The issues with which Professionals concern themselves mostly have to do with the innovation of business and operational production processes, or with the implementation of an instrument, such as a new remuneration system. Examples of Professional work include: improving corporate image, finding a new target group for a product, increasing margins, reorganising production processes, developing a new product, or establishing a new sales policy so that costs are significantly reduced. Vision is required in order to resolve all these issues and to get all the stakeholders in agreement. 

Pre-Junior ProfessionalSchermafdruk_2019-08-13_13.26.47.pngThe Pre-Junior Professional starts in this position, in principle, after completing a university education (WO, wetenschappelijk onderwijs). The Junior Professional may also have had a higher vocational (HBO) background but have clearly demonstrated the talent of an inquiring, independently thinking Professional with a fundamentally innovative, or potentially innovative, way of thinking about the organisation (as opposed to the optimisation) of business processes. Additional academic education would be appropriate in this case.

Approaches matters of policy from a different, new perspective and questions ingrained habits and opinions. Does not yet have a realistic idea of processes of organisational change, but is extremely curious and interested to learn how colleagues deal with complex problems.

Contributes to important consultations and discerns the problems involved and the interests at stake. Has a good sense of their own role and adjusts their behaviour accordingly.

Takes the initiative well, often surprising others, with a positive effect on the execution of the project as a consequence. Shoulders responsibility, but often has to be reined in to prevent the process from being disrupted.

Is curious and learns quickly, accepting challenging tasks in order to learn from them. Studies problems thoroughly and contributes to their resolution, but still needs direction from more experienced colleagues. Easily demonstrates the potential to reach a more conceptual level and is regarded as talented.

 

Junior ProfessionalSchermafdruk_2019-08-13_13.26.47.pngA Pre-Junior Professional but with two years’ experience and able to undertake concrete tasks independently.

 

Medior ProfessionalSchermafdruk_2019-08-13_13.26.47.pngHas won the confidence of manager, client and colleagues to be allowed to undertake projects independently to solve complex, conceptual issues. Takes responsibility for the approach, process and final results.

Has a convincing vision in respect of policy problems and can lay out a strategy based on the appropriate considerations. Has a sufficiently theoretical background to persuade the management team of the effectiveness of the advice given and makes a distinction between real vision and wild ideas.

Understands the requirements behind a requirement and takes account of underlying interests in an action plan. Has the political sensitivity to attempt to accommodate the interests of all stakeholders and has a good sense of timing if other parties have to be engaged in order to achieve the goal.

The results prove the correct appraisal of interests, expectations and pre-conditions. Intervenes in the process where necessary.

 

Core ProfessionalSchermafdruk_2019-08-13_13.26.47.pngThe issues with which professionals occupy themselves relate to the innovation of products and/or operational and production processes. Because these issues involve a substantive, specialist content, it is principally that theoretical expertise, often at an academic level, that the Professional has to have made his or her own in order to be able to operate successfully.

The Core Professional possesses vision and a conceptual ability, because he or she focuses on abstract problems. Abstract problems are those that can only be understood in context: ‘How do we get from A to B, if B is an expectation but there isn’t a method, programme, protocol or other off-the-peg solution.’ The often-personal sense of direction towards a solution is vision. Vision is needed in order to convince other parties that you are going in the right direction and that it will lead to the expected and agreed results, taking account of the interests at stake.

A Professional must therefore be able to navigate the politics, or a political minefield, that is poisoned by the conflicting interests of clients, managers employees and other parties. The Professional must be able to deal with that while at the same time endeavouring to realise his or her own ‘agenda’ without losing course.

Mastery
The work demands knowledge of academic models for solving complex, because they are conceptual, problems. An academic education or an education to a comparable level are preferred if not a prerequisite. The work involves interpreting information in order to find explanations for how groups of people, clients and products, etc. work as well as for forming strategic policies for target groups, operational processes or complex projects.

Autonomy
The employee is free to design the strategic concept, annual strategic plan, etc., as he or she will, as long as they match expectations. This involves policy considerations that take into account the interests at stake. It demands a vision that convinces the parties involved of the direction of the solution, so that expectations in respect of the realisation of the project can be met.

Impact
The work demands continual consultation with other parties who are also responsible for policy, and operational staff who are responsible for the technical realisation.

Ownership
The position involves research into the strategic approach to policy issues or projects related to innovation, taking into account the interests of important stakeholders. An important element of the work is arranging or renewing operational processes and/or products based on theoretical research and/or insight.

 

Master ProfessionalSchermafdruk_2019-08-13_13.26.47.pngThe authority and capacities of the Master Professional transcend those of the Core Professional. They relate in particular to a special expertise, the integration of diverse operational processes or projects and business development. Positions like those of the Master consultant, programme manager, key account manager or plant or branch manager can also be described as Master Professional.

The Master Professional is involved in decisions on important business questions as an expert. He or she operates as a countervailing power against senior management and the Master management by dint of his or her exceptional expertise. He or she is the person people look to as a matter of course for advice for decision-making: the Master Professional is an authority who provides advice that is generally followed.

The Master Professional is not only an important advisor, but is also capable of implementing change processes in the organisation. He or she provides focus in a series of projects or operational processes to form a cohesive whole powerful enough to achieve long-term goals. The scope of the Master Professional is two to three years. He or she starts from the same place as the Generalist, although the latter focusses on initiating new product-market combinations while the Master Professional is responsible for bringing them to realisation.

Above all, however, the Master Professional is sufficiently flexible enough to abandon his or her island and to focus on the interests at stake at the corporate level. It is precisely this flexibility that gains the Master Professional acceptance at the top of the company.

Mastery
The position involves giving shape to the implementation of the processes of change as programme manager. The work consists of making complex conceptual problems clear and more cohesive. The employee oversees the long-term business strategy and provides advice to that end that determines the direction.

Autonomy
The work consists of strategically advising the directors and management team about matters concerning the business model. The work also has a great impact on decisions taken by the management team and at the directorial level. The employee has an effect on strategic decision-making processes. He or she leads an operational management team of Master or other Specialists, functionally manages a team of Professionals or operates as a Master business consultant.

Impact
The work consists of building on and expanding coherent client groups in order to achieve growth and development. It also consists of building on and expanding a profitable network of senior and other managers. The employee is visible to the outside world, as, for example, an expert who regularly gives lectures at congresses and seminars.

Ownership
The work consists of the design of platforms so that operational processes can communicate with each other to allow an integral policy to arise in order to realise change objectives (themes).