NSCG
Diarmuid Harvey
Meet

Diarmuid Harvey

MY ROLE
Head of Science

I am Head of Science within the Leadership Consulting team at NSCG.

What experience and expertise do you bring to your role?

With a background in the behavioural sciences and having worked for the last 7 years in the talent consulting sector, I have fulfilled a number of roles; from being on the frontlines delivering talent solutions to clients, to leading and supporting teams focused on ensuring scientific rigour in the design, testing and deployment of our measures, methodological approaches, and solutions. I have a diverse range of interests within the psychological sciences, particularly in decision-making, bias, human performance, and person-culture fit.

How are you helping people to achieve their full potential?

At the core of our methodological approach is the belief that the person-organisation relationship is optimised when an individual’s abilities, preferences, values, interests, and ultimately behaviours, are aligned to the requirements of a role, within a broader organisational culture. Uncovering these facets of both the individual and organisation, and using all of the methods at our disposal to harmonise them is how we help people to achieve their full potential.

What are your thoughts on the future of your sector? 

Obviously AI is the hot topic of the day, and we have yet to see the full disruptive impact of this latest technology on the employment sector. And, while this impact will no doubt be widely felt, for us and how we approach our work it is simply a context shift.

I believe a greater impact on our sector will be observed through the integration of, until now, disparate sources of people data, to enable richer insights, enhance organisational decision-making and facilitate better, more individually-tailored people interventions. The field of people analytics has long been hamstrung by inadequate data gathering and management practices, but it is only a matter of time before those problems are resolved and the full potential of the discipline will be realised.

What do you enjoy outside of work? Any hobbies? 

I’ve probably got too many hobbies! I spend quite a bit of time playing chess, football or squash. Poker is a game which marries a lot of my interests, but I don’t play it as much as I might like. Otherwise I really enjoy switching off through spending time cooking, gardening, or working on a latest DIY project.

What’s your top three podcasts/books? 

Podcasts

I listen to quite a lot of podcasts, spanning everything from sport, history, politics, current affairs, and science, so I’ll try to balance all of those with this list.
1. Choiceology
2. The Lex Friedman Podcast
3. The Second Captains Podcast

Books

Again, incredibly difficult reducing this list down to three, so I will include what I believe are the books I reference most frequently in my daily life.
1. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Kahneman and Tversky
2. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
3. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

What’s your go-to productivity trick? 

I, unsurprisingly, have a classic behaviourist perspective on these things! Leveraging Skinner’s Law by using incentives- so articulating the value of what you need to do even when you don’t want to do it is something I find useful. Failing that, offering myself some small rewards for getting things done. But I would say most useful are commitment devices- promising to get something done within a specific time frame.

The best productivity hack of all is not really a trick, but is the theme I keep returning to- aligning what you WANT to do as much as possible with what you NEED to do.

How do you prefer to start your day? 

An ungodly amount of coffee, Wordle, and listening to a podcast en route to work.

What was your first job? 

I worked for a summer in the warehouses of the Port of Cork unloading shipping containers, which gave me an awful lot of respect for those engaged in physically demanding work. I’ve had innumerable similar kinds of jobs in my time. I was always trying to make a few bob as a young fella!

What’s the best advice you were ever given? 

I’ve been given an awful lot of good advice, but that which I wish I had been given sooner is “just write a first draft down with the expectation of throwing it away”. Particularly during my years in academia I would strive (and struggle) for perfection with every word, which was slow and painful. Getting something down and refining is not only easier, but I find it is better for structuring thought. So, although nowhere near the most profound advice I was ever given, it has probably had the most profound impact on my working life.