Praxis is a Greek word meaning “habitual or established practice”. Translated to one’s business routine, it implies the way one naturally does their job. There are many ways to describe praxis; adjectives such as creative, driven, sympathetic, excellent problem solver, organized, efficient, and decisive are all examples. Unfortunately, these adjectives are relative and imprecise. Tests have been derived which measure behavior and personality – key elements of praxis. Myers-Briggs, and DiSC are two very popular evaluations yielding 16 and 9 “types” respectively. Much effort has gone into mapping Myers-Briggs, DiSC, and other personality test results to professions and functions such as: marketing, sales, manufacturing, finance, doctors, lawyers, teachers, contractors, police, etc. The matches can only approximate these professions and functions as they come with many variations in dimensions such as need for following processes, helpfulness with customers, sense of urgency, risk aversion, inventiveness, and dozens of others – all elements of praxis. As a result we see many situations where describing a specific job as simply marketing, sales, contractor, or even nursing could attract someone with the right background but with a very inappropriate praxis.
CycloPraxis is the mapping of worker praxis to the lifecycle stage representing the maturity of any given business unit. For the purposes of cyclopraxis the lifecycle stages are defined as authoring [startup], building [early growth], capitalizing [late growth and maturity], diversifying [really authoring/building a new business unit], and extending [decline]. Authors, builders, capitalizers and captains, and extenders best staff these lifecycle stages. Various elements of the praxis of each have been well researched. Authors are responsible for undeterred championing of the initial idea. Builders are personally credited with necessary and important first accomplishments. Capitalizers seek maximum returns by carefully adhering to processes and being mindful of boundaries. Extenders keep both accumulated wisdom alive and key customers supported for as long as possible. Diversifiers and Captains play special roles. Each group has a natural way of working [praxis] that happens to align with the needs of the business as the business moves from lifecycle stage to stage.
Much has been written about evolutionary stages of firms, disruptive technologies, new ventures, and high technology marketing, but it seems that large firms continue to experience difficulty in deploying the necessary new products and opening new markets necessary for tip line growth and employees continue to wind up with assignments for which they are poorly suited. CycloPraxis explains this behavior and prescribes novel approaches. Another well documented situation is when the company founder has to relinquish the reigns because they are no longer the appropriate leader in a growing enterprise. Without a compelling understanding of 'why' the transition is needed, the founder becomes at least demoralized and often defensive. CycloPraxis explains this situation and prescribes acceptance mechanisms.
The classic match between worker and job is function: operations, manufacturing, marketing, finance, sales, development, etc. Certainly it is important to match job function to an individual's preferences. There is another equally important dimension to the fit between workers and their jobs: cyclopraxis.
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