What is SIMA®?
The System for Identifying Motivated Abilities® (SIMA®) is a proprietary, non-psychological, qualitative process for clearly identifying a person’s innate giftedness-their motivated abilities, interests, contextual circumstances, preferred roles, and motivational drives.

Using SIMA®, we can demonstrate that every person has been endowed with a uniquely motivated and purposeful behavioral pattern. When people live and work in accordance with their pattern, they experience remarkably productive and meaningful lives.

The SIMA® process involves an in-depth interview in which a person tells us about activities they have done in life that they enjoyed doing and believed were done well, beginning in childhood all the way to the present. We then analyze those stories to discover the unique motivational pattern of the person. We call that a Motivated Abilities Pattern (MAP®).

The Motivated Abilities Pattern (MAP®)
Each one of us has a pervasive nature; a pattern of strengths; a distinct structure of personality; a unique way of being that remains consistent.  We use SIMA to describe this pervasive nature.  We call it a Motivated Abilities Pattern® (MAP®.)

A Motivated Abilities Pattern (MAP®) identifies five aspects of a person’s functioning:

A MAP® is very predictive in terms of career success and satisfaction.
People Management and SIMA International have used MAPs® for more than 50 years and with thousands of organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit, to make strategic hires, improve organizational effectiveness, assemble and align teams, diagnose performance issues, develop up-and-coming leaders, and think through succession planning.


Based on that experience and research, we have found that a person’s MAP® is:


Enduring: The pattern emerges early in life and remains constant throughout life.


Irresistible. Regardless of environment or circumstance, a person’s pattern will express itself. If one’s work does not permit its expression, the person will seek to fulfill their pattern outside of work. Even if a job does not fully accommodate one’s pattern, the person will nonetheless attempt to perform the job in accordance with their MAP®. For example, an innovator will try to innovate. A detail-oriented person will continue to focus on details. A person who seeks recognition will concentrate on what gets attention from others.


Insatiable. People never satisfy or exhaust their motivation in an ultimate, final way, regardless of how often they have a chance to express it.


Explanatory. Once you understand the pattern of a person, you are able to account for why they perform as they do: what they find satisfying or frustrating; how they learn; how they make decisions; in what roles they will make their most successful contributions; who they need around them to be effective; how long they will stay motivated in a given assignment or job.


The more you understand MAPs and individual patterns of motivation the more they can be used to help individuals and organizations to make good ‘job fit’ decisions, improve individual performance and work satisfaction, enhance team functioning and individual relationships, resolve performance problems, resolve conflicts between people, improve decision making of students and those in retirement, and help people make decisions so they can lead a more meaningful and purposeful life.


A number of people have studied and written about the validity and utility of SIMA®. One of those studies that we are particularly proud of was conducted by Dr. John Crites, an internationally recognized testing specialist, who was hired by a Fortune 50 organization to determine the validity, reliability and predictability of SIMA® in relationship to identifying leaders.

In his final report Dr. Crites wrote, "SIMA® is both theoretically sound and empirically reliable and valid for use as a selection tool. It meets standards, as enumerated by the American Psychological Association, for the assessment and selection of leaders." He found the profiles to be "stable over time," the level of objectivity to be "outstanding," reliability to be "quite high," and content validity to be "exceptionally high." Overall he found the results to be "unique and highly positive," the findings to be "impressive" and concluded that "SIMA® can be used with confidence as a selection and leadership identification method.”