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Work Levels Made Plain

Once you've assimilated Jaques, you can't take too many other management theories seriously. You can't conduct a class on leadership styles with a straight face.
— Jerry Harvey, author of The Abilene Paradox

Elliott Jaques claims to have discovered the key to understanding how humans successfully organize in large groups to accomplish purposes. It's a controversial set of findings but one that is getting increasing press. (strategy+business editor Art Kleiner is a proponent, for example.) You have probably been exposed to it by consultants and authors, all of whom claim that Jaques's theories are hard to understand and require a particularly high intelligence.


I can explain the basics of Jaques findings and theories in four hours of intense seminar over the web. I can do this because I have discovered that Jaques's main ideas aren't really all that complex. They can be explained very simply and even the normal people like me can understand it.

Most people struggle unnecessarily trying to learn Elliott Jaques' s Requisite Organization, Stratified Systems Theory and Work Levels. Dr. Jaques's writing can be a bit thick at times. Plowing through some of his work, especially later works, can be hard going. This leads many people to throw up their hands and move on. But there's also a key problem that we all would rather go away: if Jaques is right, most of what we think we know is wrong. You need to know what he is really saying so that you can make up your own mind.

How can you evaluate that if you can't understand what he says?

Let me explain Elliott Jaques's ideas, as written in his various books, to you in clear English, using very common examples to illustrate his points. I started writing about Jaques's findings several years ago on my weblog, engaging in a conversation with other people who had never heard of him. This forced me to translate the ideas into clear statements that my readers could understand. I got a reputation as one of the clearest expositors of his ideas, winning me friends from around the large Requisite Organization community. You'll get the same clear talk in this webinar.

Learn what Jaques really said without all the pain!

There's no fluff in what you do. With other people, there's always a lot of fluff. With you, there isn't any.
— Mary McQueen, winner on CBC's Dragons' Den, on an earlier webinar

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What You Will Learn

In this webinar series, you gain a basic understanding of one of Elliott Jaques's core concepts, work levels. You have to understand work levels to get any of the other ideas and methods by him or his colleagues, including:

  • Felt-fair pay (FFP)
  • Timespan of discretion (TSD)
  • Capacity of Information Processing (CIP)
  • Requisite Organization (RO)
  • Career Path Appreciation (CPA)

You will have enough understanding after this webinar to read and understand Jaques major works, or those of other work-levels theories and practitioners, without the confusion that gripped most of us when we approached his ideas.

For the most part, I will be sticking to the ideas as described by Dr. Jaques, with minor mentions of the vast work done by others extending his findings.

Elliot Jaques' theories make the most sense about [the hierarchy system] (for me)
— Art Kleiner, editor-in-chief of strategy+business

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Who Should Attend

This webinar is intended for who have become interested in the work levels ideas but are struggling to grasp them. You should have a basic understanding of how business organizations work, including some experience with the boss-subordinate relationship (in either role).

Although it is helpful, you do not need to have been exposed to the work of Dr. Jaques or his colleagues before.

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About Forrest Christian, the webinar leader

I have been writing on the web about Elliott Jaques since 2003, when I first discovered his ideas of felt-fair pay. My weblog on these issues became one of the top three hits for "elliott jaques". I gained a reputation as someone who can explain these seemingly complex ideas in clear, uncluttered English, boiling them down to their core elements.

I have also ghost-written or edited for several articles and case studies on Requisite Organization for some of the best known people in the field. These articles have been praised for their clarity and fidelity to the author's voice, and for how clearly they make these difficult concepts

For a time before the economic collapse of 2008, I worked with Warren Kinston, who was a colleague of Jaques at Brunel University and who has extended Jaques's work in interesting ways. Kinston gave me access to much of his materials, and has licensed his previously published materials to me.

Read more about my work with Hidden High Potentials

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How This Webinar Will Work

This webinar is given through Webex and requires a computer that can playback UCF (Universal Communications Format) rich media files.

Instructions on how to join the webinar will be sent to you after you register, including your PIN for this session.

During the webinar, you will be able to ask questions. If the class is small enough, the questions will be open for everyone else to hear. Extremely large classes will have separate chat channels so that you can chat your questions to me.

Sessions will be recorded. Recordings will be provided online to participants two days after the session.

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Please check whether you have the players installed before purchasing this class. You will need to either be able to use the VoIP or be able to telephone an American phone number.

Although it's helpful to already have been introduced to the ideas of the work levels, it is not necessary.

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