Universal Profiling Model

The Theory of Excellence (THE) provides a Universal Profiling Model (UPM) that is an extremely powerful way to analyse behaviour including Advanced Integrated Decisions(AID), which can also be applied across a very broad spectrum of human functions. UPM is extremely versatile and one of the easiest personality profile models to use (sometimes referred to as psychometric testing or psychological profiling). It can be adopted very, very quickly without the need to complete a complex questionnaire or a lengthy analysis. UPM works in harmony with the Dynamics of Excellence and the other elements of THE to help improve and develop cognitive abilities. Once experience of using UPM has been gained, it can also be used with colleagues, family, or other contacts without the need for them to complete any questionnaire or personality analysis profile. This makes UPM very practical.

UPM is a tenet of the Theory of Excellence and is one of the pillars for many of the other principles. It is complemented by the Nature of Teams framework, the Creativity Model and the Complexity of Change model to complete the Behaviour Map tier of the Theory of Excellence Taxonomy. Below is an introduction to its main principle - zones; however there are additional components within the complete model such as the Frame of Mind control, Subconscious Influencers, personal disposition analysis, cognitive and temporal demand, motivational drive, neural circuit transfer, and behavioural interaction considerations. UPM is unique in that unlike other behavioural or personality profiling models, UPM can also be applied to help categorise and enhance many other management approaches such Integrative Thinking, learning styles inventory, team behaviour, personality conflicts, product profiles, project management techniques, recruitment strategies, to introduce cultural change or business improvements, leadership abilities, motivational theories, education or training programs, team building methods, communication skills, sales abilities, plus many other business strategies or techniques. This flexibility and wide application makes UPM exceptional providing a common principle and language across many aspects of business and personal development helping improve performance and deliver true excellence.

Although we all believe that our brains have been designed specifically for today’s high-tech multi-national world,
they have actually taken millions of years to develop and are based on a pre-reading and writing existence of hunting, gathering and collaboration within a small tribe. We have only been reading for about 5,000 years and using computers for less than 50. The brain has accommodated these technological advances and other new behaviours by using parts of the brain that where designed for other thought processes dating back millions of years to early human existence. Therefore very little has changed in the last million years or so!

New neurological research has now identified that the brain is modular and operates by coupling the required nodes or modules to perform specific tasks, which are called ‘Functional Connectivity Networks’ (FCN). The Theory of Excellence advocates that all FCNs can be grouped into one of four categories which originate from our evolution and that all work in both harmony whilst at the same time in conflict - termed Integrated Cognition. The first category is the one where we do things super-fast, sub-second without even thinking. This is called the Automatic zone and originates from the ‘flight or fight’ response mechanism. Some of these Automatic functions are so ingrained into the blueprint of bodies that it is possible to do these types of tasks even while asleep like walking, eating or even holding a conversation. They can be performed simultaneously and happen throughout the day sometimes sub-consciously. With huge amounts of repetition we can develop skills so that they use these Automatic FCN’s. Walking, tying a shoe lace or brushing teeth are examples of Automatic zone behaviour.

The second group of FCNs within the UPM is the Continuous zone. These take constant input from all the senses combining this information to relay to the brain the present situation or ‘the now’. 
Slight adjustments are made depending upon these inputs and some basic feedback is considered. This zone has been developed to support the hunter existence. It was initially used for stalking prey to gain the best possible attack option whilst achieving the greatest chance of catching the reward, continuously evaluating the probability of the energy expenditure against the calorie intake. For more modern day tasks it is a skill that has been developed and perfected over time such as kicking a football, typing, clicking a mouse or driving a car. At work it is the employee who has completed a task many times before and has the experience to know the right answer without needing much thought - traditionally known as a ‘gut feel’ or intuition. However, he’s been there and done it many times before. The basic process is to see the situation, adjust interactively, and monitor the feedback. These FCNs can operate in parallel switching focus from one to another. Kids now-a-days watch TV, use their Smartphones and chat via Facebook with several of their friends simultaneously. Adults drive their car, listen to the radio, chat with a passenger whist finding their way to work.

The third group is the focussed or logical FCNs known as the Linear zone. These FCNs take time to review the circumstances and access memories for known patterns or experience on the subject. This information is then mapped onto any relevant information from the senses regarding the situation. An answer is then processed using some form of method, plan, process, algorithm or calculation that has possibly considered different options to arrive at a conclusion. This group of FCNs resulted from agricultural planning when man started setting up villages to live in groups and stopped roaming to hunt. Thought was needed to plan future crops or rear farm animals for food. Careful and thorough long term decisions needed to be taken for the survival of the group. Lessons were learnt from the past seasonal cycles and then considered to ensure enough food was planted,
tended to and harvested for the group’s future. Unlike the first two zones, this zone accesses memories to think through possible options. This requirement for attention or focus can be compounded by the need to update or change the FCN with respect to updating memories with new information or developing new skills or strategies. This is the group of FCN’s that are used for all new tasks that require any type of concentration to complete. Unfortunately, although we all would like to believe we can multi-task this type of thought in a similar fashion to Automatic or Continuous groups, we are biologically engineered to only perform one Linear FCN task at once. Doing a math question and at the same time reciting the alphabet in reverse is not possible, unless it is practiced until another Automatic or Continuous FCN can perform one of the tasks leaving just one for the Linear FCN. The ability to do only one Linear task together with Continuous or Automatic tasks is common amongst mammals who all have a right and left side to the brain (Lateralised Brain) and originates from the need to eat plus think about any nearby predator’s activity in parallel.

And the final behaviour group is Adaptive. This strategy is to ‘ponder’ upon a question or issue and then reach as answer sometime in the future. These questions m
ay have multiple solutions that may be in conflict possibly one good for the short term but detrimental for the long term. This is zone of thought is actually the most powerful and creative zone the brain can utilise. Using this zone, a problem may never get answered as the FCN may come up with an idea or to resolve the issue using a totally different approach. This originated from early human life contemplating when and where to go, possibly following migration paths to locate prey or as a result of seasonal influences. This zone is where the brain goes when there is nothing to think about; nothing demanding our immediate attention. In neuroscience this thought process includes the default 
mode or stimulus independent thought – day dreaming to the man in the street. Remarkably, research has shown that we spend about 50% of our time in this mode of thought. Typically the types of questions answered by this zone are the big ones – to change jobs, whether to get married, to move house, to have another child, or big strategic issues at work. In this zone we combine logic, creativity and regulatory thoughts to resolve things not quite in sync or that are abstract. The Adaptive zone uses the most parts of the brain within the active FCN including unrelated memories considering many different aspects of the situation to help formulate unusual answers sometimes containing surprisingly new ideas or novel solutions. A lot of the time the problems don’t have a right or wrong answer so they fall into the Complex Adaptive System category and the answers generated are normally ‘to change or adapt’. The FCNs used for Adaptive thought are normally active at the same time as the Automatic or Continuous functions such as jogging, driving, swimming or completing other none demanding repetitive tasks. However, they cannot be active whilst a Linear FCN is active. The Adaptive FCN’s develop new ideas or solutions which pop into our heads un-expectedly. Although the human brain has not changed that much for millennia, the Adaptive set of FCN is actually increasing in power. As man considers ever more abstract issues, the Adaptive FCNs are utilised more than ever which is causing them to advance.

All thought processes can be mapped onto one of these four zones and therefore they can be treated in a similar way depending on their group including how it complements or conflicts with other zones - Integrated Cognition. Each zone has its own set of attributes that can be used to understand or alter the respective behaviour pattern . This is covered within the Process Optimisation tier of the Theory of Excellence Taxonomy. The tremendous strength, ease of use and versatility of the UPM combined with other elements of THE, gives UPM an extremely wide scope of use and delivers tremendous power to extend or improve current management principles and deliver excellence. For further information on using the Universal Profiling Model within your organisation contact info@theoryofexcellence.org.
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