Octogram Model

Work Styles in the Competing Values Framework

The organizational culture types of the Competing Values Framework have been divided into 8 work styles. A work style is a description of how you prefer to work. Are you meticulous and orderly? Then you probably have a high Anchor score. Do you feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar social situations? Then you probably have a low Networker score.

With each Octogram trait, we are building a picture of where you feel comfortable, where your zone of highest productivity is located. The Octogram test is not a measure of whether or not you can do a particular job, that is more in the realm of ability/experience/competency. The Octogram is telling you how far out of your comfort zone any particular activity will take you and, as you know, working outside of your comfort zone makes you spend more energy and effort.

Working in a job that fits your work style makes you happy, it does not really feel like work because you are just being you. Research shows that ‘fit’ is the strongest indicator for job satisfaction, productivity and engagement.

Here are some descriptions of the traits measured by the Octogram test. Styles on opposite sides of the circle tend to conflict with each other, for example, it is unusual (but not impossible) for someone with a high Pioneer score (innovating, doing new things, taking risks) to also have a high Anchor score (order, structure, discipline). Styles that are close to each other tend to be similar, for example, a strong Helper (empathy, listening) tends to also be a good Team Player (cooperation, teamwork).

PioneerWork style pioneer

Pioneers are innovators and dreamers with fresh ideas and continuously trying to do things in a different way. They take the initiative when it comes to making changes exploring open-ended creativity.


NetworkerWork style networker

Networkers build relationships with new contacts, express their emotions freely, and are open to others. They are enthusiastic communicators, keenly interested in meeting new people.


AchieverWork style achiever

Achievers are driven, ambitious, and self-motivated. They make high demands on themselves and others. They are continuously aiming high and competitive.


StrategistWork style strategist

The strategist is the long term thinker, defining goals and thinking about how to reach those goals. The strategist identifies fundamental problems and is creative in looking for effective solutions to those problems.


AnchorWork style anchor

Anchors want order, structure, and quality. They see themselves as system builders and people who create order out of chaos. They are thorough and make sure that work is completed properly.


AnalystWork style analyst

Analysts seek to break problems apart and weigh alternatives. These are the people in the organization that are ‘the voice of reason’. Analysts prefer dealing with facts, focus on being rational, and looking at situations from different perspectives.


TeamplayerWork style team player

The Team Players are the binding elements in your company that keep people working together and keep the atmosphere upbeat and supportive. Team Players are focused on building consensus, team harmony, and conflict management.


HelperWork style helper

Helpers are understanding and take the time to listen to others. They have a good insights into the feelings and lives of others. Helpers understand the art of supporting the emotional well being of other people. Helpers work to improve communication, develop others, and help others achieve their full potential. Where a Team Player is more focused on the group, a Helper is more focused on individuals.