SSE, was the trigger for me to get curious about Capacio, their offering and their Game Analysis testing, which promises to reveal an individual’s executive capacity, brain processing and functioning abilities and cognitive profile. After informing myself a bit more on their website about what they do, I volunteered and was curious to take the 90-min face-to-face testing. My curiosity was ignited. Expectations not too high. But what did I have to lose?

Testing Day

The test was to be hold face-to-face with a licensed psychologist here in Stockholm and was going to last 90min. Quite a long time for such a test format but not necessarily longer than any other recruiting or personality test I have done before. Given the prior promise of delivering extensive test results the timing seemed to be reasonable.

We were seated on both sides of a small table facing each other. I did have no supporting material on me. No pen, no paper, no calculator. Nothing. This was a bit strange in the beginning, but I accommodated rather quickly once we started.

My tester made sure to slowly explain me everything upfront about the test, what kind of different tests to expect (reading, information processing, creativity, etc.) and what I would have to do in every sequence. If I needed a pen, he would give it to me and so forth.

The tests were as diverse as they could possibly be. Starting with having to read out different given words loudly in a given time frame, eventually having to connect dots in the fastest way possible to naming as many words related to a specific topic in one minute. They all were modified along the way with different levels of difficulty, engagement and interaction. For example, I had to remember and repeat number sequences that the tester would read out loud once. Starting easy with a few numbers, finishing off super difficult with up to 9 different numbers in a row. Sounds challenging? Super challenging!

The tasks were challenging but extremely exciting after all. It did not feel like a stressful recruiting test but rather like an actual GAME

Was it fun? YES! As I have done a lot of recruiting and screening tests in my life, this was the first time I did exercises like this and honestly, I have to say, they were challenging but extremely exciting after all. It did not feel like a stressful recruiting test but rather like an actual GAME. Super fun and always making me want to run another round!

Also, what I found really interesting was the fact that after every exercise I was asked to judge my own performance in comparison to others on a normal distribution chart. Obviously super hard to judge and I had the feeling I just blindly put a mark somewhere, yet, I realized I never dared to judge myself in the top chunk but rather a bit above average thinking I could not have it done the best way possible. Probably because of my prior experience with results from other profiling tests.

Test Results, my surprising learnings and 3 “wows”

One week after the testing, I met with two licensed psychologists again actually who would guide me through my test results. I honestly was a bit nervous when I entered the room. On the one hand telling myself whatever the test results will be, they will not change me as a person. Either they are crappy with low validity, then I will just forget about them or they are somewhat reasonable, justify what I know already, and I will just take them as a high-level confirmation of my abilities.

However, what happened then was really eye-opening and well exceeded my prior expectations. 3 things generally amazed me already within the first 5 minutes of the test result reporting (see graph below). Since thes3 take-aways sustainably impressed me, I would like to call them my “3 wows”.

Here they are:

1) The detailed qualitative feedback given by a licensed psychologist about my cognitive abilities based on my own, tangible test data.

I was truly amazed, how the psychologists analyzed my test results and qualitatively assessed my test data. Why? They not only interpreted in a very professional way how my brain works, but also translated these findings to my own behavior and potential performance by even daring to predict my future and current management abilities that which were strong in leadership and team building. Something I actually really like to do and what I feel comfortable with. They put so much thought in their assessment and have been extremely detailed and precise. I felt like I was being read out loudly in a very positive way. In the end I was even a bit sad I did not record the feedback because I could have used it exactly in any potential job interview. It had all the answers and statements about me I was always looking for.

For example, that I am an extremely strong strategic thinker that is capable of assessing problems and situation on a meta-level by keeping high cognitive flexibility in a given set of rules. I perform recognizably well with very challenging tasks while being only a bit above average when it comes to daily “boring” problems as my cognitive capabilities basically grow with the size of the problem. How awesome is that? I mean I kind of knew that I get bored easily and lose focus with “no-brainers” like setting up a short excel file about the company’s organization but could dig into questions such as “how should our company look like in 10 years?” for hours without losing track or excitement.

2) The confirmative nature of how precisely the test actually measured who and how I am as a person.

The examples mentioned above have been also the trigger to list my 2nd wow. I am still amazed and excited about how extremely accurate the test results and subsequently the psychologists were able to describe me. As I wrote earlier, I reflected a lot about myself already and know where I am strong and where not. Given, I only fulfilled a few tasks over the course of 90min, the Game Analysis was able to define me just as good as I could after 27 years.

It identified that I am just above average when it comes to multi-processing as I rather enjoy and feel comfortable about delivering 1 or 2 projects to the best extent possible than working on 100 things at the same time not being able to fully put my mind and heart into it. Yet, it assessed my strategic abilities and creative, cognitive flexibility accurately. It even analyzed that I have the maximum potential in these two categories which lies roughly 2 standard deviations above average test results. It also confirmed my process and scanning speed when it comes to analyzing problems, which is also something I got in all of my prior professional feedback sessions. And trust me, even though I’m only 27, there were many!

3) The additional, deep analytics and interpretation as well as different dimensions and angles that the test uses to describe my cognitive profile.

Lastly, and probably this is now the greatest take-away from the results and testing I did with Capacio, the interpretation of the results opened up completely new angles and perspectives in regard to my abilities, cognitive profile and executive capacity I haven’t heard before. Unlike many other tests that only take at the look at a person’s surface aka “yeah we have an extrovert here who likes to take risks”, the Game Analysis really goes deep and revealed way more things and behavioral traits about me that I never knew I wanted to know.

For instance, it showed me that I have a rather average short-term memory, which is true because I sometimes really fail to recall some individual numbers or sentences from a meeting that just happened. But at the same time, it identified that my working memory in comparison is clearly above average. This was interpreted as that once I processed information because I might find it more interesting, appealing or challenging as already described above, I am extremely good in actually working with this information for a long time. The test correctly identified that once I warmed up, nothing can really stop me in terms of productivity and quality. I reach high workflow levels with great abilities to maintain high performance.

And you know what? It’s true. This is exactly how I function in my professional life. I recall days where I started slow, but after half an hour for myself into a problem I did not want to stop and just took more and more of the problem apart ending up with a truly unique solution. Knowing about strengths like these really improves my self-awareness now as I can focus on optimizing my strengths while making sure to compensate more on my weaknesses such as paying more attention to “not-so-important” information pieces. The best part about this? It is evidence-based and proven – scientifically from neuroscience and neuropsychology.

Yet, these were not the only things I learned about me. There were many more such as my high speed, productivity, strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities in times of pressure but in a given set of rules. However, going in to deep would exaggerate this post.

After all, I can say I had prejudices towards Capacio and the related Game Analysis but got proven extremely wrong. Never have test results about myself, my (cognitive) profile and my functional abilities been more useful than this time.

And if you are still in doubt, why don’t you give it a chance and try it yourself. I am sure Capacio will be happy to help!

– Pascal Fischer (27), Stockholm School of Economics (MSc Business & Management)

on May 14th 2o2o

Send us an e-mail for additional information and your personal, your team’s or your organization’s assessment.

Game Intelligence is about doing the right thing at the right place and time

What exactly is Game Intelligence how are our services related to it?

This blog post will shed some light on the term game intelligence, where it is used and how we specifically use and translate it to our testing tool “game analysis” that can assess an individual’s cognitive capacity and abilities which can be related to behavior and performance. Or if you want, Game Intelligence.

What is Game Intelligence?

Game intelligence is basically known and by definition related to team sports and a person’s ability to be at the right place at the right time doing the right thing.

Going deeper, it is the underlying ability to read the game in a correct and fast way, assess dynamically changing situations and to take decisions that put oneself or the team in a superior position compared to the opponent. On top, it relates to a person’s innate abilities and the brain’s capacity to process information, and can be developed, optimized and eventually compensated if you know your strong or weak spots. Understanding Game Intelligence, therefore, starts with assessing and understanding the individual brain capacity.

What is a Game?

A game is a competition-oriented occupation of one or more individuals, that is exercised according to certain rules, usually with different tools. The game is driven forward by the players’ actions in various situations either through strategic choices, random outcomes, or a combination of both. This ultimately results in a measurable reward or punishment, that is, gain or loss, creating a kind of tension momentum.

This definition perfectly defines not only games or sports – be it leisure/entertainment or professional – most games such as chess and football can be both, but also any other organized activity, like business.

Different Games, different Conditions, different Game Intelligence

To understand Game Intelligence, we need to understand the rules, prerequisites and dynamics of the specific game. Of course, there are big differences between games. In football, the rules rarely change, however it is very fast and dynamic, requiring highly developed “here and now” abilities. In most businesses there are more factors to take into account and there is a mix of fast, short-term and operational as well as long-term and strategic activities.

To really understand what Game Intelligence means in each game, it requires both an understanding for the dynamics and for what this represents and how it then translates to cognitive capacity, behavior and ultimately performance.

Once this assessment has been conducted and linked, one can start mastering Game Intelligence meaning both recruiting the right person(s) to the right place and building a functioning team. Yet, also constantly supporting and developing both the individuals and teams, all in line with the continuously shifting environment. One thing is for sure, the pace of speed and change is higher than ever. In turn, it requires an even better understanding of Game Intelligence.

Context is everything, also regarding behavior and performance

Most of us have experienced the feeling of flow, of “being in the zone”, when everything seems to work and come together. And also, the contrary. Thus, depending on the context, the same individual or team can perform differently. Therefore, it is fair to argue that Game Intelligence is a combination of cognitive capacity and context.

To understand how cognitive capacity relates to context we assess and relate it to five main concepts;

  • Position – What abilities does the specific mission require, what level of capacity does this correspond to, are there gaps and what about the awareness? The same position may vary a lot.

  • Situation What situation is the company in. Steady, change, growth, crisis? What’s the actual situation for the individual?

  • State What state is the individual in and how does this affect the cognition. Stress, sleep, nutrition etc. has strong effects on behavior and performance.

  • Variation – What is my cognitive baseline and how sensitive am a to variations in cognition. When am I at my best and my worse?

  • Cognitive cost – Depending on my cognitive strengths and weaknesses what tasks require more or less and what’s the cost or effortlessness

The result of relating cognitive profiles to these five factors (contextualization), explains the underlying mechanisms and gives a very and deep understanding of how peopled behave and perform individually and in team. And also, a solid base for how to optimize and compensate.

Game Intelligence in Sports: Football Example

To illustrate the dynamics and functioning of Game Intelligence, let’s take one of the most popular team sports in the world: Football or soccer. Just as in any other team sport, there are teams that compete to score the most goals over a certain amount of time, the game or playing time. The combination of its competitive nature, individual activities triggered by individual players, such as passes, shots on goal, tackles, position changes, etc. followed by dynamic decisions that are taken, make it a game. When it comes to taking the right decisions at the right moment in time during the game, that’s when Game Intelligence as we know comes in. When is the right time to pass? Where does a forward need to stand in what situation? How should defenders move when the other team attacks?

To shed some light behind this mystery, elite football players have been chosen in a study as an example to demonstrate that classical highly validated neuropsychological tests focusing on executive, cognitive capacities, could be used to predict behavior and successful performance on the court during a game.

The game of football was chosen as an example of a very demanding, high performing, constantly changing environment with high speed, clear rules and limitations (court, half time, goal size, etc.). The results have been eye-opening and were reported throughout the world where they were perceived and followed with very high interest.

It was found that the successful elite players had a very high capacity on cognitive abilities like for instance creativity and speed when it comes to information processing. Also, the working memory capacity was well functioning which can be traced back to the fact that many things happen on the field at the same time that professional players have to absorb within milliseconds.

Maybe even more exciting was the fact that these findings can be applied to businesses as well, where our scientists went on and used the same type of tests in organizations. As a base for recruiting and screening activities as well as for the ongoing behavioral development of leaders, teams, individuals and the organization itself.

How business activities can be compared to the game of football

As stated, just as with team sports and related game intelligence, the same executive functions, cognitive capacity and abilities that football players show, can be observed and are used in business organizations, only in a different arena. Besides in sports, we find competitive behavior and action where individual actors and teams try to win by gaining market share for instance.

Dynamic activities and tasks can be described as the individual value delivery actions designed around the business models in a market where the individual players – the companies – try to maximize their revenues and profits. For people and leaders to succeed in such organizations they need to have certain abilities (natural or innated) and develop or train certain skills (learned or acquired) from various dimensions all related to decision making, information processing and long-term oversight. The individual or team cognitive capacity, related to game dynamics, is a very important base for defining the need for developing skills.

What is your game? Our game analysis testing reveals how to compensate and optimize your abilities.

Our model “Game Analysis” reflects how the brain processes information in four dimensions that are clustered into “GAME”:

1) Gather & Process

2) Active Sketchpad

3) Master Control

4) Execute

“Game Analysis” as such has been developed based on research and is framed around cognitive testing areas that are revealing an individual’s brain processing abilities regarding information, thoughts, social abilities and feelings in relation to other people. This is a very fast and dynamic process underlying people behavior. All of these functions are interconnected and partially influence each other.

The game analysis tool is designed around cognitive testing and profiling that we use to assess, interpret and develop individual and team cognitive capacity. The tests as well as the results aim at reflecting reality as much as possible;

  • Gather & Process” represents attention, scanning and process speed. This is the “cognitive engine”

  • Active Sketchpad” relates to our brain’s memory function: specifically, short-term and working memory

  • Master Control” refers to impulse control, multi-processing abilities and cognitive flexibility.

  • Execute” relates to the more complex thinking and deals with oversight and the big picture in terms of strategic and rational thinking, conceptualization and creativity; analytical dimensions

There you have it – GAME. What and how they are all measured in detail will be part of our next blog posts, yet, it shows that it does have to do with games in general but obviously not solely as these criteria can be applied to many other applications and areas especially in business, schools, R&D, dating, etc.

With the underlying evidence-based testing tools are standardized and normalized. The result is individual and team cognitive profiles, put in context explained and translated to performance and behavioral indexes while at the same time identifying capability areas to compensate and optimize. To be used these in education, coaching and development.

If you are as excited as we are about this, convince yourself about our approach and learn more about YOUR GAME or YOUR GAME INTELLIGENCE.

Send us an e-mail for additional information and your personal, your team’s or your organization’s assessment.