Friday, December 17, 2010


The aim of this paper is to introduce perspectives on what it means for an individual or organization to aspire to “professional” status or in more modern terms, to achieve excellence in what they do or world class in how they are judged.


“A professional is someone who has openly declared their commitment to pursue a particular line of work, in which they are regularly employed.” This includes commitment to any line of work in dedicated service to a greater good as if it were a clearly defined and commonly recognized profession. (Janitor may merit same claim to professional status as Doctor, Lawyer, or Teacher.)


Having declared their commitment to a line of work, a professional therefore;

• Is faithful to the principles, ideals, teachings and ethics of the larger professional body in which he/she seeks membership

• Embraces the technologies and practices endemic to their field of choice

• Works to safeguard accepted practices while striving to improve them

• Is actively involved in constant pursuit of knowledge, training and development that leads to increasing capability and contribution

• Is an independent thinker who also depends on others as source of help and development

• Seeks feedback to assure themselves that their work serves a greater good, conforms to principles they aim to uphold, and pursues continuous improvement

• Is known to be a dedicated practitioner of value adding skills and a dependable contributor to the needs of others

It is commonly understood that true professionals, even though they operate in different fields, recognize one another intuitively and respect one another implicitly.


1. Each organization member has access to roles that challenge them to develop toward professional status and to be supported by the organization as they progress.

2. Organization members are expected to become increasingly professional in practice, limited only by individual capacity and business needs.

3. In transitioning toward a culture of professionalism, an organization must adopt supportive philosophy, missions, structures, systems and processes, and;

-retain and build on existing, useful experience and relevant skills

-avoid blaming and fault finding in challenging people to grow and develop

-focus on real, current needs for increased contribution as yardstick for growth

-include all classes and levels in the process

4. Each person has a declared career path, which they and the organization maintain in up to date fashion as to qualification and progression guidelines.

5. Qualification includes capability to discipline own behavior in line with principles and standards and call others to account for perceived unprofessional behavior.

6. A person while acting as an employee of the business is expected to invest 100% of their time, talent, energy and growth potential in working to meet business needs.

7. Each individual is expected to join in a practice of teamwork grounded in values of cooperation, sharing, mutual support, and challenge.

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