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Topics: Career Development, Change Management, Talent Management
Thoughts on PMI's upcoming rebranding of the Talent Triangle "legs"?
Those of us who work with PMI Authorized Training Partners were informed yesterday that the legs of the Talent Triangle will be rebranded over the near term.

Technical Project Management has been renamed to Ways of Working, Leadership is now Power skills, and Strategic and Business Management has become Business Acumen.

What are your thoughts about this change?
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I'm not a fan. To me they have made the terms both less precise, and less accurate at the same time. Other than the branding, I'm curious as to whether there was some other motivation for the change.
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1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Apr 26, 2022 7:08 PM
Kiron Bondale
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Keith -

I'm guessing that when they officially unveil the rebranding to the world, there will be some justification for it.

I'm guessing that the DA thought leadership might have had something to do with the first renaming...

Kiron
Apr 26, 2022 6:29 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
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I'm not a fan. To me they have made the terms both less precise, and less accurate at the same time. Other than the branding, I'm curious as to whether there was some other motivation for the change.
Keith -

I'm guessing that when they officially unveil the rebranding to the world, there will be some justification for it.

I'm guessing that the DA thought leadership might have had something to do with the first renaming...

Kiron
Kiron

The new PMI Talent Triangle is already published on PMI's website. In terms of what I think:

1) Change of Strategic and Business Management to Business Acumen - I would have preferred Strategy and Business Acumen

2) Change of Technical to Ways of Working: I don't think the new name accurately reflects what comes under it's umbrella. For example, how is Risk Management considered Ways or Working? Agile, Traditional or Hybrid are ways of working but in my opinion, not the rest. I prefer the name to stay Technical or make a fourth leg.

3) Change of Leadership to Power Skills: I am fine with this change but would have preferred "Interpersonal Skills".

If I had a saying, I would suggest that PMI changes the triangle into a square with four legs:

1) Strategy & Business Acumen
2) Technical
3) Ways of Working
4) Interpersonal Skills

RK
Ways of Working makes sense to me, from the perspective that things like risk management are part of the process goals, which are foundational to WoW, and the name change fits in with what seems like a stronger focus on disciplined agile. The other two feel more like change for the sake of change that landed on buzzwords that aren't as meaningful as they'd hoped.

I'm hoping there was some sort of study to identify what would be most meaningful to their intended audience. I'm curious if the intended audience is project managers or the employers who pay for certifications and memberships. With inflation increasing, the value proposition for employers to pay needs to be greater than the impact of inflation, maybe???
I am somehow fine with ways of working, which I translate to HOW, as the old term technical project management was a bit awkward for me (what is un-technical PM? Can there be technical aspects to communication?).
IPMA calls this side of their triangle practice, and I like that a lot.
But I understand it is an effort to establish DA terminology.

I am a bit less fine with business acumen, though it is better than business strategy and management - again awkward long and imprecise description.
IPMA calls it perspective, which I like much better. And I think business is the wrong and excluding descriptor if we have non-business stakeholders in government, non-profits and society. For me it describes the WHAT.
Think this business acumen goes along the same for-profit mindset that calls this 're-branding' in order to 'market and sell' PMI's 'products'.

Power skills is for me a really bad replacement for leadership. IPMA calls it people, I would see it as the WHY, as leadership establishes the purpose in stakeholders.
But if you strip off skills, as you should in a talent triangle comprised of skills anyhow, the remaining term power is not at all a descriptor for example empathy, servant leadership (which is not even mentioned) or teamwork.

In other words, for me, way of working is reflecting rationality, leadership is about being human and business is about the context.

So do I like it? No.

Thomas
I don't think the changes provide a clearer, neater description of the talent triangle legs. They sure sound a lot more jazzy!

What are power skills? Skills that are powerful? Skills in handling power? To me power skills sounds like office politics. It certainly does not convey leadership. For example, can servant leadership be called a power skill?
In reference to the comment of Stéphane Parent, talking about servant leadership, we can say that a servant leader helps others to develop and grow, making them feel purposeful. So, it can be said that a servant leader shares power.
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1 reply by Stéphane Parent
Apr 28, 2022 8:09 AM
Stéphane Parent
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That begs the question, Verónica: what is this "power" we are sharing?

Too many bad connotations are associated with "power": dictators, autocrats, oligarchs, ...
Apr 27, 2022 6:49 PM
Replying to Verónica Elizabeth Pozo Ruiz
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In reference to the comment of Stéphane Parent, talking about servant leadership, we can say that a servant leader helps others to develop and grow, making them feel purposeful. So, it can be said that a servant leader shares power.
That begs the question, Verónica: what is this "power" we are sharing?

Too many bad connotations are associated with "power": dictators, autocrats, oligarchs, ...
What bothers me most about this is that for an association which is supposed to value stakeholder engagement, why was there not an opportunity for members to participate in coming up with better labels if there was such a compelling need to make this change?

Kiron
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Apr 28, 2022 9:45 AM
Rami Kaibni
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I have the same concern as you. I was surprised to be honest but you never know, they might come up and say that they put out a survey and got 5,000 responses and acted based on that ……. Long story short, from my point of view, there is much room for improvement in this new triangle.

RK
Kiron, agree,

as I observe it, there is a creative shift within PMI from members/volunteers to experts, be it as hired staff (DA), consultants or academic partners (where the term power skills comes from, via Brightline relations).

The # of volunteers in PMI has not increased significantly in the past 20 years, but staff and consultants have. Remember we had special interest groups of members who indeed helped develop products? Well, they also strove to make them available for free, and did not care about marketing and profitability. And if you look at B2B products (even if labeled advocacy), you need a B2B sales force.

Volunteerism still seems to by one of 5 PMI values.
The question is how it drives strategy (or not).

Thomas
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