Unleashing Infinite Potential (part 1)

The Paradigm Shift in Work, Wellbeing, and Creativity. In a rapidly evolving world, understanding the nuanced dimensions of individual capabilities has become crucial. The delineation of one's areas of genius, expertise, competency, and incompetency holds the key to unlocking human potential, fostering wellbeing, and igniting creativity. Traditional management models, built primarily on financial compensation, are proving inadequate in nurturing employee satisfaction and unleashing their true potential. Instead, a new paradigm of treating employees with reverence, aligned with the "treating your employees as God" philosophy, is emerging as a powerful driver of efficiency and innovation. Moreover, integrating this approach with the profit-people-planet triple baseline model showcases a path forward that redefines success in the modern workplace.


1. Area of Genius: Every individual possesses a unique gift—an inherent, birth-particular talent that enables them to excel effortlessly in a certain capacity.  In this realm, work becomes an expression of this innate gift, effortlessly harnessing vast resources as synchronicities unfold at every corner. Individuals operating in their areas of genius radiate an unstoppable drive, fueled by an incredible inner force. Companies that recognize and nurture these areas of genius, as exemplified by Patagonia, often achieve extraordinary results. The synchronicity between individual passion and organizational goals creates an environment where innovation flourishes, and every challenge is met with unwavering determination.

2. Area of Expertise: Operating within one's area of expertise may offers the satisfaction of a job well done. While it doesn't have the same effortless quality as working within the area of genius, it's still a zone of competency and confidence. This is where individuals have acquired mastery through education, training, and experience. Not as energizing as the area of genius employees working within their areas of expertise may find their work only partly fulfilling, and it will lacks the same level of intrinsic motivation and inspiration that the area of genius provides. I would suggest that harmonious models work best when area of genius is more than half of the employees terms of reference.

3. Area of Competency: Competency zones encompass skills that individuals have acquired through education, training, or experience. These skills form the backbone of many roles and tasks within organizations and while they seem providing stability and a sense of achievement they will not be as inherently fulfilling as areas of genius or expertise. However, in an effort to maximize potential, organizations can aim to limit the allocation of work in the competency zone to around 20% or even 10%. Recognizing that there might be others in the organization for whom these tasks align with their areas of genius, a redistribution of responsibilities can lead to better engagement and efficiency.

4. Area of Incompetency: Acknowledging one's limitations is as vital as recognizing strengths. Engaging in tasks outside of one's area of competency can lead to frustration and burnout. As part of the new approach to management, organizations can aim to minimize the allocation of work in the area of incompetency. Through continuous evaluation and adjustment of employees' terms of reference, the goal should be to approach a state of 0% allocation in this category.

Impact on Wellbeing and Creativity: Understanding these four dimensions and aligning tasks accordingly can significantly impact both employee wellbeing and creativity. When individuals are empowered to work in their areas of genius, their job satisfaction soars, leading to improved mental health and overall quality of life. This alignment also triggers creative insights and innovative solutions, as employees are more likely to think outside the box when they are engaged and fulfilled.

Shift from Financial Compensation to Reverence: The old-style management model, primarily focused on financial compensation, is showing its limitations in the modern workplace. Daniel Pink's book "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" demonstrates that financial compensation is not a model that engages creativity and optimum contribution from employees. While monetary rewards are essential, they are no longer the sole driving force for employee engagement. The "treating your employees as God" concept underscores the need to honor and respect individuals' contributions, valuing them not just for their output but for their holistic wellbeing.

The Profit-People-Planet Triple Baseline Model: The emerging paradigm of success encompasses the triple bottom line—profit, people, and planet. This model recognizes that financial success should be intricately linked with the wellbeing of employees and the sustainability of our environment. When organizations prioritize the welfare of their employees and the health of the planet alongside profitability, they create a harmonious ecosystem where creativity and innovation flourish, fostering a holistic sense of success.

In conclusion, the evolving landscape of work emphasizes the significance of understanding and utilizing individuals' areas of genius, expertise, competency, and incompetency. Shifting from the traditional compensation-driven approach to one that reveres employees as valued contributors cultivates a thriving work environment. By integrating this approach with the profit-people-planet triple baseline model, organizations can unlock human potential, enhance creativity, and redefine success in a more holistic and sustainable manner. Through a systematic review of each employee's terms of reference, organizations can strive to increase the allocation of tasks in the area of genius, optimize the balance between areas of expertise and genius, limit the competency zone's allocation, and approach a state where the area of incompetency is virtually nonexistent. This dynamic approach will ultimately create a workplace that fosters exceptional wellbeing, innovation, and collective success.


Los Angeles, August 21, 2023