The Psychology-Technology Tango: Can organisational psychology really impact the bottom line?

 In Articles

As reflected by a tango dancer, “I spend most of my professional hours thinking about how to be a better leader. I had never once considered how to be a better follower”.

The tango is a ballroom dance that originated in Argentina in the twentieth century. During the tango, two dancers engage in what could be described as a ‘bodily discussion’ as one dancer leads and the other follows.

The science of human behaviour has attracted increasing attention from organisational leaders over the past few decades. As human resources have been acknowledged as a critical source of competitive advantage, experts have honed-in on working behaviour and its contribution to corporate productivity and effectiveness.

As the King IV report points out, ‘technological advances, including the emergence of the Internet of things, are generating huge amounts of data. Sophisticated analytics are converting this data into deep insights into the behaviour of humans and their organisations’.

These insights have substantial value in developing the quality of human interaction, specifically the interactions between leaders and followers. Similar to the experience of the above tango dancer, many leaders are constantly considering how to increase their leadership impact and effectiveness. However, few of these leaders ever explore the role of followership and how this could enhance their leadership. When leaders receive clear and detailed feedback from followers as well as receiving feedback on their own followership from their respective leaders, they are empowered with the information they need to effect the necessary changes towards more effective leadership.

Thornhill has leveraged the capabilities of technology and analytics through applying both to our professional organisational psychology expertise when developing our online multi-rater feedback systems. In this way, we have created our very own tango between psychology and technology, with psychology leading technology towards a synced and responsive outcome in which the components effectively ‘mirror and match in equilibrium’.

The design of Thornhill’s multi-rater questionnaires employs professional psychology expertise towards soliciting critical behavioural feedback from raters in various employment relationships. Supported by cutting-edge information technology systems, these questionnaires are delivered remotely to raters and analysed in real-time to generate detailed and precise personal and team reports. Over the past 14 years, this combination has delivered insightful feedback to hundreds of individuals and their work teams and has served as the basis for personal development and team effectiveness.

The advantage of our psychology-technology tango is that we are able to offer high quality professional behavioural insights through quick, cost-effective, online questionnaires, generating rich sets of organisational data for development at individual, team and executive levels. The ultimate purpose of our services is to help people become more effective and fulfilled at work.

Essentially at Thornhill we are utilising advanced software technologies to deliver invaluable intelligence into leadership effectiveness and productivity globally. Thornhill offers off-the-shelf standard solutions which have the advantage of providing value through a tried-and-tested approach without additional consulting or development costs. However, because we understand that no two companies are exactly the same, our Thornhill development team is also able to customise questionnaires and reports to meet your organisation’s specific needs. We take the time to understand your corporate history, current priorities and needs as well as culture before developing bespoke solutions.

This online multi-rater feedback process is conducted entirely online in real time which enables quick and convenient participation and generates immediate individual reports. The easily-accessible system provides a solution which delivers first class, credible insights that can enhance organisational development interventions such as leadership development, talent management and succession planning processes.

Shall we dance?


For more information on 360-degree feedback at all levels within your organisation, as well as consulting and feedback coaching options, please contact us at

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