The Doctrine for the Dimensions of Work

Key words: work, employability, competencies, work dimensions, personal development,

Target audience: HR and Talent Forward Thinkers, rainmakers, change makers, game changers, Rule Breakers, Self Starters



Our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) context causes all of us to reconsider the ways we contribute through our work. Even though since the late 1980s, the competencies conversation has solidly supported our development, we empirically observe that they are too numerous to be managed effectively by any individual due to human capabilities to manage 7+/-2 elements of a defined subject matter (miller, 1956). We therefore speculate that in the present rapidly changing times, one must be equipped with a limited set of working dimensions that will provide her with the opportunity to take the initiative to grow within and manage the complexity they experience daily. A coaching event has brought to light the importance of viewing one’s work as a system, and a review of the business excellence models (EFQM, Malcolm Baldridge) largely discussed by academics  has triggered the hypothesis that today, everyone’s professional activity is a system relying upon critical DIMENSIONS that support each other and are essential to one’s performance. We define the dimensions as a set of practices that enable someone to perform optimally in his own environment.  We argue that beyond our respective specific domain of expertise, we all should seek to grow continuously in the following six dimensions: (1) Relationship Builders; (2) Engagement Operators; (3) Work Architects; (4) Opportunity Designers; (5) Business Meteorologists and (6) Future Makers.


The dimensions are disruptive from the academic perspective because they bring an additional angle to the competencies conversation that draws its inspiration from the business excellence models discussed earlier. Moreover, they are disruptive from the business perspective because they include an additional option to review how one’s work is conducted and options to enable anyone to take the initiative to grow.


I believe empirically that these Dimensions help address the issue of self-development and employability in a practical manner in a fast-changing environment where we have less and less time to focus on the specifics of performance such as skills, attitudes and knowledge.


An initial mixed research study of a literature review,  40 qualitative interviews and 387 quantitative surveys has revealed that (a) there appears to be general acceptance of these dimensions, (b) there is a strong statistical correlation among all the dimensions, (c) they appear to be important for workers today and for the future, (d) some of them could be considered as more foundational than others,  (e) some of them are more tactical while others are more strategic, (f) their ratings show pairs, and (g) some of them require stronger efforts of development and work than others.


My idea to disrupt with the dimensions is to bring a complementary stand-alone methodology and different angle that would allow one to review one’s own work practices and gain insights to take the initiative of a personal developmental journey for one’s own performance and employability.


I believe academia and businesses should join hands to research and appreciate the validity and reliability of these dimensions and at what levels people in different countries perceive and use these dimensions.


Further research questions

  • Exploring the dimensions internationally?

  • Assessing the dimensions’ impact on people performance?

  • Developing an in depth understanding of the dimensions?



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