There are eight pathways defined in the model, but not all eight are represented in every company. You will find a short description and an extensive explanation of every pathway represented in our organization below.
The assistant often does temporary jobs for which no specific skill or knowledge is required. Think about low-level cleaning work, assembly-line work, street cleaning, dish-washing etc. For positions that need a helper, it doesn’t really matter who does the work, it just needs to be done. Helpers don’t need any problem-solving skills because they don’t need to make decisions. They also don’t bother asking how their work can be improved.
For Skilled Worker employee positions, some specific expertise is required, which can be demonstrated by utilizing a degree or certificate. The tasks they will handle need to be executed accurately. Basic employees work within the boundaries of the regulations, assignments and routines, but they are not replaceable. They are also a lot more involved with the organization than helpers and make for very loyal colleagues. They execute solutions to the problems they deal with as long as the solution is already pre-defined (for example: building a wall exactly in that location) and doesn’t depend on interpretation. Examples are receptionists, woodworkers, firefighters and security guards.
All-rounders excel in solving all sorts of practical problems. Whether these problems are of a technical, commercial or administrative nature, the All-rounder can make decisions that quickly lead to an adequate solution. The problems they deal with consist of several sub-tasks so that they can see the connection between these tasks. Although the problems they deal with are routine, the perfect solution is not always obvious. They’re flexible and empathetic,
Examples are customer support, doctor’s assistants, administration, technicians and sales.
Specialists solve complex but specific problems within a complete area of expertise using relevant methods and techniques. These are unique problems that exist outside of the daily routine and that don't yet have a prescribed solution, but there is a right or wrong solution (or one that works and one that doesn’t). Specialists stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, and they’re constantly working on optimization.
Examples are communication advisor, teacher, software engineer, HR-advisor, system engineer, designer etc.
Professionals differentiate themselves by their capability to think more conceptually. This means they can see connections between abstract problems and issues that can only be understood and have meaning when they are put into context. This (often personal) interpretation of reality is called vision. They often focus on business processes instead of products, and they deal with multiple stakeholders.
Examples are business analyst, system architect, psychologists.
Generalists are responsible for and focus their attention on several business processes and decide how these are arranged and developed. They focus on areas beyond their own expertise and influence the company as a whole.
Leaders lead multiple business processes. It is not enough to be experts in their own field, but they need to know everything: HRM, finance, IT, marketing etc. In big traditional organizations, they’re the high-level management.
Strategists lead the biggest organizations. They don’t only shape the company so it moves towards the market, but they actually shape it so it moves to their company. They have the skills to balance the sometimes conflicting short- and long-term interests.
Relations between the pathways
Of course, the pathways depend on each other, not only from top to bottom but also bottom up. Together they all work on the purpose of the organization.
They can be divided into two groups: doers and thinkers (you guessed it!). Three pathways specifically are the ‘core’ of an organization: they make sure the company keeps growing and re-inventing itself. This so-called change-organization consists of the pathways of specialists, professionals and generalists.