Introduction and Overview*
The RGB is a work-style preference inventory that explains an important and fundamental difference between the way people "think" and therefore between the ways they make decisions and behave in an organizational setting. This technology is used to help make productive shifts that range from behavior adjustments that improve organizational capacity, to enhanced coping mechanisms that, at least, do not detract from capacity.
RGB stands for the fundamental colors Red, Green, and Blue. These colors are used to represent thinking patterns that result in decision and behavior patterns. These colors are used because they are the most value-neutral labels available. One color is no better than another, except as the behavior they represent are effective in consonance with the conditions within which interaction takes place – as people interact within the context of a situation.
Capacity is that all-important ingredient in the relationships that may lay dormant thus stifling the achievement of an organization’s purpose or vision. Or it may emerge to create the enthusiastic synergy needed to propel an organization from a lackluster performer to an industry award winner. When capacity is "ideal," members of the workforce are happier – but a happy workforce is a by-product of high capacity, not the outcome. When people who work together are able to inject the best of what they have to offer into the challenging equation of work for the benefit of their own satisfaction and the benefit of the organization, everyone wins! The RGB is a powerful technology that helps leaders in organizations find and tap into that equation in a productive way.
There have been times in the last few decades when senior people in organizations - managers, and supervisors say to their workforce, "This is not a democracy you know. I’ll make that decision." Because a manager has the authority to make a decision that does not mean that, the decision is being made in the absence of a prevailing democratic culture. Nor does it mean that all decisions will be put to a vote to determine courses of action. But one reality remains clear - this country has a foundation based on fair representation and full participation in critical decisions that impact our collective future as citizens. We do not leave our citizenship at the door when we arrive at work - although my sad experience has been that too many employers expect just that. Unfortunately, many workers do leave extraordinary capacity to do their best work at the door by withholding discretionary effort due to a lack of earnest involvement in corporate decisions.
In the absence of full participation in decision-making, many employers have suggested that by listening to various points of view that they have been inclusive - yet most see those actions as condescending and perfunctory. What they tend to be, however, is an exercise of a "ME" rather than a "WE" perspective with a management "spin" designed to make people believe that everyone’s best interests have been served. What has been served is the management perspective and the erosion of true and full participation in decisions that impact the organization and the lives of people in it - and beyond.
When dissolution becomes pervasive, the organization stands to lose the most important asset it can hope for - the innovative spirit of its workforce. We often refer to this innovative spirit, in part, as capacity. Once the loss of capacity becomes embedded in an organizations culture, reversing those conditions is costly even when possible, and in some cases even impossible.
There is often a tendency to confuse requisite talent with skills, knowledge, and ability. Engaging one’s talent is a delightful experience for both the individual and the person being "served." Simply because a person has acquired the skills, knowledge and ability to perform the tasks required of a job does not necessarily mean that latent talent will also be engaged. Yet all too often people look for a job based on the skills required, or the compensation package they will obtain in the process. Many new employees will take a job because they believe that they will be able to migrate to the work that fulfills them once they are on the payroll. This is rarely the case. New employees are typically judged against the requirements of the position they were hired into based on skills, knowledge and abilities with little or no regard for natural talent predisposition.
Every author has a vision that his or her work will change the planet in some way. At its best, this work can change the way we see our fit in the scheme of organizations so that a higher level of capacity can be reached by people working together. For some that may mean reaching a new understanding about an important relationship that permits synergy. For others, it may yield a learning that breeds tolerance where there was only resentment. When we use RGB as a prelude to diversity workshops, we are developing a common ground that translates into universal characteristics that cross every human boundary. It allows a better dialog about our differences and the strengths that diversity can bring to our relationships. This common thread is always received well and applauded, and for some, constitutes a hope that we’ll one day get it "right."
Everyone from whom we’ve collected RGB scores over the last 18 years has some of each color in their profile. The degree to which one or two colors dominate the profile tends to be a reliable predictor of thinking patterns, decision preferences, and behavior. Depending on the profile, some people are better able to adjust their dominant style to the prevailing conditions within which they find themselves and therefore become more productive. Others find that their patterns prevail even within conditions that call for shifts (when a front-line worker is promoted to supervisor, for example).
The RGB is a cornerstone technology. That is to say, that it "links" directly to other related concepts and thereby adds strength to the fabric of organizational capacity. Although we’ve had the opportunity to use other popular technologies over the years, such as the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, we’ve settled on the RGB because of its broader application. It is easily understood, more easily remembered, and therefore more universally applied in the full range of organization settings – from the Board Room and Executive Suite to the Loading Dock and Custodial Domain. This broad range of application makes it an ideal tool for large-scale systemic organization development interventions, or for a single stand-alone team development event.
RGB Technology is a new millennium tool used to create an "Ideal" worklife capacity in complex organizations. The RGB is easier and more quickly adopted into the language and work patterns of a broader range of workers than any other technology in use today. It takes a highly complex condition and makes it simple to understand and use. The following are descriptions of the five levels used to engage this powerful tool beginning with top leadership and cascading throughout the entire workforce.
Level 1 - Individual Predisposition. Participants learn their own patterns of thinking that yield work style preferences - both the functional and dysfunctional (everyone has both). Individual feedback and interpretation guides include a graphic RGB Profile.
Level 2 - Interpersonal Dynamics. Once people have a "grounding" in their own predisposed patterns, they can then focus attention on interpersonal dynamic implications. This aspect begins a strong "leadership" orientation that continues throughout.
Level 3 - Matching Tasks with Talents. A Worklife capacity increase with an optimum fit between people with an ideal "interpersonal RGB chemistry" and, grows exponentially with improved task matching (this requires RGB Typing of Tasks to best fit the performance profiles of those who will do the work). A Capacity Index results.
Level 4 - Leveraging Organizational Culture. Much of an organization's culture (and the corresponding capacity) emerges from minute-by-minute interactions across an entire organizational spectrum. Deciphering how to leverage these interactions to create and sustain an "Ideal" organization culture is both artful and scientific. Participants learn the process that unlocks dormant capacity by linking cultural capacity to RGB sources.
Level 5 - Measuring and Monitoring RGB Technology Implementations. RGB Technology allows users to precisely measure individual and organizational status, formulate strategies to shift capacity to "Ideal" conditions and monitor the organization for required course corrections on an ongoing basis.
RGB and Organizational Objectives. People working together create progress toward organizational objectives. All too often individual issues stand in the way of progress when "urgent issues" get attention, while the truly important systemic patterns are unintentionally avoided. Because of RGB predisposition, people often formulate a pattern for what gets attended to and what gets avoided. Patterns emerge from these tendencies. Hiring practices among managers and senior executives inadvertently strengthen the potential dysfunction by eliminating the "creative tension" required for the vigorous debate that improves overall decision-making. The implications of RGB on hidden work patterns will become obvious as RGB in fully integrated into work relationships.
The workforce in all organizations is separated into five potential groups. Each group is characterized by the degree to which they create monetary value for the organization based not on their customer service effectiveness or product and service innovations. Their value, rather, is based on their discretionary effort to find and resolve internal organizational issues that impede overall organizational health. Knowing the RGB profile of individuals and the groups through which they make their best contributions helps develop organizational potential and recover lost capacity.
RGB and Planning. A continuous planning mentality is imperative for organizational success. The RGB enhances the planning process by involving the right "thinkers" in the right aspects of planning to yield extraordinary results. As any planner will confess, "It is not the plan that matters but the process by which the plan has been created, adjusted, and will be implemented. Outside influences will take a toll on the planning work that has been done, so continuous navigation will become an imperative for success. A stagnant plan will fail." A planning methodology that uses the RGB as a foundation is a fully integrated part of this technology.
Knowing where you want to go is important – it is a foundational concept in visionary leadership. Of greater importance to the quality, cost, and speed of the journey toward any vision, is an understanding of where you are in relation to where you want to be. Intuition, especially the intuition of leaders who tend to be isolated from the front-line of their organizations, becomes a dangerous territory to traverse. Acquiring the concrete data needed for the journey becomes an essential ingredient to success. The RGB is used to "filter" diagnostic results so that a "true" picture of current conditions, a "true" picture of the path to vision, and a "true" assessment of the cost of the journey is readily available at all times.
RGB and Change. People are guided by what they believe to be true about their organization. If you want to change behavior, you must think about changing beliefs first. Mandating behavioral compliance through policy and regulations is one way to do it, but it becomes a costly way that at an extreme will fail. Since the RGB is a universal filter through which beliefs are reinforced (and changed) is also becomes a catalyst for change to those who understand how to use it effectively. To shift direction, and enhance capacity, one must understand the influence of beliefs and the function of credible organizational stories. Beliefs, Rules, Evidence, and Stories, form the foundational elements that link the RGB and this powerful model to provide the organization with a strong mechanism to bring about lasting change without the compliance "hammer" that is all-to-often engaged for this purpose.
RGB and The Basic Model. The RGB is also linked to The Basic Model. This model explains the path to an ideal organizational capacity and the four main "territories" that must be navigated for lasting ideal capacity to be achieved and sustained. Each "territory" links to RGB dominance such that it explains why some people avoid certain parts of the journey while embracing others. Yet success will only be achieved by those who travel this journey together, learn from each other, reinforce each other as needed, fill each other’s "blind spot," and care both for the organization they serve and for the people in it as individuals.
RGB and Matching Tasks and Talents (MTT). One of the most significant advancements we’ve made in RGB technology has been the regimen that matches tasks with talents thereby producing a better job fit and increased capacity. This expanded use of the RGB has confirmed in our minds that people come to organizations with a set of talents (apart from skills, knowledge, and abilities) to contribute. Some get to use that talent and others do not for a variety of "justifiable" reasons. When talent is not engaged, the organization looses capacity and the individual suffers a loss of "spirit" that is difficult, but not impossible, to recover on the job. To complete our confirmation that the application of talent is a critical challenge for organizations, when we compare the scores from employee surveys and RGB inventory profile the loss-rate matches to within 2% in all cases – that has been an astonishing finding!
RGB and Leadership. Our research has also led us to the conclusion that the RGB is an intuitive phenomena in that people in an organizational setting (work, social, governance, or even religious) have expectations of those who hold certain positions. Further, the universal languages of organizations tend to use universal labels (visionary leader or micro-manager, for example) for those who do or do not meet those expectations. In exploring the depth of these intuitive phenomena over the years we have also come to believe that dysfunctional competition among work group members can be explained whether in the executive suite or in a remote work group. The RGB is immune from compensation, education, career experience, gender or other multi-cultural influences. It explains a fundamental element in the fabric of human nature that transcends all other qualifiers.
RGB and CapcityWare™ Software. Finally, some clarity about the software system that supports the RGB. CapacityWare™ is the most advanced "change management system" available to organizational change agents. It is fully integrated with RGB technology. Designed as a organization development and leadership tool, it allows workforce diagnostics to be undertaken at a completely new level of sophistication that produces extraordinary results. CapacityWare™ supports the creation and processing of workforce diagnostics that link with the RGB and all other models as part of the system of organizational change.
QWLCand RGB. This work has emerged from 27 years of work in the organization development field as both an internal and external consultant for small and large organizations. Some "interventions" were single-events, while more were of long-term duration. Our dominant niche has always been the community infrastructure domain: public education, health care, government, and large industry clients. Our firm has also engaged in a strong internship/education partnership effort with undergraduate, graduate and advanced degree colleges and universities as well as active membership in local and national associations within our domain. Under these conditions, we’ve placed a high priority on learning and refining our services through the academic route and through our clients on a continuous basis.
The inventory has been revised seven times in the last 18 years to assure the highest possible accuracy and reliability. Because the technology pertains to both an organizational setting and the life-in-general settings, it has made a dramatic impact on the consistency with which people approach relationships both at work and at off-the-job. Since its inception, we’ve offered "free" RGB processing for a significant family member of those in our client organization as part of our work. When people take advantage of this offer many report back the positive significance that offer has made in their family relationships as well.
*This text is a modified form of the RGB Workstyle Preference Manual Introduction.
Copyright 2005 Leadagement Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved.
www.LTODI.com - December 2003, October 2005 - (757) 591-0807 - "authority" - 2695 - RGB Workstyle Preference Manual