Posts Tagged ‘GeneSys Assessment’

The Christmas Card Project

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

With Christmas almost here, and our cards nearly all out in the mail, I thought it would be nice to tell you about our Christmas Card Project, which has been going now for the past eight years.

In 2005, we decided to play our part in encouraging young artists and designers by helping to bring their work to a wider audience.

So, we envisaged a “virtual gallery”, in which Christmas cards, which seemed to be becoming a dying ritual, would be treated like artwork, and sent out every year with a different young artist’s work. The result would then become a virtual exhibition. In the long artistic tradition of limited edition prints, where only a certain number of prints of a particular design are ever made, and each one is personally numbered in pencil, we made this our model.

The first artist we chose was a recently graduated art student, Laura Amos (now working mainly in photography), whose work we discovered at the Graduate Exhibition of Adelaide College of the Arts. I was blown away by her huge black and white abstract painting which dominated the exhibition and had in spades what every gallery curator looks for: wall presence. When Laura agreed to provide an art piece for the cards, she was given a free choice of subject matter, but when I told her of my family tradition of collecting nutcrackers every Christmas, she chose the Nutcracker theme, and we have stuck to it every year since.

The idea is simple: Find a young artist who interests us, vary the style and medium every year, print a limited number of cards and send them out to as wide an audience of family, friends, clients and associates as we can.

The brief is simple too: The cards must be black and white, they must not be “schmaltzy” or sentimental, and they must be an interpretation of the The Nutcracker story by ETA Hoffmann, which was made famous by the Tchaikovsky Ballet of the same name.

Every card is hand numbered and handmade, and every card features the artist’s signature and their biography on the back cover.

Last year we upped the ante by asking a street artist to paint a black and white mural on a wall. It was a hard act to follow!

But this year we think we’ve upped it even more. This year’s artist is Emily Seidel, who has a particular passion for fabric, and her design, based on wood prints of the 1800’s has been painstakingly hand printed on fabric, in a process that has been through three separate printing stages. All up, I estimate that each handmade card has been touched 8 times in different stages of production including by the artist, the printer, and the card designer who is responsible for putting it all together. And this doesn’t include the hand written message!

When we have 10 designs, we plan to hold an actual exhibition of the cards.

In a world where Christmas can often become a tacky, material event of excess or greed, and where most Christmas greetings are now sent electronically, we hope that by holding this building mini exhibition of work, thought and hope that the young artists bring, and that our friends and colleagues can touch, keep and collect, we are keeping alive some of the original meaning of Christmas, which is a story of hope and sharing.

We wish all our clients, friends, associates and partners, in Australia and across the world, a very Happy Christmas, and a wonderful and prosperous 2013!


Stephen Kohl, Lynette Jensen and the other directors & staff at Genesys Australia



Bio for Emily Seidel


Emily Seidel lives in Sydney and has had an interest in design, art and fabric since she was very young. With a particular eye for pattern, shape, line and unusual texture, she brings a wide Australian cultural experience of living in various country and city locations to her work, which seems to be also underpinned by the aesthetic of her German ancestry.

We asked Emily to design our 2012 Nutcracker Christmas card because we like her interesting design eye and her feel for fabric, and we were interested to see how an artist drawn to texture, with a German heritage, would interpret the German Christmas fairytale The Nutcracker by ETA Hoffmann, which was made famous by the Tchaikovsky ballet of the same name.

We are delighted by the result. Emily’s dark, mysterious and layered design is inspired not only by The Nutcracker tale, but also by European woodcuts from the 1800’s. The design, through its layers, mixed media and texture, evokes feelings and dream-like images of deep European winters when families were closed in and longing for the return of the sun, and told each other stories like The Nutcracker to bide their time and express their fear of darkness, while they waited patiently for the return of spring.

This is the underlying historical origin of Christmas – a winter’s tale, and a story of hope.

Lynette Jensen

Related posts:

St. Nicholas & The Christmas Season

Lynette Jensen is a director and co-founder of Genesys Australia and is committed to helping people achieve work-life balance through good job fit. In addition to contributing to this blog, she also writes regularly for HR Daily Community and Dynamic Business Magazine. Her articles have been re-published in India & the United Kingdom.

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Psych Tests & What They’re For

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

The main reason we write this blog is to help bridge the gap between the general world of work, and the more technical subject of psychometric assessment for the workplace. While our psychology practice specialises in providing psychometric testing, our underlying commitment is to helping everyone achieve career and life satisfaction through good job fit.

For individuals, if you do what you like to do and what you are good at, then you can live a happier and more fulfilled life. For organisations and employers, if you find the right staff, you can maximize efficiency, engagement, culture fit and teamwork.

Psychometric assessment used well is a very useful tool to help achieve this.

Everyone understands the general concepts of work and what it’s for: we go to work to earn income, to provide product and services to the general community and we keep the economy turning over. But psychometrics, on the other hand, can seem more mysterious. Despite a growing use of psychometric assessment in the workplace, to the extent that these days most people will have been psych tested for an employment role at some time in their career, how psych testing works is not so generally well understood.

Essentially, there are two kinds of psych tests for the workplace: Ability (or Aptitude) and Personality assessments. In simple terms, Ability assessments tell us if a person can do a given job, and Personality assessments tell us how a person will do the job.

Even though there seem to be hundreds of psych tests for the workplace available (and of various usefulness and validity), which all make different claims for our attention, in the end, the important thing to know is that they assess personality and ability. And that makes things more straightforward to understand.

The other thing to understand is that psychometric assessments are simply a statistical analysis of data that is provided by the person who attempts the assessment. They are not magic, they can’t read minds, and they are not designed to trick you (although they do have measures built in to tell if someone is cheating). By asking a respondent to answer a number of questions, the answers can then be put together statistically to give a result. This result then provides a picture for the candidate and the employer.

Psychometric assessment should never be used in isolation, but always as part of a recruitment or selection process, or for staff development down the track. Psychometric assessment provides an objective measure that fits into and integrates with a wider Human Resources process that includes interviews, resume and reference checks.

Some psych tests are better and more credible than others, just as some psychometric providers are more expert, knowledgeable and helpful than others, but what all psych tests have in common is that they statistically use answers to questions given by a respondent to provide an overview or picture.

In the end, psychometric assessment is used in the workplace because it provides an objective and cost-effective way (since it can save a lot of time and effort) to help employers make decisions about their staff. And for individuals, it can help us understand more about ourselves, and the way we work.

Work is essential to adult life, and the more fulfilling it is, the more balanced and satisfying our lives can be. In Human Resources and the world of work, psychometric assessments can have an important role in achieving good job fit and ultimately that means work-life balance.


Lynette Jensen

Lynette Jensen is a director and co-founder of Genesys Australia and is committed to helping people achieve work-life balance through good job fit. In addition to contributing to this blog, she also writes regularly for HR Daily Community and Dynamic Business Magazine. Her articles have been re-published in India & the United Kingdom.

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NB: We are an independent workplace psychology practice. All views expressed here are our own and are the opinions of Stephen Kohl and his associates, which do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher and developer of GeneSys assessments, Psytech International.