The JOB COMPLEXITY INTERVIEW (JCI) process aims to create mutual benefit for an individual and an organisation.

You need a good a match between individual capability, preferred approach to work, and the role responsibilities.

This balances provides an employee with a flow of energy that connects them to their work.

We define CAPABILITY as the decision-making process that takes place when knowledge and experience do not suffice.

The future is generally unknown. Solid judgment enables us to deploy our knowledge and experience effectively whatever the situation requires.

Cognitive capability indicates the current level of complexity at which an individual can comfortably function, as well as the likely longer-term development of their capability.

JCI does not look at personality, training, experience or skills.

It concerns itself with the appreciation of where individuals experience “flow” – i.e. the work that they find challenging and stimulating, as well as how they prefer to approach work in ideal circumstances.

How does it work?


The JCI process is founded on the principles of a theory called STRATIFIED SYSTEMS THEORY (SST) (Levels of Work) developed by Elliot Jacques.

Seven themes of work are described, each with a specific value-adding theme, and each concerned with providing a unique contribution to the organisation.

Theme 1 – 3

Quality, Service and Best Practice

The first three work themes are considered the production engine of the organisation and are concerned with creating value for the present.

Theme 4 – 5

Strategic Development and Strategic Intent

The next two themes are concerned with adding value for the future viability of the organisation.

Theme 6 – 7

Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Prescience

The final two themes of work are about value systems which ensure global positioning and transformation of corporate entities and industries.

What can the JCI results be used for?


Selection interview

Determine a person’s ability to deal with the complex challenges of the position they are interviewed for.

Developmental interview

Determine a person’s current level of capability, potential growth and development.

This is used to define the alignment between current position and person. This determines:

  • If the person is under-utilised or over-extended.
  • If the person is on par with the position (i.e. ‘in-flow’) and what competency development should be embarked upon.
Discussion on future development

Explore potential development through constructive conversations regarding:

  • Career development
  • Succession opportunities (populating your leadership pipeline).
  • IDP – competency development and exposure (timeous and appropriate) required for future positions.
  • Platform for monitoring and coaching.
  • Organisational development interventions.