Letter: Techniques to keep employees 'in flow'

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The Independent Online
Sir: Dr Bruce Tofield (Letters, 22 September) offers an intriguing glimpse of 'helping people to achieve their full potential' and thus of 'transforming the competitiveness and the health of the country' but leaves unanswered the inevitable 'Fine, but how?'

I recently attended, with Dr Tofield, a conference at which practitioners and senior executives of major companies from seven countries discussed the remarkable results achieved by a method of understanding individual capability known as Career Path Appreciation (CPA).

Developed by Dr Gillian Stamp from a theoretical model, CPA offers a well-tried method of identifying individual capability to exercise sound judgement, and the likely growth of that capability given favourable conditions which are achieved by a partnership between the management and the workforce. By identifying the distinctive competences required at different levels of work and matching individuals to these, large and small organisations have achieved the result described by Dr Tofield, creating for employees at all levels a condition of being 'in flow', neither overstretched nor underused.

In today's climate of unprecedented turbulence, CPA has implications that far transcend measurement of technical competence. Indeed, it may offer the key to a better understanding of that fashionable and often misunderstood word 'subsidiarity', applicable alike to organisations and nation states.

Yours sincerely,


Director of Engineering

British Airways


23 September