White Paper: The Enneagram and the Evolution of Work

20th October 2016

What do workers need from the workspace today? “Let’s make it like Google!”, we hear time and again.

The AstroTurf is rolled out, the beanbag chairs ordered, and of course the obligatory table tennis or foosball table. The problem with many offices today is that they tend to have a one-size fits-all approach, yet our technological, social, and economic trends are more complex than ever.

As we redefine relationships between individuals, organisations, and workspaces, it is critical to consider how we can unlock greater potential for diverse personality types. Is the obsession with making our offices “like Google” a futile quest to chase the latest fad? Or is it related to the transformative influence the tech sector now has on many industries, bringing a new wave of different types of workers to other sectors?

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This white paper presents the Enneagram: an untapped model for understanding the complexities of personality, supporting different types of workers, and informing more effective workplace design. Reviewing empirical research on the Enneagram, we compare this model with the academically established Five Factor Model and present a case study on leveraging the Enneagram for happiness, innovation, and effectiveness at work. The Enneagram offers unique insights and dynamic growth potential for the “whole person”, in contrast to the simplistic extremes of the Meyers-Briggs model.

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