Appendix C: Human Characteristics
Affinity for Rules
Blanchard's studies on management style,
some people have a natural affinity for a rules-based environment. The thought
of not having rules, in other words, having the prerogative to create, may be
too distressing. The Myers Briggs orientation
here would be an iSTj introverted / Sensing / Thinking / Judgmental persona.
Though it's not for everyone, corporate manufacturing thrives on the dedication
of the many men and women that bring products to market under situations of high
In the learning continuum identified in the figure, affinity for rules and
the allegiance to these rules is essential for success.
Affinity for Methods
for humans to want to order chaos makes this archetype particularly attractive
for people who are naturally organized. Myers Briggs would suggest this is an
iSTp Introverted / Sensing / Thinking / Perceptive personality.
The calling at Level 2 entails foregoing the comfort of a proclaimed rule
set, venturing into the custom world, managing parameters into a semblance of
order and following the methodology in pursuit of success.
Affinity for Objectives
causes VIP's to enjoy the thrill of adventure "to boldly go where no one
has gone before", especially when the world looking on has a concept of reality
that is simpler than it is.
Level 3 entails awareness that things won't go according to plan, VIP's plan
on them not going according to plan, VIP's, with all of their tenacity, keep the
"arm-chair quarterbacks" at bay, fight adversity and play to win. This is not
the "organizing" challenge of Level 2. The Myers Briggs personality here
is an eNTj, Extroverted / iNtuitive / Thinking / Judgmental. These are people
good at ruthlessly fighting adversity not the type of person that should
be allowed to mingle with the general population.
Affinity for Principles
tough strategic conditioning of the Level 3 field Marshal, the Level 4 champion
operates on the higher plain of principle. The Project Champion is to be an exemplary
emblem of the organization, able to build trust in both projects and end user
domains while at the same time exercising resolve to keep the initiative on course.
As the Project Champion is often left to account for progress, this dichotomy
of principled openness and tactical maneuvering creates a cognitive dissonance
a seemingly unresolvable dilemma. The Myers Briggs super hero is an eNFp
Extroverted / iNtuitive / Feeling / Perceptive.
Hopefully the warehouse has lots of them in stock as we wear them out quickly.
Affinity for Values
The person here is one that attracts and binds cultural diversity to a common
interest a world facilitator.
Matching human factors with complexity levels
So, with the foregoing human factors, there is a natural alignment with the
complexity levels. Humans with a high affinity for rules align with Level 1,
those with a high affinity for methods with Level 2 and so forth. Give a
task to someone and watch what he or she does with it. Have a project practitioner
diagnose a problem on the project. You will receive a response based on the perspective
of the person.
A Level 1-inclined individual will rationalize their response based
on evaluation against rules. Institutional policies and procedures are the guiding
reference. This is generally the correct perspective for production environments
for which the corporate rules set has been developed and "ever greened" through
A Level 2-inclined individual will rationalize their response based
on a tactical review of methods.
This is the correct and appropriate perspective for construction-based project
A Level 3-inclined individual will rationalize their response based
on a strategic perspective that encompasses consideration of requirements, budget
and motivations of the parties.
A Level 4-inclined individual will rationalize their response based
on a principled perspective appropriate to ensuring the larger corporate interest
is served potentially at the expense of the subject project initiative they are
A Level 5-inclined individual will rationalize their response based
on public Values, the altruistic pursuit of duty to others.
Common mismatches that will be used to demonstrate the point are a Level 1
regulatory perspective in a Custom Project, a Level 2 tactical perspective
in a Dynamic Complexity Project, a Level 3 closed strategy perspective in
an Open System.
Level 1 regulatory perspective in a Custom Project
By DBM definition, the rule set is dynamic for levels 2 through 5. Hence, making
reference to institution rules, appropriately designed for the standard or routine
circumstance, would not be sufficient for evaluation of a custom scenario. A classic
example of this is the mismatch posed by "the corporate audit". Such audits often
entail a comparison of the work to the rule set. Auditors are not at liberty to
stray from the rules and, as such, findings typically are not favorable to the
custom practitioners that have been required to work outside the corporate rule
set for the corporate benefit.
Level 2 tactical perspective in a Dynamic Complexity Project
The desire to organize reality is the strength of the Level 2 practitioner.
However, in circumstances of an evolving methods baseline, this strength often
becomes an impediment to progress. With dynamic complexity, expectation that the
work will conform to the tool is misguided. Rather, the tool need follow the learning
process inherent in dynamic complexity.
Level 3 closed strategy perspective in an Open System
As you reflect back on closed system scenarios, there is often a strong personality
at the helm the tough, battle hardened construction chief for example.
This demeanor provides for a myopic and ruthless stance fighting adversity
to realize the objective. Where, the objective is dynamic, however, where the
greater benefit accrues to the larger corporate interest and the associated network
of colleagues outside the project objective, the Level 3 persona may serve
to undermine the common interest.
2. Hersey, P. & Blanchard, K. H., Management of Organizational Behavior Utilizing Human Resources New Jersey/Prentice Hall, 1969.
3. Myers, Isabel Briggs with Peter B. Myers, Understanding Personality Type Davies-Black Publishing, 1980.