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?



Ability. (2017). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary.

Altabet, R. (1998). The forecaster as a key member of the strategic planning team. Journal of Business Forecasting, 17(3), 3–6.

American Psychological Association (n.d.). Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Retrieved March 13, 2016 at

Anderson, B. (2014, August 13). Soft skills training: 6 skill sets which provide employees a solid base. Personal Excellence Essentials, 13–15.

Antony, S.D. Duncan, D.S., & Siren, P.M.A (2014). Build an innovation engine in 90 days. Harvard Business Review, 92(12),  59–68. Available at

Argyris, C. (1977). Double loop learning in organizations. Harvard Business Review, 55(5), 115–125.

Argyris, C. (2002). Double-loop learning, teaching and research. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 1(2), 206–218.

Attitude. (2017). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary.

Behavior (2017). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary.

BiostaTGV. (n.d.). Tableau des tests statistiques d’hypothèse [Table of statistical hypothesis tests].

Bolboli, S. A. Reiche, M.  (2016) Development of an Instrument for Assessing Corporate Culture in the Context of EFQM Excellence Model. Organizational Cultures: An International Journal. Jun2016, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p37-50. 14p.

Bodell, L. (2014). Soft skills for the future. Training and Development, 68(3), 35–38

Campbell, K. S., White, D. C., & Johnson, D. E. (2003) Leader-member relations as a function of rapport management. Journal of Business Communication, 40(3), 170–194.

Canwell, A., Dongrie, V., Neveras, N., & Stockton, H. (2014). Developing 21st-Century leadership skills. American Management Association, 38-43.

Casse, P., & Banahan, E. (2011). 21st century team skills. September, 11–16. Retrieved from

Clampit, P. G., & Downs, J. D. (1993). Employee perceptions of the relation between communication and productivity: A field study. Journal of Business Communication, 30(1), 5–28.

Escrig, A.B. De Menezes, L. M. (2016) What is the effect of size in the use of the EFQM excellence model ?International Journal of Operations & Production Management. Vol. 36 Issue 12, p1800-1820. 21p.

Falco, M. (2016). Executive training should focus on engaging employees. Central Penn Business Journal, 17. Retrievable at

Feffer, M. (2015). What makes a great employer? HR Magazine, June, 38–43. Retrievable at

Fisher, J. (2012). Closing the soft skills gap in the 21st century employment. Business People, 58.

Gaunay, M., Lieblein, R., & Braun, P. (2015). What is the importance of a firm’s dedication to its nearby community? Employee Benefit Adviser, January, 8.

Gendron, R. (2015). Build trust, then lead. Leadership Excellence Essentials, 32(8), 27.

Glaser, B. & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago, IL: Aldine de Gruyter.

Gómez, J.G. Martínez, C. Martínez,L, Ángel R. (2017) EFQM excellence model and TQM : an empirical comparison , Total Quality Management & Business Excellence. , Vol. 28 Issue 1/2, p88-103. 16p.

Gore, W. (2013). 21st century skills and prospective job challenges The IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 7(4), 7–14.

Gupta, M. (2015). A study on employees perception towards employee engagement Globsyn Management Journal, 9(1–2), 45–51.

Guse, G., & Paulsen, C.J. (2015). Responding to a down AG Economy AgriMarketing, November/December, 34.

Harris, P. (2009, September 16). Help wanted: “T-Shaped” skills to meet 21st century needs. Training + Development, September 42–47.

Henville, N. (2012, September 1). Hard vs soft skills training www. Retrieved from

Hilton, M. (2008). Skills for work in the 21st century: What does the research tell us? Academy of Management, 22(4),  63–78.

Hinterhuber, H. H., & & Popp, W. (1992). Are you a strategist or just a manager? Harvard Business Review. 70(1): 105–113.

Hough, K. (2015, January 9). The dichotomy of creativity. Association for Talent Development December, 54-58.

Jamail, N. (2015). The most desired skills of the future:  Three things a leader can do. Leadership Excellence Essentials, 32(1), 39.

Kalman, F. (2012, December 17). Has executive education gone soft? Chief Learning Officer.

Kar, A. K. (2011). Importance of life skills for the professionals of 21century. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 5(3), 35–45.

Klie, L. (2016). IBM merges weather and business forecasts.

Kruse, K. (2015, February 26). The ROI of employee engagement. Forbes. Retrievable at

Laker, D. R., & Powell, J. L. (2011). The differences between hard and soft skills and their relative impact on training transfer. Human Resource Developments Quarterly, 22(1), 111–122.

Landes, L. (2014). Getting to the heart of employee engagement. Public Relations Tactics.

Lazarus, A. (2013). Soften up: The importance of soft skills for job success. Physician Executive Journal, 39(5), 40–45.

Long, D. (n.d.). Le chi carée. Centre de recherche et développement en education Université de Moncton.

Marsh, G. (2012). Soft skills and the future. Training Journal, February, 39–41.

Master, M. (1999). The future is now. Across the Board, march. P 78

Mayo, W.D. (2015, February 10). Soft-side leadership: Why is it always the hardest part? Leadership Excellence Essentials.

McGuire, K. (2013). Finding common ground between business goals and human potential. Integral Leadership Review, August–November.

McKirdy, C. (2015) Competitive advantage: Building engagement through better workplace conversations, Human Resources, 20(2), 10–12.

Mintzberg, H. (1978). Patterns in strategy formation. Management Science, 24(9), 934–948.

Neville T. D.  Goodson,J.R. Dougherty, T .M. (2013) Managing innovation in hospitals and health systems: Lessons from the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award WinnersInternational Journal of Healthcare Management.  Vol. 7 Issue 1, p21-34. 14p.

Pennington, G. (2013). Soft skills in the business and personal world. Global Focus: The EFMD Magazine, 7(3), 52–

Performance. (2016). Retrieved March 13, 2016, at

Pink, D. (2005). A whole new mind: Why right-brainers will rule the future. New York, NY: Berkley.

Ramousse, R., Le Berre, M., & Le Guelte, L. (1996). Comparaison entre deux échantillons: Le Test t de Student. In Introduction aux statistiques. Retrievable at

Rangnekar, S. S. (2012). Soft skills in management. International Journal of Business Insights and Transformation, 5(1), 108–109

Robles, M. M. (2012). Executive perceptions of the top 10 soft skills needed in today’s workplace. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(4), 453–465.

Ruthelford, P. (2011). Skills: Hard? Soft? Human? Hmmmm. Training and Development in Australia, 18-19

Saunderson, R. (2016). Is there something wrong with employee engagement? Training: The Source for Professional Development.

Sayer, K. (2016, February 17). More data, regrettably, does not mean greater accuracy.

Scher, S. (2008). Psychology 3530: Industrial Organizational Psychology [class syllabus], Eastern Illinois University Retrieved March 13, 2016 from

Schleicher, D. J. Smith, T. A. Watt, J. D. Casper, W. J., & Greguras, G. J. (2015). It’s all in the attitude: The role of job attitude strength in job attitude–outcome relationships Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(4), 1259–1274.

Seifert, M., & Hadida, A. L. (2013). 3 humans + 1 computer = best predictions Harvard Business Review.

Sheperd, C. (2012). A question of attitude. e-learning age

Skill. (2017). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary.

Snyder, T. (2015). Insights from Fortune’s “100 best companies to work for”: 5 things every company can learn. The Public Relations Strategist, Spring, 12–14.

Somani, S. (2015). Prepare for the worst: Project managers must work together to limit damage from unwanted surprises. PM Network, 29(12), 23.

Steckler, S. (2011). Influential strategist: Peter Block. People and Strategy, 34(2), 12–13.

Tewari, R. & Sharma, R. (2011). Managerial skills for managers in the 21st century. Review of management, 1(3), 4–15. ISSN: 2231-0487

Thomas, A. (2014). Learning the skills of “can do.” Recruiter, January P 19

Tubbs, S., & Hain, T. (1973). Managerial communication and its relationship to total organizational effectiveness. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Atlanta, GA.

Watson, H. J. (2015). Soft skills for professional success. Business Intelligence Journal, Student Edition, 9–13.

Wheeless, I. R., Wheeless, V. E., & Howard, R. D. (1984). The relationships of communication with supervisor and decision-participation to employee job satisfaction. Communication Quarterly, 32(3), 222–232.

Wilson B. G. (2015, October 30). Energize your workforce: 10 ways leaders can take employees. Canadian Manager, Fall, 20–22.

Xlstat. (n.d.). Test t de student pour deux échantillons appariés [Student t test for two matched samples].

Yaeger, T. F. & Sorensen, P. F. (2016). Enhancing employee engagement efforts. OD Practitioner, 48(2), 48–51.


Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *